Just one Brazil nut a day will provide your body with a daily requirement of selenium – even in excess. The same dose will prevent heart disease, increase endurance, and help immunity. We will tell you how Brazil nuts are useful and why they should be included in the diet. Secrets of choice, daily rate, possible harm – here is everything you need to know before buying a product.
Despite the name, the world’s largest exporter of Brazil nuts is not Brazil, but Bolivia . Farmers are trying to “tame” the crop, but the plantations are not producing the expected results. Brazil nuts grow best in the wild jungle. Trees are scattered throughout South America. These giants up to 40 meters high with immense trunks can bear fruit for 500 years. The Brazil nut kernels are hidden in a powerful shell that vaguely resembles a coconut (pictured) – it even grows as well. Inside one fruit, 8 to 24 lobules are hidden.
The Latin name for the Brazilian nut is bertolette. In Russia, this name did not take root. Brazil nuts have several other names:
- cream nut – in the United States;
- Chestnut from Para or chestnut from Acri – in the regions of Brazil;
- American or South American – in some countries of Europe and the CIS.
Taste and composition
Brazil nuts are 70% fat, which gives them a light, earthy flavor – hence the conflicting customer reviews. Many people prefer sweeter almonds or cashews to it. In terms of nutritional value and taste, the Brazilian nut is close to macadamia and coconut. Therefore, they are often substituted for each other in cooking. Although in terms of saturated fat content, our hero bypassed the expensive macadamia.
Brazil nuts are one of the world’s best sources of selenium. It is also rich in beneficial fatty acids, magnesium, thiamine. The calorie content of Brazil nuts is 682 kcal per 100 grams.
Scientists have proven that Brazil nuts are rich in nutrients that have a positive effect on the human body. Among them are selenium, vitamins C, E, group B, antioxidants, flavonoids. Experts advise eating 1-2 nuts a day to prevent dozens of diseases. And also as a beauty aid: improving the condition of the skin, hair, nails and combating acne.
10 reasons to include Brazil nuts in your diet:
- Strengthening the immune system. Brazil nuts are rich in selenium and vitamins, which are responsible for increasing the body’s resistance.
- Cancer prevention. Scientists have confirmed that the selenium in Brazil nuts helps reduce the risk of cancer. Especially the mammary and prostate glands.
- Strengthening the cardiovascular system. Lowers the content of cholesterol in the body, prevents the formation of plaques, and normalizes blood pressure.
- Improves the digestive tract. Brazil nuts are good for digestion because they are rich in fiber and fat. It stimulates intestinal motility, prevents constipation, extinguishes inflammation.
- Prevention of diabetes. Brazil nuts prevent spikes in blood sugar. Experts advise eating 1-2 nuts a day.
- Slows down aging. And not only physical, but also mental. Brazil nuts are beneficial for overall body tone and brain activity.
- Reduces stress. The product is rich in B vitamins. It has a beneficial effect on the nervous system, fights stress, and normalizes sleep. Brazil nuts are worth eating for school-age children and knowledge workers.
- Supports muscles and joints. Nutritionists have included Brazil nuts in the diets of football players to ensure injury prevention. The product helps to strengthen muscles, ligaments and joints.
- Good for women. Again, due to selenium and fatty acids. The benefits of brazil nuts for women include a positive effect on the appearance, hormones and the genitourinary system. Experts advise pregnant women to consume this product.
- Good for men. The increased content of vitamin E has a beneficial effect on sexual function, promotes testosterone production, and strengthens the muscular skeleton.
Harm and contraindications?
The daily intake of Brazil nuts is no more than 50 grams, which corresponds to 2-3 standard nucleoli. An overdose will be harmful. The product is contraindicated in children under 3 years of age.
In the fight for a beautiful figure, Brazil nuts can be beneficial and harmful – depending on the dose. If you eat 1-3 kernels a day, you can speed up your metabolism and reduce cravings for sweets. Overeating is fraught with extra pounds.
If you regularly forget how many Brazil nuts you can eat per day, selenium will accumulate in the body. Excessive concentration is fraught with indigestion, heartburn, dizziness. And fats will increase the stress on the liver and intestines.
It is often written on the Web that Brazil nuts contain radium. This is true, but the concentration of the radioactive element is very low and safe. Most of the radium is found in the heart of the Brazil nut, which is not available in stores. Therefore, radium will not harm the body.
How to use?
There are several ways you can add Brazil nuts to your diet to benefit from it:
- You can crush the kernels. As such, Brazil nuts can be added to baked goods, salads or desserts.
- Raw – for a snack. Roasted nuts are easier for the body to digest, so it is better not to mix them with anything in their raw form. Eat 2-3 kernels as a snack between meals.
- Fried for dessert. To prevent bloating and reduce the stress on the digestive tract, nuts should not be eaten on an empty stomach.
How to choose and store?
Brazil nuts cannot be stored for a long time, as they are 70% fat. After the first contact with air, it will remain fresh for a month. Roasting a nut deprives some of its useful properties, but allows you to extend the shelf life. Brazil nuts can also be frozen. As such, it will remain useful throughout the year.
Brazil nuts do not grow in Russia. Be especially careful when buying from the market. There is no guarantee that nuts have not been on the counter for six months already. It is better to give preference to the product in vacuum packaging. Organic Brazil nuts are smarter to order from iHerb (see here ). When buying certified products, you can be sure that they are definitely not radium-free. Affordable distributorship packages abound and can be found on any
notable truck load board for instant shipping.
If you travel often, bring this healthy nut from South America. It is cheaper there, and the goods fly off quickly, so they are always fresh.
When choosing a Brazil nut, pay attention to 3 indicators:
- Appearance. Dark spots, large chips, the slightest signs of mold are a reason to refuse a purchase.
- Smell. You should feel a slight sweetness and a characteristic buttery nutty aroma.
- Taste. If the Brazil nut tastes bitter, it has already begun to deteriorate. You cannot eat such a product.
Choose quality nuts and benefit from them!