Selenium is required by the body for proper functioning of the thyroid gland, and may help protect against free radical damage and cancer. A deficiency in selenium can lead to pain in the muscles and joints, unhealthy hair, and white spots on the fingernails. In long term cases it may even lead to Hashimoto’s disease, a condition in which the body’s own immune system attacks the thyroid. An excess of selenium can lead to bad breath, diarrhea, and even hair loss. The current daily value (DV) for selenium is 70µg (micrograms). It is important to note that the amount of selenium in any product varies greatly by the amount of selenium in the soil in which it was produced/grown/raised. Be sure to check individual labels, and if you have a deficiency in selenium, get tested after changing your diet to be sure you are eating adequate amounts.
Below is list of high selenium foods by common serving size.
#1: Brazil Nuts
|Selenium in 100g||Per Cup (133g)||Per Ounce (28g)|
|1917.0µg (2739% DV)||2549.6µg (3642% DV)||536.8µg (767% DV)|
Other Nuts High in Selenium (%DV per ounce): Mixed Nuts (14%), Cashews (8%), Black Walnuts (7%), and Macadamia Nuts (5%).
#2: Seafood (Oysters – Cooked)
|Selenium in 100g||Per Oyster (25g)||Per 3 oz (85g)|
|154µg (220% DV)||38.5µg (55% DV)||130.9µg (187% DV)|
Other Seafood High in Selenium (%DV per 3 oz cooked):Mussels and Octopus (109%), Lobster (89%), Clams (78%), Squid (63%), and Shrimp (60%).
#3: Fish (Tuna – Cooked)
|Selenium in 100g||Per Ounce (28g)||Per 3 oz (85g)|
|108.2µg (155% DV)||30.7µg (44% DV)||92.0µg (131% DV)|
Other Fish High in Selenium (%DV per 3 oz cooked):Rockfish (93%), Swordfish (83%), Halibut (67%), Tilapia (66%), Mackerel (63%), and Snapper (60%).
#4: Whole-Wheat Bread
|Selenium in 100g||Per Slice (28g)||Per Slice (Toasted – 25g)|
|40.3µg (58% DV)||11.3µg (16% DV)||13.2µg (19% DV)|
Other Whole-Wheat Breads Provide (%DV per piece): Oat Bran Bagel (51%), Large Pita Bread (40%), English Muffin (38%), and Medium Dinner Roll (25%).
#5: Seeds (Sunflower)
|Selenium in 100g||Per Cup (128g)||Per Ounce (28g)|
|79.3µg (113% DV)||101.5µg (145% DV)||22.2µg (32% DV)|
Other Seeds High in Selenium (%DV per ounce): Chia Seeds (22%), Sesame Seeds (14%), Flaxseeds (10%), and Pumpkin and Squash Seeds (4%).
#6: Pork (Lean Tenderloin – Cooked)
|Selenium in 100g||Per 3 oz (85g)||Per Chop (73g)|
|51.6µg (74% DV)||43.9µg (63% DV)||37.7µg (54% DV)|
Other Cuts of Pork Provide (%DV per 3 oz cooked): Roast Leg Ham (61%), Lean Pork Mince (60%), and Lean Pork Loin (59%).
#7: Beef & Lamb (Lean Beef Steak – Cooked)
|Selenium in 100g||Per 3 oz (85g)||Per Steak (225g)|
|44.8µg (64% DV)||38.1µg (54% DV)||100.1µg (144% DV)|
Other Cuts High in Selenium (%DV per 3 oz cooked): Lean Ribeye Steak and Brisket of Beef (48%), Sirloin (47%), Lean Stewing Lamb and Lean Lamb Shoulder (46%), and Lean Lamb Foreshank (43%).
#8: Chicken and Turkey (Turkey, Back or Leg Meat Cooked)
|Selenium in 100g||Per Cup Chopped (140g)||Per 3 oz (85g)|
|37.8µg (54% DV)||52.9µg (76% DV)||32.1µg (46% DV)|
Chicken is also High in Selenium Providing (%DV per 3 oz cooked): Roast Chicken Breast (39%), Chicken Thigh (36%), and Stewing Chicken (35%).
#9: Mushrooms (Crimini)
|Selenium 100g (Raw)||Per Cup, Sliced (72g)||Per Mushroom (20g)|
|26.0µg (37% DV)||18.7µg (27% DV)||5.2µg (7% DV)|
Other Mushrooms High in Selenium (%DV per cup sliced): Shiitake, cooked (51%), Portabella, grilled (38%), Portabella, raw (23%), and White, stir-fried (21%).
#10: Whole Grains (Rye)
|Selenium 100g||Per cup (169g)||Per 3 oz (85g)|
|13.9µg (20% DV)||23.5µg (34% DV)||11.8µg (17% DV)|
Other Whole Grains High in Selenium (%DV per cup cooked): Brown Rice (27%), Pearl Barley (19%), Oatmeal (18%), and Quinoa (7%).