Spotlight on: Brazil Nuts

May 29, 2019

The Brazil nut comes from the South American Brazil nut tree and is technically a seed rather than a nut. The pod from which Brazil nuts are extracted resembles a coconut and can weigh around 5 pounds each. These pods contain from 12 to 20 seeds each and are mostly cultivated in the wild in Northern Brazil between December and March.

Brazil nuts are nutritional powerhouses, providing healthy fats, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

They are a good source of healthful fats, protein, fiber, and selenium. 

Some of the health benefits include:

 

Helps Regulate the Thyroid Hormone

Brazil nuts contain an enzyme triiodothyronine which helps the body produce adequate amounts of thyroid hormone. This keeps the activity of the thyroid gland in check and prevents any hyperactivity.

Clears Up Acne

Brazil nuts are a good source of zinc which acts as a hormone balancing mineral in the body. Zinc along with vitamin E help reduce the scarring and prevent the formation of acne from within.

Healthy Digestion

A healthy gut is a huge component to a healthy body. As a good source of dietary fiber and minerals such as phosphorus, Brazil nuts provide a perfect combination of nutrients to keep the digestive system in working order.

Bone Density

The calcium, iron, zinc, potassium, and phosphorus combine to retain bone density.

Weight Loss

They contain carbohydrates, fiber, and protein. This combination provides the body adequate fuel to stay energized and also stay fuller for longer.

Boost Immunity

Brazil nuts are rich in vitamins, selenium, and antioxidants that are essential for internal healing and also prevent infections. Thiamin and Riboflavin are antibiotics that reduce the effects of inflammation and infections in the body.

Mental Health

Brazil nuts are a good source of antioxidants and good fats that are necessary for the brain to grow. This helps in breaking down the amino acids to promote a healthy brain function and improve cognition. People who have a diet rich in healthy fats have lesser chances of being affected by memory-related diseases.

 

To avoid consuming too much selenium, limit your intake to one to three Brazil nuts per day. Raw Brazil nuts offer the biggest health benefits and can be enjoyed as a snack on their own or crushed and added to your favorite salad to provide some nice crunch.

Because Brazil nuts are mainly protein and healthy fats, they are very much subject to going “rancid” and the delicate oils getting damaged.

Many health food stores and grocery stores now carry Brazil nuts because they’re in such high demand. Make sure that they are firm and not rubbery when you bite into them, buttery texture when you chew, and be sure that they don’t smell “off” (biggest, but hardest to recognize warning sign).

They should be kept in a cool, dry place and eaten relatively quickly.

 

Tags: antioxidants, Brazil Nuts, healthy nuts

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