Selenium is part of many important enzymes, which are substances that speed up reactions in our bodies. The amount of selenium in a plant food varies depending on how much is in the soil the plant is grown in.
In the UK, recommended daily intakes of selenium for adults are 60mcg (micrograms) for women and 75mcg for men, which are based on the assumption that a higher intake is required for people with a higher body weight. It is important to avoid eating too much selenium because it can cause a condition called selenosis.
Sources of selenium
The selenium content of Brazil nuts is variable, but tends to be high, and eating just two a day might meet your body’s need. Alternatively, you could use a supplement to guarantee a reliable selenium intake. The Vegan Society markets a daily vitamin and mineral supplement designed for vegans called VEG 1, providing reliable intakes of vitamins B12 and D, iodine and selenium. Please discuss the use of supplements with a health professional to help ensure that they are suitable for you.
Click here to access our PDF about selenium.
You can compare your diet to our guidelines using the free VNutrition app.
These are general guidelines about nutrition. If you have concerns about your diet, please talk to your doctor about seeing a dietitian. Discussing the use of supplements with a health professional will help to ensure that they are suitable for you.
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