Food Sources of Selenium

Posted: Jul 4, 2014

Information About Selenium


Selenium is a mineral that works as an antioxidant in the body. It can help to keep tissues healthy by preventing cell damage.
Selenium helps keep your immune system and thyroid working well.
Selenium may help protect against the development of some types of cancers and certain chronic diseases but this is still being studied.

How Much Selenium Should I Aim For?

 
Age in years Aim for an intake of micrograms
(mcg)/day
Stay below*
mcg/day
Men and Women 19 and older 55 400
Pregnant Women 19 to 50 60 400
Breastfeeding Women 19 to 50 70 400
*This amount includes sources of selenium from food and supplements

Food Sources of Selenium

Selenium is easily absorbed from food. The best source of selenium is Brazil nuts. Selenium content of foods can vary considerably depending on the selenium content of the soil where the animal was raised or the plant was grown. The amounts listed below are therefore subject to variation. The following table will show you foods which are a source of selenium.

Food Serving Size Selenium (mcg)
Vegetables and Fruit
Mushrooms (portabella, shiitake, crimini), raw or cooked 125 mL (1/2 cup) 10-21
Grain Products
Couscous, cooked  125 mL (½ cup)  23
Pasta, egg noodles, enriched, cooked 125 mL (½ cup) 20
Pasta (whole wheat, white), enriched, cooked 125 mL (½ cup) 19-20
Rice, brown, long-grain, cooked 125 mL (½ cup) 8-10
Oat bran, cooked  125 mL (½ cup) 10
Rice, white, cooked  125 mL (½ cup) 8
Milk and Alternatives
Yogurt, soy  175 g (¾ cup) 25
Cottage cheese  250 mL (1 cup) 24
Soy beverage  250 mL (1 cup) 6-12
Yogurt, fruit, non fat  175 gmL (¾ cup)  11
Processed cheese slices (cheddar, swiss), regular, low fat 50 g (1 ½ oz) 7-10
Milk (homogenized 3.3%, 2%, 1%, skim) 250 mL (1 cup)  6-10
Cheese (Swiss, emmental)  50 g (1 ½ oz)  9
Cheese, mozzarella, regular, low fat 50 g (1 ½ oz)  7-9
Meat and Alternatives
Meat Alternatives
Brazil nuts*, without shell  5  340
Mixed nuts, without shell  60 mL (¼ cup)  51-154
Egg, cooked  2 large 34
Sunflower seeds, without shell  60 mL (¼ cup)  21-26
Tofu  150 g (¾ cup)  13-20
Baked beans, canned  175 mL (¾ cup)  9-19
Beans, pinto  175 mL (¾ cup)  8-13
*Due to the very high level of selenium in brazil nuts, if you like brazil nuts, eat them occasionally, not every day.
 
Fish and Seafood
Oysters, Pacific, cooked  75 g (2 ½ oz)  116
Fish (halibut, herring, bass, cod, mackerel, orange roughy, tilapia), cooked  75 g (2 ½ oz)  12-66
Tuna (light, white), canned  75 g (2 ½ oz)  45-60
Oysters, farmed, cooked  75 g (2 ½ oz)  58
Pike or grayling, cooked  75 g (2 ½ oz)  45
Salmon, cooked 75 g (2 ½ oz)  28-45
Sardines, canned in oil  75 g (2 ½ oz)  40
Crab, cooked  75 g (2 ½ oz)  33-36
Meat and Poultry
Liver (lamb, chicken, turkey, pork), cooked 75 g (2 ½ oz)  51-87
Bacon, strips, cooked  3 slices (24 g)  49
Chicken or turkey, various cuts, cooked  75 g (2 ½ oz) 12-38
Pork, various cuts, cooked  75 g (2 ½ oz)  26-37
Beef, various cuts, cooked  75 g (2 ½ oz)  8-29
Lamb, Canadian, various cuts, cooked 75 g (2 ½ oz) 19-27
*Due to the very high level of selenium in brazil nuts, if you like brazil nuts, eat them occasionally, not every day.
  

Source: "Canadian Nutrient File 2010" .
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/nutrition/fiche-nutri-data/index-eng.php
[Accessed March 12, 2012]