The Brazil nut is original to South America growing well in the Amazon basin. Brazil nuts are virtually large seeds with 15 to 30 arranged in a pod much like the sections of an orange.
The first reference to the Brazil nut dates to 1569 when a Spanish colonial officer collected thousands of them to feed his troops. Brazil nuts were first introduced to the Europeans by Dutch traders in the late 17th century.
Botanical Name: Bertholletia excelsa
Brazil nuts contain abundant dietary antioxidants, especially selenium (Se). It is the best source of Se from plant-based foods.
Brazil nuts own phenolics and flavonoids in both free and bound forms and are rich in tocopherol, phytosterols, and squalene. These compounds' possible beneficial effects are due to their antioxidant and antiproliferative activities, which are linked to a reduced risk for developing atherosclerosis and cancer.
Brazil nut oil is also used as a lubricant in clocks, for making artists' paints, and in the cosmetics industry. Engravings in Brazil nut shells were supposedly used as decorative jewelry by the indigenous tribes in Bolivia. Because of its hardness, the Brazil nut's shell is often pulverized and used as an abrasive to polish materials such as metals and even ceramics.
Excellent source of selenium
Brazil nuts are a rich source of Selenium, it is an extremely vital mineral for the human body as it increases immunity, takes part in antioxidant activity that defends against free radical damage and inflammation, and plays a key role in maintaining a healthy metabolism and also an essential component required for producing two antioxidant enzymes- glutathione peroxidase and thioredoxin reductase. It also helps to raise the Vitamin E function in the body.
According to studies, selenium has positive antiviral effects, is essential for successful male and female fertility and reproduction, and also reduces the risk of cancer, autoimmune and thyroid diseases.
MAIN THING: The selenium present into the brazil nut can help to improve the function of vitamin E in our body that boosts immunity, reduce inflammation and thyroid diseases and prevent cancer.
Regulates the thyroid hormone
Brazil nuts contain an active enzyme called “triiodothyronine” which helps to produce the active thyroid hormone.
Selenium is a chief component of the molecules that are necessary for your body to be able to create and use thyroid hormones. The selenium in Brazil nuts can aid to keep your thyroid in proper working order and in overall good health. Eat a handful of Brazil nuts every day to get your daily dose of selenium.
A study found that Brazil nut supplement contains selenium feed to reduce levels of the thyroid hormone T3 people, improvement in thyroid hormone levels in patients with reduced T3 levels.
MAIN THING: Due to triiodothyronine and selenium present in brazil nut, the production of the thyroid will be increased in our body.
Brazil nuts contain high amounts of omega 3 fatty acids that help to lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The nuts are an excellent source of monounsaturated fatty acids like oleic and palmitic acid.
The unsaturated fats, soluble fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients present in brazil nuts are all helpful for maintaining a healthy blood pressure, which has a direct positive effect on heart health.
This is beneficial for lowering the bad cholesterol and increasing good cholesterol in the blood. It favors the blood lipid profile, preventing coronary artery diseases and stroke. Selenium in Brazil nuts also prevents the clotting of blood.
Omega 3 fatty acid, unsaturated fats, soluble fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients in Brazil nut helps in preventing the artery diseases and stroke and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Brazil nut assists in weight management. It include high amounts of protein and fiber that control hunger, thereby reducing weight.
The brazil nuts are also rich in arginine, an amino acid that can aid weight loss. Arginine can increase energy expenditure and ultimately promote fat loss.
Eating a small serving of Brazil nuts keeps you full for a longer time, reducing the likelihood of snacking in between.
MAIN THING: Brazil nut contains arginine that can promote weight loss and keep you full help in weight loss.
Prevent genetic disorder
Brazil nuts are very helpful for treating Acrodermatitis enteropathica, a rare inherited disorder. The disorder occurs when the body fails to absorb sufficient amounts of zinc, leading to its deficiency.
Brazil nut contains high levels of zinc, which can help to combat Acrodermatitis enteropathica.
It contains a plethora of nutrients that boost the immune system, fighting off cold and flu. It also provides ample energy to carry out day-to-day activities. Those who cop a cold easily can benefit greatly from Brazil nuts.
MAIN THING: Nutrients in brazil nut boost the immune system and fighting against colds and flu.
Lowers Cancer Risks
Brazil nut facilitates the production of glutathione, an enzyme that fights cancer.
Selenium encourages the production of glutathione, the most important antioxidant that protects the body from free radical damage. Free radicals can oxidize in the body, damaging the cells and tissues.
Selenium neutralizes the free radicals, while providing protection from a number of health conditions like heart disease and cancer like prostate, colon, breast and lung cancer..
