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September 29, 2020

The Best Vegan Foods Containing Selenium
Our Top Picks

Rafid Nassir
Published by Rafid Nassir
Fact checked by Markus Oliver, BHSc FACT CHECKED

If you are suffering from infertility, muscle weakness, or a weakened immune system, there is a high probability that your selenium levels are lower than they should be.

Selenium deficiency is a major issue, especially among vegans who avoid eating meat. If you feel you are indeed deficient in this mineral, it is important that that you take certain steps to increase your intake.

One of the best ways to do this is by eating more food rich in selenium. Here are some of the best vegan foods rich in selenium - and make sure you add these to your shopping list!

How Much Vegan Sources Of Selenium Do I Need?

vegan sources

Us humans need to make sure we are getting enough selenium content (and Vitamin E) on a daily basis to avoid serious health problems. However, too much selenium can be toxic too, so finding the right balance is incredibly important.

If you are over the age of 14, medical professionals would recommend that the daily amount of selenium intake is 55 micrograms (mcg) [1]. On the other hand, women who are pregnant or nursing should aim to consume as much as 60 mcg per day.

Vegan Foods With Selenium

Brazil Nuts

If you feel that you have low selenium levels you may want to start adding Brazil nuts to your diet. They are one of the best sources of this vital nutrient with 544 mcg found in every ounce (6-8 nuts). You should avoid consuming too many Brazil nuts to avoid selenium toxicity.

Enriched Foods

enriched foods

Certain products, such as pasta, whole wheat bread, and whole-grain cereal provide a good amount of selenium content as well as other important vitamins and minerals. Selenium food sources are typically used as breakfast ingredients so maybe getting up before noon will also improve your.

For instance, you should be getting up to 40 micrograms per cup of cereal, or around 16 mcg when you eat 2 slices of whole-grain toast. Your recommended daily intake shouldn't rely solely on enriched foods but try to include other plant-based foods too for a bit of variety and excitement.

Brown Rice

brown rice

To solve a selenium deficiency problem, you may want to add this food to your recipes.

One cup will provide you with 19 mcg of selenium, which is 27% of the RDA.

To add variety to your recipes you may want to swap the rice for barley, which will give you 23 mcg of selenium in every ⅓ cup serving.

Sunflower Seeds

They are one of the best sources of selenium with almost 19 mcg found in every quarter cup. This makes them an ideal choice as a snack. Maybe mix it with some nuts.

Baked Beans

baked beans

Including baked beans in your vegan diet will increase the amounts of selenium you consume.

A cup of baked beans will provide you with 13 mcg with plenty of fiber too, which is another one of life’s essential nutrients.

Mushrooms

These are another one of the best vegan selenium sources with 12 mcg found in every 100-gram serving.

Mushrooms are also a good source of vitamin D and iron - both of which are essential for enduring those workouts, enriching your blood with oxygen, and ensuring your bodily functions work at full capacity.

Oatmeal

Vegans should make sure they have adequate selenium status every day. Oatmeal is a terrific source of selenium content, containing 13 mcg in every cooked cup. Of course, feel free to add some chocolate or fruits if you aren't a fan of cereals and other wheaty or grassy products.

Spinach

Popeye was right all along! Including spinach in your diet is an excellent way for vegans to increase their intake of this vital nutrient besides other equally important vitamins and minerals (think iron). When cooked from a frozen single cup, it contains 11 mcg.

Lentils

A cup of cooked lentils contain 6 mcg of selenium. Plus protein and fiber that are both vital nutrients vital for good health.

Cashews

This nut is an ideal snack food for vegans. Every ounce will contain 3 mcg.

Bananas

bananas

If you are vegan you will need to make sure you are eating foods that give you enough of the vitamin and mineral content you need to be healthy.

While bananas are not high in selenium it still provides you with 2 mcg in each cup.

Broccoli

broccoli

This is not the best source on this list but it is worth adding to ensure there is a variety in your meals.

A 1-cup serving of this food when cooked will provide you with 3.5 mcg of selenium.

This will provide you with 6% of your recommended daily intake.

Final Thoughts

Getting an adequate amount of selenium is important to avoid brain fog, fatigue, infections, and other ailments associated with it. Goes without saying, this nutrient is necessary for ensuring your body stays healthy and resistant to diseases.

It is also important for reproduction, thyroid gland function, DNA production and to help protect your body against the damage caused by free radicals and from infection.

If you still feel as though you are deficient in selenium, you may want to try one of the many selenium supplements available, just to be on the safe side.

References:

  1. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Selenium-HealthProfessional/

 


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Rafid Nassir is a health and fitness fanatic, with the main aim of maximising muscle mass and minimising body fat, with as little time investment as possible.
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