Why I’m eating this nut every day
Part of how I help my clients is by constantly working on my own health. How I work with clients is exactly how I work with myself too. I run diagnostic functional lab tests, interpret and analyze the results, and then create a comprehensive holistic protocol.
A few weeks ago, I ran a hair tissue mineral analysis (HTMA) test on myself. Why? Because I felt that there was an imbalance going on but couldn’t pin-point it, so I always “test don’t guess!”
What was I experiencing?
- Ups and downs in energy levels
- Feeling more sore after workouts and not recovery quickly
- Low libido
- Cravings for sugar and carbs (“dirty carbs” like baked goods and bread)
- Menstruation has not returned (still breastfeeding so not surprised but wanting to see if something else was contributing. Hormone balance is vital to health not just pregnancy!)
- Feeling full (bloated) even after small meals
While my results were not outrageous with imbalances, there were some clear deficiencies happening, which as a postpartum, breast-feeding mother is not uncommon. However, you know my stance on “common” – just because something is common does not make it normal. I want my health to optimal, I want to feel my best, this is why I keep looking for ways to take my own health up a notch.
One of the minerals that I was low on was selenium. While selenium is not a major mineral – like sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium – it’s still a very important mineral to have at a sufficient level. It’s also an essential mineral, meaning that you can only acquire it through food, it’s not made in the body. Unfortunately, selenium deficiency affects 500 million to 1 billion people worldwide! Part of this is due to a lack of selenium in the soil and part is due to a lack of selenium intake.
Why care about selenium? Selenium plays a key role in the health, function, and vitality of many systems of the body.
- Immune system – Selenium is a powerful antioxidant that can help fight oxidative stress from free radicals. Oxidative stress is linked to many chronic illnesses such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and cancer. Selenium helps to lower inflammation and enhance immune function.
- Thyroid health – The thyroid contains a higher amount of selenium than any other organ in the body. The antioxidant powers of selenium protect the thyroid from potential damage from oxidative stress. It also is necessary for production of thyroid hormones. Remember, the thyroid is your body’s thermostat – it regulates metabolism, body temperature, and is closely connected to adrenal function and hormone production.
- Cancer Risk – Sufficient levels of selenium are correlated with decreased risk of cancer. Selenium reduces damage that can be done to DNA and can even destroy cancer cells.
- Heart Disease – Selenium can decrease risk of heart disease by 24% according to one study. Heart disease is currently the number one cause of death in the United States, killing over 650,000 people every year.
Seems like everyone should be focusing on getting in enough selenium right!
Where do you find this essential mineral? In FOOD! This is why I have been eating 2-3 Brazil Nuts every day. Brazil nuts have the highest concentration of selenium per gram. Each Brazil nut contains 176% of your daily value.
Other foods with selenium:
- Oysters – 238% DV in 3 oysters
- Halibut – 176% DV in 6 ounces
- Yellowfin Tuna – 167% DV in 3 ounces
- Eggs – 56% DV in 2 large eggs
- Sardines – 46% DV in 4 sardines
- Sunflower Seeds – 27% DV in 1 ounce
- Chicken Breast – 12% DV in 3 ounces
- Shiitake Mushrooms – 10% DV in 1 cup
Please note, that while selenium toxicity is uncommon and usually comes from taking selenium supplements, it can happen. This is why finding out your levels is so important, because too much of a good thing can be a bad thing! If you would like to learn more about selenium, mineral balancing, or functional lab testing, schedule a complimentary discovery session with me today!