Brazil nuts are a tasty, healthy treat that contain a variety of nutrients and also offer an array of health benefits beyond mere nutrition. These delicious treats are native to South and Central America, and are harvested from the Bertholletia excelsa tree that is abundant in the humid climates of Latin America.
Brazil Nuts – Nutrition Facts
Brazil nuts are enjoyed by people all the world around, and with good reason—they not only taste good, they’re incredibly good for you! Brazil nuts have been lauded for their selenium content, but they are also rich in potassium and unsaturated fats.
Brazil nuts contain significant amount of magnesium, phosphorus and thiamine, and they are very rich in protein.
Potassium is something our bodies need at the very basic cellular level in order to function, and for those of you who don’t enjoy the taste or texture of other potassium-rich foods (such as bananas and avocados), Brazil nuts can be another option for keeping your potassium levels where they need to be for optimum cell function.
They are also high in fiber, making them a great snack for those concerned about appetite control.
Brazil Nuts are Rich in Selenium
Selenium is a mineral that protects our body against damage by acting as an antioxidant. Selenium helps to regulate blood pressure and keep our immune system healthy.
Many foods are rich in selenium, such as many types of seafood and meats—but for a great, healthy vegetarian option that packs a selenium punch, Brazil nuts are the way to go.
Selenium is a mineral that has many roles in human health:
- It is an antioxidant
- It is a cancer preventative
- It is a thyroid function booster
- It helps to regulate good heart health
Our bodies don’t need much of this mineral to be rewarded by its benefits, and Brazil nuts are an ideal way to get more of this miracle mineral into your diet without resorting to supplements that come in pill form (and may come from less-than-trustworthy sources).
Brazil Nuts Fight and Prevent Cancer
Could eating nuts and seeds fend off certain types of cancer? If those nuts and seeds include Brazil nuts, it very well could!
In a 2000 Canadian study performed by scientists from the University of Montreal, researchers found that heightened levels of selenium—a key component of Brazil nuts—was associated with a reduced risk of developing colon cancer. Colon cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the United States and you must be aware of its 10 warning signs.
These findings add Brazil nuts to the long list of cancer-fighting foods that you can add to your diet to stay healthy over the long term. You may also wish to read my post about the 11 steps to reduce your colon cancer risk.
Further research supports selenium usage in killing cervical cancer cells and prostate cancer.
Brazil Nuts can Benefit the Thyroid
Thyroid function plays a crucial role in many bodily processes, including effective metabolism and emotional regulation (mood and mental changes are one of the 13 signs of a thyroid disorder).
A selenium-containing enzyme is responsible for transforming a less active thyroid hormone called T4 into the more active T3. In addition, selenium and iodine work together to keep thyroid function strong and consistent. Researchers have been able to induce problems with the thyroid gland in just two months of a low-selenium diet.
Eating Brazil nuts can help to keep your thyroid in proper working order, and keep your metabolism revved up to high gear! A sluggish metabolism due to a low-functioning thyroid can lead to all sorts of health problems, including obesity and depression.
Rather than waiting for a hypothyroidism diagnosis and taking pills to correct the issue, keep your thyroid function at an optimal level by eating selenium-rich Brazil nuts on a regular basis. Another option is to maintain your thyroid in top condition with this juice.
Brazil Nuts have Cardiovascular Benefits
Not only can eating Brazil nuts help prevent colon cancer and keep your thyroid function up to par, it’s also wonderful for heart health.
In a study published in LWT – Food Science and Technology in 2009, researchers found that people who ate Brazil nuts were at a reduced risk of developing atherosclerosis (thickening of arterial walls due to plaque buildup) thanks to the antioxidant effects of selenium in these powerful seeds.
Another factor contributing to cardiovascular wellness is consumption of healthy fats and oils, which Brazil nuts are naturally rich in.
Adding nuts to your daily nutrition is also one of the 70 habits featured in my e-book 70 Powerful Habits For A Great Health which will guide you how to take positive steps to improve your wellness and overall health.
Brazil Nuts – Recommended Daily Intake
You don’t have to gorge on Brazil nuts every moment of the day to get the rewarding benefits that these tasty tree nuts offer—just a little bit can go a long way! As with anything, moderation is key.
According to a study published in the February 2008 edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, consumption of 2 Brazil nuts daily is an effective way for increasing selenium levels. However, according to this study over consumption can actually have a detrimental effect on health.
This goes to prove that age-old adage about there being such a thing as “too much of a good thing”! Mix Brazil nuts with fruits to make a tasty, healthy snack to enjoy their health benefits.