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Top 10 Foods Highest in Selenium

Written by Daisy Whitbread, MScN
Powered by USDA Nutrition Data
Top 10 Foods Highest in Selenium

Selenium is required by the body for proper functioning of the thyroid gland and may help protect against free radical damage and cancer.

A deficiency in selenium can lead to pain in the muscles and joints, unhealthy hair, and white spots on the fingernails. In long-term cases, it may even lead to Hashimoto's disease, a condition in which the body's own immune system attacks the thyroid.

An excess of selenium can lead to bad breath, diarrhea, and even hair loss.

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 55μg (micrograms).

It is important to note that the amount of selenium in any product varies greatly by the amount of selenium in the soil in which it was produced/grown/raised. Be sure to check individual labels, and if you have a deficiency in selenium, get tested after changing your diet to be sure you are eating adequate amounts.

Below is a list of high selenium foods sorted by common serving size, see the complete ranking of all foods high in selenium to sort by 100 gram and 200 calorie serving sizes.


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List of Foods High in Selenium

1 Brazil Nuts
Brazil Nuts

More Nuts and Seeds High in Selenium

-41% DV in 1oz of sunflower seeds
-29% DV in 1oz of chia seeds
-13% DV in 1oz of flax seeds

See all nuts and seeds high in selenium.
2 Tuna (Yellowfin)
Tuna Fillet

More Fish High in Selenium

-168% DV in a 6oz tilapia fillet
-151% DV in a 6oz snapper fillet
-145% DV in a 6oz salmon fillet

See all fish high in selenium.
3 Shellfish (Oysters)
Oysters on a plate

More Shellfish High in Selenium

-221% DV in 20 small clams
-138% DV in 3oz of mussels
-113% DV in 3oz of lobster

See all fish high in selenium.
4 Lean Pork Chops
A pork chop

More Pork High in Selenium

-122% DV in 1 cup of lean roast ham
-87% DV in a rack of ribs
-74% DV in 3oz of pork tenderloin
-71% DV in 3oz of Spam

See all meats high in selenium.
5 Beef (Skirt Steak)
A steak on a plate

More Red Meats High in Selenium

-85% DV in a 4.6oz ribeye fillet
-64% DV in 3oz of buffalo sirloin
-49% DV in 3oz of lamb shank

See all meats high in selenium.
6 Lean Chicken Breast
A roast chicken

More Poultry High in Selenium

-121% DV in a whole chicken leg
-97% DV in 6oz of fat-free ground turkey
-63% DV in 1 chicken thigh

See all meats high in selenium.
7 Firm Tofu
A block of tofu

More Beans High in Selenium

-28% DV in 1 cup of canned navy beans
-19% DV in 1 cup of pinto beans
-15% DV in 1 cup of lima beans

See all beans high in selenium.
8 Whole Wheat Pasta
Whole Wheat Spaghetti

More Whole Grains High in Selenium

-100% DV in 1 cup of kamut
-23% DV in 1 cup of oatmeal
-21% DV in 1 cup of brown rice

See all grains high in selenium.
9 Shrimp
Whole Shrimp
10 Shiitake Mushrooms
Shiitake Mushrooms

More Mushrooms High in Selenium

-48% DV in 1 cup of portabellas
-41% DV in 1 cup of criminis
-34% DV in 1 cup of white button mushrooms

See all vegetables high in selenium.
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Data Sources and References

  1. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28.
  2. Office Of Dietary Supplements Fact Sheet
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