15 Foods High in Selenium (plus Health Benefits & Daily Amounts)

Updated in March 2024

Foods that are high in selenium include Brazil nuts, fish, seafood, beans, eggs, sunflower seeds, chicken and beef.

Selenium is a mineral that is important for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. It also helps to strengthen the immune system and prevent the development of neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases. 

The recommended daily amount of selenium for children between 9 and 13 years old is 40 mcg. Men and women over 14 years old should aim to consume 55 mcg of this mineral per day.

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List of foods

The following table shows the amount of selenium present in 100 g of each food:


Amount of selenium in 100 g

1. Brazil nuts

1920 mcg

2. Sunflower seeds

53 mcg

3. Whole grain bun 

38.6 mcg

4. Boiled egg

30.8 mcg

5. Grilled beef liver 

32.8 mcg

6. Grilled chicken

21.6 mcg

7. Cooked whole grain rice

9.4 mcg

8. Whole milk 

3.7 mcg

9. Grilled tuna

46.8 mcg

10. Cooked shrimp

41.7 mg

11. Raw garlic 

14.4 mcg

12. Mozzarella cheese

17 mcg

13. Cooked black beans

1.2 mcg

14. Banana

1 mcg

15. Cooked cabbage

2.3 mcg

Animal-based food sources of selenium will result in overall better absorption of this mineral compared to plant-based sources. Therefore, it is important to maintain a balanced diet to ensure adequate intake of this mineral.

Health benefits

The main benefits of selenium include:

  • Maintaining thyroid health
  • Preventing cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attacks and atherosclerosis
  • Preventing neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's and multiple sclerosis
  • Preventing premature aging
  • Strengthening the immune system
  • Improving male fertility

In addition, selenium can also help with weight loss and prevent the emergence of some types of cancer, such as prostate or breast cancer.

Recommended daily amount

The recommended daily amount of selenium depends on age and stage of life. Children aged 7 months to 3 years should consume 20 mcg of selenium per day.

The recommended amount of selenium for men and women over 14 years of age is 55 mcg per day.

Maintaining a varied and balanced diet can help to ensure that you are getting adequate amounts of selenium per day. You can eat one Brazil nut per day to hit your daily target.