Why We Need Zinc + Selenium


Article by Hayley Hyer

Photography by Stock Images

Do you know what zinc and selenium are? They are minerals that don't get a ton of publicity, but they provide us with tons of health benefits, including fighting illnesses. I grew up in a household that frequently took supplements and went the more natural route with health, and I have it so drilled into me to take a zinc lozenge when I start to feel any cold symptoms—and I usually don't stay sick for very long when I do get something!

Beyond being great for your immune system, zinc and selenium are also major skin savers and help fight acne and dull skin. In fact, when your body distributes your zinc intake, 20% of it is held in your skin. So if you feel stuck and like your skin just isn't cooperating, take a look at your intake of these minerals.

What are zinc + selenium?

"Zinc is a trace mineral which promotes clear skin by regulating your hormonal balance and giving your skin some much needed vitamin A. It is particularly important for those with acne as it helps the process of cell growth and replication.

Selenium is also a mineral and it ensures skin remains firm and protected. Selenium stops free radical damage before premature wrinkles have a chance to form. It also helps to protect cell membranes against UV damage, inflammation and pigmentation. Thermal spring water actually contains selenium, and it is also found in certain foods."

The Skin Edit

READ MORE: 10 Zinc and Selenium-Rich Foods You Should Eat More Often for Glowing Skin

What are the benefits of zinc + selenium?

This list of health benefits was written by Jillian Kubala, MS, RD at Healthline.

  1. Acts as a powerful antioxidant
  2. May reduce your risk of certain cancers
  3. May protect against heart disease
  4. Helps prevent mental decline
  5. Is important for thyroid health
  6. Boosts your immune system
  7. May help reduce asthma symptoms

READ MORE: 7 Science-Based Health Benefits of Selenium

What foods contain zinc?

This list of foods was put together by Moira Lawler at Everyday Health.

  1. Oysters Pack Zinc and Other Key Vitamins and Minerals
  2. Crab and Lobster Make It Easy to Meet Your Zinc Need
  3. Meat and Poultry Serve Up Protein and Zinc
  4. Vegetables Such as Mushrooms and Kale Are Low-Calorie Sources of Zinc
  5. Legumes Are a Vegetarian-Friendly Source of Zinc
  6. Versatile Nuts and Seeds Make It Easy to Up Your Zinc Intake
  7. Whole Grains Deliver Fiber and Key Vitamins and Minerals Like Zinc
  8. Fortified Breakfast Cereals Can Provide a Quarter of Your Zinc Needs — But Watch for Sugar
  9. Milk and Dairy Foods Help You Meet Your Calcium and Zinc Goals
  10. Try Decadent Dark Chocolate for a Zinc-Filled Dessert

READ MORE: 10 Best Food Sources of Zinc

What foods contain selenium?

This list of foods was put together by Daisy Whitbread, MScN at My Food Data.

  1. Brazil nuts
  2. Yellowfin tuna
  3. Oysters
  4. Lean pork chops
  5. Skirt steak
  6. Lean chicken breast
  7. Firm tofu
  8. Whole wheat pasta
  9. Shrimp
  10. Shiitake Mushrooms

READ MORE: Top 10 Foods Highest in Selenium

Please always talk to your doctor before taking any supplements. An over-abundance of selenium can lead to dangerous side effects, so you'll want to make sure you are only taking as much as you need.

Follow Hayley Hyer @hayhyer

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