Deficient Selenium levels in your body may be the reason your experiencing thyroid issues!
A healthy thyroid is essential for the maintenance of overall health. Thyroid disorders such as hypothyroidism, more specifically Hashimoto’s, are becoming increasingly common.
Efficient thyroid function, including hormone synthesis and metabolism, protection of the thyroid gland, and immune efficacy are all benefits of having adequate Selenium stores. Although Selenium deficiency is not considered to be common in healthy adults, it is often an issue for those suffering from digestive health issues (resulting in poor nutrient absorption) and individuals with chronic inflammatory conditions.
It is an accepted belief that Selenium deficiency itself does not cause illness, but that the body becomes more susceptible to illness caused by other nutritional, biochemical, and infectious stresses as a result of its role in immune function.
Selenium has a significant impact on inflammatory activity in thyroid-related autoimmune disease. Reducing this inflammation may reduce damage to thyroid tissue. Selenium increases glutathione peroxidase and thioredoxin reductase activity and decreases toxic concentrations of hydrogen peroxide and lipid hydroperoxides which result from thyroid hormone synthesis.
Selenium is necessary for the conversion of T4 to T3. This is very important because T3 is the active form of the thyroid hormone and low T3 can result in hypothyroid symptoms. In severe selenium deficiency this conversion is impaired which increases hypothyroid symptoms.
One of the best ways to increase your Selenium intake is with Brazil Nut Milk!
Commonly known for being high in selenium, Brazil nuts also offer thiamin (vitamin B1, which supports a healthy nervous system), phosphorus, and magnesium! Brazil nuts are very high in fat so have a rich taste and create an amazingly creamy nut milk. Follow this simple recipe for delicious and nutritious Brazil nut milk.
(Makes 3 Cups)
- 1 Cup Brazil Nuts (no need to soak)
- 4 Cups Water
- 5 Pitted Dates OR 1-2 Tbsp of desired sweetener (honey, agave, maple syrup)
- 1 Pinch Sea Salt
- ½ Tsp Vanilla Bean Powder OR 1 Tbsp Cacao Powder
- Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Lay cheesecloth, a nut milk bag, paper towel, or strainer over the mouth of a mason jar**.
- Hold the cloth, bag, or paper towel in place with a rubber band by slipping it around the mouth of the container.
- Carefully pour the nut milk through your desired straining device and into the container.
You can also make this recipe in much smaller quantities for single time use, just try to follow the same ratios!
**Note: I am usually not picky about straining my nut milks so this is usually the end of the process for me. In fact, I often enjoy the pulp at the end! If I find there are particularly large chunks I’ll use a strainer to keep the process easy peasy. I find for the most part the chunks are so tiny that they are not the slightest bit offensive (especially if you have a high-speed blender).
Some Other Fun Facts About Selenium:
- Selenium is a trace mineral which is nutritionally essential for humans
- Selenium ingested through dietary sources is preferable (as opposed to supplementation)
- The primary dietary source of Selenium is plant foods
- Other great sources of selenium include: brazil nuts, mushrooms, tuna and turkey
- Selenium is a powerful antioxidant and helps fight damaging particles in the body (free radicals)
- Free radicals can damage cell membranes and DNA, and may contribute to aging, heart disease, cancer, and other health conditions
- Selenium is important in reproduction, thyroid hormone metabolism, DNA synthesis, and protection from oxidative damage and infection
- Selenium’s metabolic function is similar to the antioxidant activity of Vitamin E
- Selenium converts oxidized fat to less harmful compounds
- The main site of Selenium storage is the skeletal muscle
- Selenium helps regulate the metabolism of thyroid hormones and aids in immune function
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