Top 10 Foods Highest in Selenium

Photo of Daisy Whitbread Written by Daisy Whitbread
BSc (Hons) MSc DipION
Photo of Dr. Nicolette Natale Medically Reviewed by
Dr. Nicolette Natale
Evidence Based. References sourced from PubMed.
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Top 10 Foods Highest in Selenium

Selenium is an essential trace mineral with a variety of functions in the body. Most notably selenium is essential for proper thyroid function and for supporting a healthy immune system. (1,2)

A deficiency in selenium is associated with poor cardiovascular health, infertility, and cognitive decline. (3)

Foods high in selenium include Brazil nuts, tuna, oysters, pork, beef, chicken, tofu, whole wheat pasta, shrimp, and mushrooms. The current daily value (DV) for selenium is 55mcg (micrograms). (4)

Below is a list of high selenium foods sorted by common serving size, please see the complete ranking of all foods high in selenium for more.

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A printable list of the top 10 foods highest in selenium.

Selenium Foods by Nutrient Density (Selenium per Gram)

1. Brazilnuts 100 grams 3485% DV
2. Cooked Pacific Oysters 100 grams 280% DV
3. Cooked Lamb Liver 100 grams 211% DV
4. Cooked Yellowfin Tuna 100 grams 197% DV
5. Cooked Blue Mussels 100 grams 163% DV
6. Octopus (Cooked) 100 grams 163% DV
7. Dry Roasted Sunflower Seeds 100 grams 144% DV
8. Canned Anchovies 100 grams 124% DV
9. Canned White Tuna (Water Packed) 100 grams 119% DV
10. Toasted Wheat Germ 100 grams 118% DV

Selenium Requirements By Age and Gender

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for selenium ranges from 15mcg to 70mcg per day. (5) The daily value for selenium is 55mcg per day. (4)

Life StageRDA
0-6 months old15mcg
7-12 months old20mcg
1-3 years old20mcg
4-8 years old30mcg
9-13 years old40mcg
14-18 years old55mcg
19-50 years old55mcg
50+ years old55mcg
9-13 years old40mcg
14-18 years old55mcg
19-50 years old55mcg
50+ years old55mcg
14-18 years old60mcg
18+ years old60mcg
14-18 years old70mcg
18+ years old70mcg
*The amount for children less than 12 months old is the adequate intake (AI) not RDA.
Source: Dietary Reference Intakes for Selenium.

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Data Sources and References

  1. Orskov H, Flyvbjerg A. The importance of selenium to human health Lancet. 2000 Sep 9;356(9233):942-3. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(05)73926-X. 11036921
  2. Minich WB. Biological Activity of Selenium and Its Impact on Human Health Biochemistry (Mosc). 2022 Jan;87(Suppl 1):S168-S102. doi: 10.1134/S0006297922140139. 35501994
  3. Holben DH, Smith AM. Selenium Deficiency J Am Diet Assoc. 1999 Jul;99(7):836-43. doi: 10.1016/S0002-8223(99)00198-4. 10405682
  4. U.S.FDA - Daily Value on the New Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels
  5. NIH - Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, and Carotenoids.
  6. Office Of Dietary Supplements Fact Sheet
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