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Selenium - a key mineral for your immune system

If you've been following my posts you'll know that I've been focusing on nutrients that support our immune system. In most of our lifetimes there has never been a more significant warning that we need to look after our bodies and maintain our overall health. The human body is absolutely incredible and works tirelessly to maintain its 'internal stability' (this is known as homeostasis) whether we are taking care of ourselves or not. It is constantly trying to fighting bacteria, viruses and other pathogens, keeping us breathing, trying to maintain healthy blood pressure and blood sugar levels, removing toxins, repairing and renewing cells, and so much more without us lifting a finger.

Like a car engine, though, we need to give our bodies the right fuel (food) and regular maintenance (exercise) to keep it running smoothly. Even small changes in our eating and physical routines can impact hugely on our overall health.

Today's nutrient in focus is Selenium - this is not a vitamin, it's a mineral. As with many minerals we only need trace amounts in our diet, but it's detrimental to our health if we are deficient. Symptoms of not enough selenium can be: frequent infections, cataracts, premature ageing, and high blood pressure. As selenium has great anti-oxidant properties it is also important for fighting carcinogens (factors that can cause cancer).

As well as stimulating our immune system, selenium promotes a healthy heart, helps the actions of vitamin E and is required for the male reproductive system and healthy metabolism.

Top foods for selenium are: tuna, oysters, molasses, mushrooms, herrings, cottage cheese, cabbage, beef liver, courgettes, cod, chicken, brazil nuts (these are very high in selenium so go easy). Refined foods hinder selenium in our bodies, and even if you don't eat refined/processed foods selenium leaves our bodies usually within 24 hours, so ideally a little every day is needed in our diet.

If you have any questions please feel free to ask in comments or by phone or email.

Quote from Thomas Fuller: "Health is not valued till sickness comes"

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