MAIN THING: Glutathione produced due to the brazil nut can fight against the various types of cancers and protect from heart diseases
Thiamin in Brazil nuts keeps the nervous system healthy. It is important for easing mind-related problems like stress, migraine and memory loss.
It also helps to quell depression and anxiety. Regular consumption of Brazil nuts may help to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
MAIN THING: Thiamin in brazil nut helps to prevent the various mind related problems and keeps the nervous system healthy.
Skeletal System and Muscle Function
Brazil nuts hold copper, a mineral vital for the skeletal system. Copper is required for the formation of bone tissue. It also helps in the formation of connective tissues.
It aids the absorption of iron into the bloodstream. In addition to the skeletal system, Brazil nuts also strengthen the bones by improving bone mineral density.
Brazil nuts are a nutrient-dense food. It contains magnesium, a mineral required for the functioning of the muscles. It prevents the buildup of lactic acid in the muscles, preventing soreness and muscular pain.
Magnesium is catalytic in nature, which helps to break down the protein into simpler amino acids. It helps in the digestion and absorption of protein in the body.
MAIN THING: Copper and Magnesium present in brazil nut helps to strengthen the bones and prevent muscular pain.
Selenium in Brazil nuts speeds the cell turnover process, furnish a natural glow to the skin. The high levels of antioxidants in Brazil nuts stimulate the production of glutathione, which combats free radicals that damage the skin collagen.
The Vitamin E in Brazil nuts also maintains the integrity of the cells of the mucous membranes and the skin and helps to prevent skin cancer. Brazil nuts contain Vitamin A and E that raise the production of collagen, giving you smooth and firm skin. Apply the oil before going to bed to add a healthy shine to your complexion.
The anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties of Brazil nuts can be useful for treating acne and skin inflammation.
Zinc in this nut reduces skin redness and promotes the production of collagen. It flushes out toxins from the body, preventing the onset of acne.
Brazil nuts act as a wonderful natural exfoliant. Brazil nuts are very useful for alleviating skin dryness. It contains nutrients like zinc, Vitamin E and omega 3 fatty acids that deem skin dryness and flakiness, preventing eczema and psoriasis.
MAIN THING: High level of Antioxidants, Vitamin E, A, Minerals like Selenium, zinc, and omega 3 fatty acid of brazil nut that prevent acne, skin dryness, flakiness, eczema psoriasis, and anti-aging effect.
Brazil nuts contain selenium, a vital trace mineral that is extremely vital for the health of the hair. Regular consumption of Brazil nuts can improve hair growth and health.
l-arginine, an amino acid-rich source in Brazil nut that encourages the growth of healthy hair and mainly used topically to reverse male baldness.
Brazil nuts are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, a healthy form of fatty acid that makes the strands healthy. It is also a good source of Vitamin E, one of the most important nutrients required for improving the appearance of the hair. A deficiency in this nutrient can make the hair brittle and prone to breakage.
MAIN THING: Selenium, Omega 3 fatty acids, l-arginine, and vitamin E prevent hair breakage, promote hair growth and gives you shiny hair.
Male Fertility: The antioxidants relevant in Brazil nuts protect the semen from free radical damage. It improves sperm mobility and reduces infertility. It also increases natural testosterone levels in the body.
Considering all the benefits of Brazil nuts, we can safely include a few of them in our diet to improve our overall health and well-being.
Warning and precaution
Consumption of more than the required amount of selenium can cause fatigue and stomach upset. An overdose of selenium can also cause brittle nails and hair fall.
Avoid purchasing salted Brazil nuts as salt contains high levels of sodium, which can cause hypertension.
Brazil nuts have been found to contain high amounts of aflatoxins, which are highly carcinogenic. The nuts are also known to contain radioactive radium.
Allergy: People allergic to nuts should refrain from consuming Brazil nuts. Consuming large quantities of Brazil nuts may cause nervousness and can even lead to paralysis in some cases. It is very essential to consume these nuts in moderation.
Considering all the benefits of Brazil nuts, we can safely include a few of them in our diet to improve our overall health and well-being. However, excess consumption should be avoided.
Selection and Storage
Brazil nuts are available all year round in raw, roasted and salted forms. Purchase unshelled Brazil nuts to protect them from wastage. Avoid purchasing discolored or shriveled nuts and those that have a musty odor. The odor indicates that the nuts might be affected by fungal mold.
The shelf life if brazil nut lasts for 4 to 6 weeks if stored in a cool and dry place.
Freeze shelled nuts up to one year.
Brazil nuts are high in polyunsaturated fats that might turn rancid if exposed to air, humidity, and sunlight. Store the jar away from moisture and direct sunlight.