Selenium in a Vegan Diet

What are the best sources of selenium for vegans?

Brazil nuts
Image Credit: AdobeStock

What is Selenium?

Selenium is a mineral that plays a key role in metabolism, making DNA and protecting against cell damage and infections. It is found in the soil but is also naturally present in some foods (and water).

The amount of selenium we can get in our diet depends on the soil the food has been grown in.

How much do we need?

Selenium is an essential trace element, meaning we need only small amounts of it – just 75mcg for adult men and 60mcg for women. Deficiencies in selenium are uncommon.

vegan Selenium sources

Vegetables contain some selenium, but as levels in the soil they are grown in vary, this is unlikely to be sufficient.

Wheat and other cereals are good sources for vegans but the standout food for selenium intake is Brazil nuts. Just one nut a day can provide all you need.

For more support with plant-based nutrition, check out Dr Greger’s Daily Dozen checklist.

Thinking of trying vegan?

Veganuary inspires and supports people all over the world to try vegan for January and beyond. Millions of people have already taken part.
Will you join them?