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You need 55 mcg of selenium as part of your daily diet to support proper thyroid function. Selenium also plays a role in neutralizing free-radicals that can contribute to chronic health conditions such as cancer and heart disease. While fruit is not as high in selenium as meat, nuts and enriched grains, certain fruits do contain a healthy dose of this mineral. Most fruits are poor sources of selenium, with almost none, but four fruits stand out as being nutritious sources of this key mineral.
A 1-cup serving of chopped dates is the best fruit source of selenium 2. You get 4.4 mcg of selenium in this amount of fruit 2. If you are looking to increase your daily intake of selenium, adding dates is one way to reach that goal 2. Stir chopped dates into a bowl of oatmeal or other hot cereal. Dates can also be added to bread and muffin recipes to increase their nutritional value. Top a serving of dates with plain yogurt and a drizzle of honey for a selenium-rich dessert.
- A 1-cup serving of chopped dates is the best fruit source of selenium 2.
Zinc and Bananas
One of the most popular and readily available fruits, bananas are also a healthy source of selenium 2. A 1-cup serving of sliced bananas provides you with 1.5 mcg of selenium. Add a banana to your breakfast or lunch as a simple way to get a bit more selenium in your diet. Sliced banana also pairs well with hot or cold cereal, as well as with plain yogurt. Slice a banana in half and spread on peanut butter for a sweet treat that also supplies a good amount of selenium.
- One of the most popular and readily available fruits, bananas are also a healthy source of selenium 2.
- Slice a banana in half and spread on peanut butter for a sweet treat that also supplies a good amount of selenium.
A handful of seedless raisins counts as a fruit serving, but is also a good source of selenium. A 1-cup serving of raisins supplies you with 1.0 mcg of selenium 2. Raisins make a healthy snack on their own, but can also be added to recipes and foods to increase nutrition value and enhance the taste as well. Stir raisins into bread or muffin recipes, add to your favorite trail mix, or use as a topping for grilled chicken or turkey.
- A handful of seedless raisins counts as a fruit serving, but is also a good source of selenium.
Are Raisins Healthy?
While berries do not contain as much selenium per serving as other fruits, they contain more of this mineral than most fruit. Gooseberries contain the most, with 0.9 mcg per 1-cup serving. Blackberries supply 0.6 mcg per serving and strawberries supply 0.7 mcg. Use berries to make nutritious jams and jellies, add to plain yogurt or combine several varieties for a healthy fruit salad.
- While berries do not contain as much selenium per serving as other fruits, they contain more of this mineral than most fruit.
- Blackberries supply 0.6 mcg per serving and strawberries supply 0.7 mcg.
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- USDA Nutrient Database: Nutrient Data Laboratory
- National Institutes of Health: Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet -- Selenium
- Vinceti M, Filippini T, Del Giovane C, et al. Selenium for preventing cancer. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018;1(1):CD005195. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD005195.pub4
- Benstoem C, Goetzenich A, Kraemer S, et al. Selenium and its supplementation in cardiovascular disease--what do we know? Nutrients. 2015;7(5):3094–3118. doi:10.3390/nu7053094
- Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Health and Medicine Division. Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs): Elements.
- National Institutes of Health. Dietary Supplements: What You Need to Know. Updated June 17, 2011.
Sara Ipatenco has taught writing, health and nutrition. She started writing in 2007 and has been published in Teaching Tolerance magazine. Ipatenco holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in education, both from the University of Denver.