Foods rich in selenium and why they are so important to your hairs health

Nutrafols supplements contain the ingredient selenium and on the ingredient page, the following is written about selenium and selenium foods;
“Selenium produces antioxidant enzymes that can defend against damage to cells, including those in hair follicles. It also helps to maintain proper thyroid function, which benefits the immune system and fosters healthy hair growth.”
So, with that being said, here follows a description on a need to know basis about this mineral.

Basic description of selenium

Selenium is one of many important dietary minerals, and we require a small amount of selenium in our diet.

Selenium contains a small cluster of important proteins. Each of these play a critical role in your health. Scientists named these selenium-containing proteins selenoproteins.

Good selenium nutrition is important for antioxidant protection and for other health reasons as well. The selenium amount a plant contains relates to the selenium content of the soil in which the plants is grown. Selenium content of soils can vary widely, however, poor soil content of selenium is not typically a factor in the average U.S. diet.

Sources of selenium

Fish, grass-fed and pasture-raised meats, whole grains, and nuts and seeds are either good, very good, or excellent food sources of selenium.

 

Selenium and antioxidant protection

Selenium is necessary for your body and especially important for the proper activity of a group of enzymes called glutathione peroxidases. (You will sometimes see the abbreviation “GPO” or “GPx” for a glutathione peroxidase enzyme.) These enzymes play an important role in your body’s detoxification system and they also protect it against oxidative stress. (Oxidative stress is physiological circumstance in which there is excessive risk of oxygen-related damage to the body.) Of the eight known glutathione peroxidase enzymes, five of them require selenium.
In addition to the activity of glutathione peroxidase, the enzymes that contain selenium, are involved in recycling of vitamin C, which allows an antioxidant protection.

Selenium and thyroid function

A selenium-containing enzyme is responsible for transforming a less active thyroid hormone called T4 into the more active T3.

So, how does this work you may wonder? Simple – selenium and iodine work together to keep thyroid function strong and consistent.
Researchers have been able to notice problems with the thyroid gland in just two months when keeping a low-selenium diet.

selenium rich foods
Of all the nutty nuts, the brazil nut is an exceptional selenium source.

Selenium foods to keep in mind

If you have read about selenium foods, you have probably read about Brazil nuts being a strong source of the mineral. Just as little as one ounce of Brazil nuts may contain as much as 10 times the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) recommendation for selenium intake. Other exceptionally rich selenium foods include oysters, clams, liver, and kidney. Each of these foods is likely to contain double to triple the DRI in a serving.
Fish and shellfish are an excellent source of selenium. Whole grains and seeds, are as well a good selenium source. Include at least one of these selenium foods in your everyday diet to maintain a healthy hair regime.


Photos: Charlotta Wasteson and Mauro Cateb via Flickr.