Being a parent is not very easy. We all love our children. We want to give them our best and make sure they grow up to be healthy adults. So, it is our utmost duty to ensure that they get proper food with all required nutrients in adequate quantity. This also makes us go through the latest journals with latest findings in the field of nutrition and diet. Parents now-a-days also schedule visits with nutrition experts and have a lot of queries about food and nutrition of their children.
There are many vitamins that are required for the proper functioning of the body. Some of them are required in huge amounts like carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and sulphur (Macronutrients). There are other Micronutrients (required in small quantities) like proteins, fat, minerals etc. There is an increasing amount of research about the pros and cons of selenium as a part of diet. In this article, we shall see the benefits of including optimal amount of Selenium in your kid’s diet.
Where is Selenium Found?
Selenium is basically found in soil. It is absorbed by the plants which in turn will be consumed by animals. So, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian foods have some amount of Selenium in them. It depends on the quantity of Selenium found in soil. However, Selenium rich food includes fruits, vegetables, proteins and grains. For example, a single egg contains 14 micrograms of Selenium.
What amount of Selenium is required for normal functioning?
Every vitamin has to be present in optimal amounts for the proper functioning of the body. Adults need about 55 micro grams of Selenium and children require about 20 to 40 micro grams per day.
Benefits of Selenium in Your Child’s Diet
Selenium is one of the important nutrients in the body. It is obvious that if a mineral is important, then that should have some functions and some health benefits. Let us look 11 health benefits of including Selenium in your kid’s diet.
Helps boost immunity: Selenium helps boost antioxidant properties and defends you kids against oxidative stress.
Help fight cancers: If you and your kids have a history of weak immunity and cancers, including Selenium in your diet helps fight off the possibilities of cancer. What Selenium does basically is prevent and repair DNA mutation in the cell, thus preventing the cancer.
Help prevent cancer: Selenium has synergistic effect with vitamins like vitamin E , helping the body to fight against cancers like prostate and colon cancers.
Improves blood flow and decreases the possibilities of heart diseases: Selenium decreases inflammation thus decreasing the risks of heart diseases. It boosts heart health by decreasing inflammation, increasing blood flow and helps with antioxidant activity.
Regulates thyroid function: If you have a family history with thyroid related problems, including Selenium in your diet helps lower the risk. Recent research suggests strong relation between selenium intake and thyroid health. Selenium acts as a protector of thyroid, and it regulated the production of reactive oxygen within the gland and protects it from the antibodies that cause thyroid issues.
Increases life span: Selenium has the ability of increasing life span. So, if you want your children to live a long and healthy life, make sure they get a balanced diet with appropriate amount of Selenium. Selenium is known to boost the regeneration of cells thus slowing down the aging process and increasing life span, preventing diseases.
Helps reduce asthma symptoms: Studies have shown that people suffering from chronic asthma have shown lesser asthmatic symptoms when consumed Selenium supplements, than when they consumed a placebo.
Help boost reproductive health: Selenium ensures that there is healthy reproductive growth in children. It also boosts fertility in adults and also known to lessen the chances of miscarriage.
Selenium improves mood: Selenium is known to have positive effects on the nervous system, thus boosting your kids’ mood. So, make your kids happy and boost their healthy development by including correct amount of Selenium in their diet.
Selenium helps in IGF-1: IGF-1 is a hormone which is similar to insulin and works with growth hormone to reproduce and regenerate cells. This means, this helps in the healthy replacement of dead cells in the body and healthy growth.
Selenium helps reduce inflammation: Inflammation causes joint pains and many other discomforts. So, if your kids are prone to frequent falls and pains, and have a family history of joint pains, it helps reduce the symptoms.
Side Effects of Excessive Intake of Selenium
Selenium has many pros, but as the old saying goes too much of anything is too bad. The same is the fact with Selenium. Diseases due to presence of toxic amounts of selenium are extremely rare, but deserve to get attention. Here are a few cons of Selenium in high amounts.
Excess selenium may promote type 2 diabetes: Studies have shown that presence of too much selenium and the high presence of blood sugar are correlated.
Excess selenium may lower active thyroid in men: We did discuss that Selenium decreases risk of thyroid malfunction, but also over presence of Selenium also may cause the same.
Excess selenium may increase prostrate cancer mortality: Though Selenium decreases possibility of cancer, presence of high Selenium amount in the body, increases the possibility of prostrate cancer mortality.
So, these were the health benefits of Selenium and deserving reasons to include it in your kids’ diet. These are not all, there are many more and many many more are coming up with more and more researches being taken up in the field. Include Selenium and other vital nutrients in your kids’ diet and see them grow up into healthy adults. Happy Parenting!!