Selenium is a trace mineral that is essential to good health but required only in small amounts. Selenium is incorporated into proteins to make selenoproteins, which are important antioxidant enzymes. The antioxidant properties of selenoproteins help prevent cellular damage from free radicals. Free radicals are natural by-products of oxygen metabolism that may contribute to the development of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease and they help regulate thyroid function and play a role in the immune system [4-7].

The major foods that provide selenium are plant foods. This depends on the selenium content of the soil, however. In the U.S., North and South Dakota and northern Nebraska have very high levels of selenium. Selenium can also be found in some meats and seafood and some nuts.

Selenium content in foods always vary due to the soil.

Brazil nuts should only be eaten occasionally because of the possibility of very high selenium content. Other foods that are good sources of selenium are:

Tuna, canned in oil
Turkey breast, roasted
Chicken breast, roasted
Spaghetti and meatsauce