08 July, 2011
Almonds and Selenium
Almonds are packed with various vitamins, minerals and other vital nutrients. While not a significant source, almonds provide small amounts of selenium, an essential mineral. You can obtain adequate amounts of selenium daily by consuming almonds and other foods that provide selenium, such as seafood, meats, certain grains and other nuts. Consult a registered dietitian for a detailed list of selenium-rich foods.
One-half cup of whole almonds provides 1.8 mcg of selenium and less than 5 percent of your recommended daily value, or DV. A food source that provides less than 5 percent of the recommended DV is considered a low source for that specific nutrient. In addition to selenium, almonds are sources of protein, fiber and essential fatty acids. Almonds are also natural sources of other minerals, such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, manganese and zinc.
Selenium is an essential mineral that the body cannot produce and it must be obtained through the diet. Selenium is an antioxidant that plays vital roles in normal thyroid function and immunity. As an antioxidant, selenium helps protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are harmful byproducts that may contribute to the development of various diseases.
The recommended dietary allowance, or RDA, for selenium for adults is 55 mcg daily. Pregnant and lactating women require greater amounts of selenium daily, approximately 60 to 70 mcg. Growing children require less, 30 to 40 mcg of selenium per day. Individual nutrient requirements vary based on many different factors. Consult a registered dietitian for your specific nutrient requirements, calorie needs and other specialized nutritional guidelines.
Almonds make a healthy snack throughout the day and can also be added to your morning cereal, lunch salad or dinner dish. Almonds also can be added to your favorite baked goods recipe. Since almonds have a high fat and calorie content, moderate consumption is recommended. However, you should not obtain selenium from only almonds. Instead, consume a varied diet that also consists of several servings of fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, dairy and lean meats. Other nuts that contain selenium include cashews and Brazil nuts.
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