Although you might not have heard of selenium, it is a vital mineral your body relies on. Selenium is found naturally in soil, water, and certain foods, and it plays a huge role in metabolism. But along with promoting healthy metabolism, selenium plays many other key roles in keeping us healthy.
According to the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements, there are several major benefits of selenium. Here are 3:
1. Powerful Antioxidant
Selenium is a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent cell damage caused by free radicals. Smoking, alcohol use, and even stress can result in an excess of free radicals, which lead to oxidative stress that damages healthy cells. When talking about eye health, oxidative stress is a major contributor of many different eye health issues. That’s why antioxidants like selenium are so important. They reduce oxidative stress by neutralizing excess free radicals and protecting cells from damage.
2. Promotes Thyroid Health
According to the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements, “Selenium concentration is higher in the thyroid gland than in any other organ in the body, and, like iodine, selenium has important functions in promoting a healthy thyroid.”
3. Boosts Immune System
Selenium plays an important role in the health of the immune system. Studies have shown that increased blood levels of selenium are associated with enhanced immune response. On the other hand, selenium deficiency may lead to a slower immune response.