Selenium, a mineral available from diet, may help in preventing heart disease, stroke, atherosclerosis and certain types of cancer. In addition, it may help in relieving symptoms of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, mood disorders and cataracts. Iodine is also a mineral important for proper body functions. Iodine aids in normal metabolism of cells and in normal thyroid function. Both selenium and idoine can be found in a variety of foods.
Meats and Seafood
According to the Linus Pauling Institute, organ meats and seafood are the richest food sources of selenium. A 3-oz. serving of shrimp contains 34 micrograms of selenium, while 3 oz. of crab meat contains 41 micrograms. In comparison, a 3-oz. serving of beef contains 16 micrograms of selenium. The Linus Pauling Institute reports the tolerable upper-level intake of selenium per day is 400 micrograms.
The Linus Pauling Institute says the amount of selenium in plant proteins depends upon the selenium content of the soil the plants are grown in. Brazil nuts grown in selenium-rich soil may supply greater than 100 micrograms of selenium per nut. However, those grown in soil that has poor selenium content may provide 10 times less.
Iodized Salt and Seaweed
According to the Linus Pauling Institute, the iodine content of foods also depends on the content of iodine in the soil. Certain seaweeds may be rich in iodine. In addition, processed foods may be high in iodine because this mineral is added in the form of iodized salt or food additives. A 1-g serving of iodized salt contains 77 micrograms of iodine, while 1/4 oz. of dried seaweed may supply 4.5 mg of iodine.
Dairy products are good sources of iodine. The Linus Pauling Institute reports iodine is commonly added to the feed products of animals in the United States. This leads to dairy products, such as cow's milk, to be rich in iodine. An 8-oz serving of cow's milk supplies 56 micrograms of iodine. Toxicity of iodine in the body is rare.