Selenium – Brown Rice Salad with Cottage Cheese, Apple and Sunflower Seeds

Selenium – Nutrient Information

Selenium is a trace mineral, which means we only need a small amount of it. However, selenium is an essential component of various enzymes and proteins.

Selenium helps to make DNA and protect against cell damage and infections. It is stored in muscle tissue, although the thyroid gland holds the highest concentration of selenium to assist with thyroid function.

It is estimated that globally one in seven people have low dietary selenium intake, and selenium deficiency has been implicated in a variety of conditions, such as renal disease and obesity.

Some limited research has suggested that increasing selenium intake might help improve mood and reduce anxiety in young adults, as well as potentially helping mood disorders to become more manageable, but more research is needed in this area.

Selenium plays an important role in the health of your immune system. This antioxidant helps lower oxidative stress in the body, which reduces inflammation and supports the immune system.

Some studies have also demonstrated that increased blood levels of selenium are associated with enhanced immune response.

The amount of selenium in foods can vary widely. It depends on the selenium content of the soil in which it is grown, as plants obtain selenium from soil.

The amount of selenium you need is:

  • 0.075mg a day for men (19 to 64 years)
  • 0.06mg a day for women (19 to 64 years)

Good food sources are:

  • Baked beans,
  • Cottage cheese,
  • Brazil nuts,
  • Brown rice, 
  • Sunflower seeds,
  • Bananas

MMU Chefs


This recipe was created by the skilled chefs at Manchester Met, and was cooked and photographed by the fantastic Nikita Star Watkinson, a Registered Associate Nutritionist, who is going to now embarking on a PGCE to become a Food Technology Teacher.

  • Time to make: Around 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Serves: 1


  • 60g brown rice
  • 2tbsp cottage cheese
  • 1 sliced apple
  • Handful of sunflower seeds
  • Juice of half a lemon mixed with 2tbsp olive oil


1. Put the rice in a pan, pour over 120ml of water and bring to the boil. Then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer for 30 minutes. Take off the heat and leave to cool.

2. Toast a handful of sunflower seeds in a medium-hot frying pan.

3. In a bowl, whisk some olive oil & lemon juice with salt & pepper to make a dressing.

4. Add the sliced apple, toasted sunflower seeds and rice to the dressing and mix thoroughly.

5. Add 2 tablespoons of cottage cheese (or as much as you like) and a drizzle of olive oil to serve.

MMU Environment

Sustainability Top Tip

You can use apple cores to use as makeshift bird feeders. Just tie string around the stalk and hang from somewhere. You can spread peanut butter on them and coat in seeds!


MMU Sport

Home Workout

Bicycle crunch + Flutter kicks + Mountain Climbers + Plank


  • Build strength in your abdominals. 
  • Reduces lower back pain.
  • Improves posture and stability.
  • May improve cardio fitness.

MMU Counselling

Wellbeing Tip

Here’s a nice body scan to check in with ourselves.

Holding our mind in mind is important in being kind to ourselves. But we shouldn’t forget our bodies either.




To see more articles like this from our Mental Health Awareness Week campaign visit here –