Delicious Recipes, Packed with the Magic of Selenium
For all it does to keep us healthy, the nutrient selenium is one mighty mineral that ought to be better known—especially since it shows up in favorite foods like salmon and pork. A trace mineral found in the soil, selenium is essential to hundreds of cellular functions throughout the body — everything from fighting free radical damage to revving up immune function to activating thyroid hormones that regulate growth and metabolism. It even helps preserve and regenerate other antioxidant nutrients like vitamin C and E. Studies also suggest that higher intakes of selenium may help protect against heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.
Vegetables and grains that are grown in selenium-rich soils can be a great source of this magic mineral, but the selenium content of soil can vary greatly. Here in the U.S., soil selenium concentrations are highest in Montana, Nevada, the Dakotas, Iowa, and Illinois and lowest in Arizona, New Mexico, Mississippi, and parts of Florida. (To see how your county ranks in terms of selenium, check out this map.)
The most reliable dietary source of selenium is Brazil nuts. A small handful of them provides several times the daily allowance. The next best source is seafood, especially shrimp, crab, salmon, and halibut. Pork, brown rice, and whole wheat bread also provide a healthy amount.
Ready to savor your selenium? Check out some of these delicious (and selenium-rich) recipes:
These easy to make pan-fried patties are coated with bread crumbs and spiced up with seasonings.
Here’s a healthier version of scampi that cuts the butter and loads up on vegetables instead.
So easy, thanks to the fact that the spicy marinade doubles as a sauce to serve on the side.
The spicy kick makes this fast-to-make dish ideal for summer, served with corn and a side of fresh tomatoes.
Golden raisins add sweetness, and basil fresh from the garden imparts its own taste of summer.