The No. 1 food source on the planet for selenium is brazil nuts. Selenium has been scientifically proven to lift mood and prevent depression. One study conducted by the Swansea University Department of Psychology in Wales and published in Biological Psychiatry examined selenium’s effects on depression, anxiety and mood. This double-blind study examined 50 volunteers who were given a placebo or 100 micrograms of selenium on a daily basis, and three times throughout the five weeks they filled out a “Profile of Moods Stats” questionnaire.
Results showed that the lower the level of selenium in the diet, the more reports of anxiety, depression and tiredness, all of which were decreased following five weeks of selenium therapy.
When it comes to a good mood, serotonin is a key player. Not only does this feel-good brain chemical help regulate mood, but it can also have positive effects on your sleep and appetite. Researchers from the University of Barcelona found that people had higher levels of serotonin metabolites after nut consumption, which included brazil nuts.
Selenium is a powerful antioxidant. It works alongside other antioxidants such as vitamins E and C and is essential to support the immune system. Studies suggest that a selenium-rich diet can help to protect against skin cancer, sun damage and age spots. One way to boost your intake is to eat Brazil nuts.
Has Positive Effects on Cognitive Performance for Adults
Oxidative stress has a huge impact on cognitive performance in healthy individuals. According to a study, the antioxidant capacity of selenium present in high amounts in Brazil nuts play an important role in reducing oxidative stress in the body.
This has a direct positive impact on the cognitive effects of the human brain.
The trial focused on 31 older adults with cognitive impairment were a sufficient amount of Brazil nuts on a daily basis. Meanwhile, markers such as their blood selenium concentration and oxygen radical absorbance capacity were evaluated.
After 6 months of Brazil nuts intake, the participants verbal fluency and constructional praxis had significantly improved with a reduced oxidative stress marker. This proves that a high blood selenium level accounts for improved cognitive performance in older adults with or without mild cognitive impairment.