Winter Solstice Blessing:
May you find peace, faith, and strength in the promise of the winter solstice.
As we celebrate around the warming hearth and with grounding practices, it is a nice time to think about the powerful role foods can play in our health. Today, we are highlighting selenium.
Selenium is a trace mineral which means our bodies only need a little bit to do some pretty amazing things. In fact, consuming too much selenium chronically can be very detrimental, but getting a small dose daily offers powerful nourishing support.
Why we LOVE selenium: Selenium’s antioxidant nature protects the brain and nerves from damage (1). In addition, selenium is vital to making DNA, protecting against infections, and for optimal thyroid health (2). Getting adequate selenium directly influences inflammation status, protects from oxidative stress, and supports immunity (3, 4). Brazil nuts are an extremely potent source of selenium. It is important not to eat too many each day because toxicity can result, but consuming 1-3 brazil nuts daily will provide over 100% of the amount needed. You can also try a serving of brazil nut milk every so often (5).
Our luscious Brazil Nut Hot Cocoa is inspired by Katie Abbott, MS, RDN and her Vanilla-flavored Brazil Nut Milk recipe (5). This dairy-free warming treat is perfect for winter. The unsweetened cacao/cocoa powder provides a rich flavor and a nice dose of magnesium to uplift our mood (6). You can also try adding a pinch of cinnamon to ignite the senses and it may help lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity (7,8).
We just love this recipe all winter long and think you will too!
Brazil Nut Hot Cocoa:
Serving Size: 4-6 oz
**The nutrition information in this blog is for educational purposes only.**
1. Escott-Stump, S. (2015). Nutrition & Diagnosis-Related Care - Eighth edition. Wolters Kluwer.
2. Harvard T. H. Chan - School of Public Health. The Nutrition Source: Selenium.
3. Hoffmann, P.R. & Berry, M. J. Mol Nutr Food Res. (11/2008). The Influence of Selenium on Immune Responses.
4. National Institutes of Health. (updated 3/2021). Selenium - Facts Sheet for Health Professionals.
5. Abbott, K. Food & Nutrition (6/2015). Brazil Nut Milk’s Selenium Benefit.
6. Navitas Organic Cacao Powder
7. Khan, A., Safdar, M., Khan, Mohammad M. A., Khattak, K. N., and Anderson, R. A.. American Diabetes Association - Diabetes Care. (12/2003) Cinnamon improves glucose and lipids of people with type 2 diabetes.
8. Diabetes.co.uk. (1/2019). Cinnamon and Diabetes.
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