Eat Brazil nuts: the 9 surprising health benefits

Contents

The dense Amazonian forest is home to plant species unique in the world such as Brazil nuts, acai berry, guarana, which are not found anywhere else on the planet.

Not very well known to the general public, Brazil nuts nevertheless have a lot of exceptional benefits for humans. This nut is just as delicious as it can be eaten and used in many different ways. Discover the 9 health benefits of Brazil nuts.

What is Brazil nut?

The history of Brazil nuts

The scientific name for the Brazil nut is “Bertholletia excelsa”. Brazil nuts are nutrient-dense nuts (1).

They are very delicious and come to us from a tree in South America with the same name. The tree is native to South American countries, including Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, and Brazil; and can often be found along the banks of major rivers.

These nuts are mainly imported from the South American continent and can now be found all over the world.

Brazil nuts have been consumed by natives of the Amazon region at least since the Upper Paleolithic, around 11 years ago.

However, the first mention of Brazil nuts from Western sources dates back to 1569.

During this time the Spanish and Portuguese explorers crossed South America to fight and enslave the indigenous peoples.

One of these explorers, a Spanish conquistador named Juan Álvarez Maldonado, “discovered” Brazil nuts while exploring the Madre de Dios River region in Peru.

On the other hand, it was the Dutch traders who introduced these nuts to Europe at the beginning of the XNUMXth century. It took a hundred years for Brazil nuts to become popular.

Brazil nut production

Why has this nut become a worldwide phenomenon with increasing popularity?

It’s simple, the intense nutrient content makes these nuts extremely valuable as a healthy food that can successfully improve health.

This content also helps reduce the risk of a wide range of diseases and health problems.

 

Unfortunately, Brazil nut production has declined dramatically in recent years, and it is now illegal to cut down a Brazil nut tree in Brazil.

Composition of Brazil nuts

Native Amazons have treasured these tasty nuts for centuries, providing them with protein, fat, and other essential nutrients. To learn more on the subject, here are some basic nutrition facts about Brazil nuts:

  • Monounsaturated fatty acids: Brazil nuts are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids like palmitoleic acid and oleic acid.

These fatty acids help lower the level of LDL cholesterol or “bad cholesterol” in the blood. 100g of Brazil nuts provide around 656 calories, but that’s good fat, don’t worry.

 
  • Vitamin E: Brazil nuts are also a great source of vitamin E, containing around 7,87 mg per 100 g.

Vitamin E is a potent lipid soluble antioxidant. It is necessary to maintain the integrity of the mucous membrane and the skin by protecting it against free oxygen radicals.

  • Selenium (2): Brazil nuts contain exceptionally high levels of selenium. 100 g of walnuts provide approximately 1917 μg, or 3485% of the recommended daily intake of selenium, which ranks them among the main natural sources of this mineral.

Selenium is an essential cofactor for the antioxidant enzyme, glutathione peroxidase. A small serving of Brazil nuts per day provides enough of this selenium.

Additionally, like in almonds and pine nuts, Brazil nuts are also gluten protein free. For this reason, they are one of the most popular ingredients in the preparation of gluten-free food recipes.

 
  • Other Minerals: In addition to selenium, they contain superb levels of other minerals like copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus and zinc.
  • B Vitamins: These creamy nuts are also a great source of B vitamins, like thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), and folate.

Together, these vitamins act as cofactors for the metabolic enzymes during the cell substrate inside the body.

To read: Fill up on vitamin C with acerola

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Eat Brazil nuts: the 9 surprising health benefits
Brazil nuts in a plate

The 9 health benefits of Brazil nuts

Being one of the healthiest nuts on the market, despite its high fat content, there is a huge demand for this delicious brown nut, especially for the following benefits:

 These nuts improve heart health

One of the most controversial and beneficial aspects of Brazil nuts is their surprisingly high content of healthy unsaturated fats, commonly known as “good cholesterol” or omega-3 fatty acids.

These varieties of unsaturated fats are associated with balancing the body’s cholesterol profile and improving heart health, primarily by removing omega-6 fatty acids that are harmful to the body and cardiovascular system (3).

In this study, after several tests, the researchers concluded that the consumption of Brazil nuts can significantly increase the level of good cholesterol.

Nuts also help reduce bad cholesterol levels. These conclusions could be made only 9 hours after the consumption of 20-50 grams of Brazil nuts by the subjects of the study.

Skin care

The complete vitamin and nutrient profile in Brazil nuts makes it especially good for improving skin health.

The selenium in Brazil nuts gives the skin a healthy glow. It improves the elasticity of the skin, thus preventing premature aging.

This is possible because selenium stimulates the activity of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant compound that can remove free radicals from skin cells that cause wrinkles and even skin cancer.

Acne treatment

The high zinc content of Brazil nuts has been shown to protect against acne or decrease its occurrence. This can be achieved through the normal consumption of the nuts or by applying Brazil nut oil to the affected area.

The rich content of vitamins and antioxidants in the oil is the main cause of this protective ability (4).

To read: The 10 benefits of fenugreek

Weight Loss

The nutrients in Brazil nuts, like protein and complex carbohydrates, make them quite a satisfying snack.

When these nuts are eaten, you are less inclined to snack incessantly and you will be able to keep control over extra calories from unhealthy snacks.

A handful of Brazil nuts contains almost 200 calories, so it is advisable to limit the consumption of these nuts. Nonetheless, moderate consumption can really boost weight loss efforts.

Stimulation of the digestive system

The fiber content of Brazil nuts makes them ideal for optimizing the digestive system. Fiber facilitates peristaltic movement through the gastrointestinal system.

Fiber also makes it easier for food to move through the digestive system and extract as many nutrients as possible.

It can also help prevent stomach ulcers, constipation, bloating, cramps, and serious illnesses like colon cancer.

Improved hormonal function

The selenium in Brazil nuts plays a major role in the proper functioning of your thyroid gland.

By ensuring the proper functioning of your thyroid gland, the high concentration of selenium will ensure an increased metabolism.

Improvement in the immune system

Any food with such a high concentration of nutrients is helpful in strengthening the immune system.

The vitamin C content works wonderfully with selenium and zinc to stimulate the production of white blood cells and antioxidant compounds throughout the body to neutralize free radicals.

All of this helps prevent many chronic diseases; including cancer and coronary heart disease.

Contribution to growth and repair

Protein plays an important role in maintaining health. Mainly because it is necessary for muscle growth, energy production, cell growth, repair and wound healing.

Brazil nuts are an important source of protein, so they can be a useful stimulant to maintain your protein levels.

Vitamin C in Brazil nuts is also a major component of collagen, another essential part of human growth; as well as repairing blood vessels, tissues and cells.

Facilitates the consumption of nutrients

The high levels of magnesium found in Brazil nuts help stimulate the efficient absorption of nutrients in the digestive system (5).

Zinc is also one of the most difficult elements to find in the general diet, and the high levels of natural nutrients in Brazil nuts help balance this common deficiency.

Different uses of Brazil nuts

Culinary uses

Brazil nuts are high in calories, contain good amounts of vitamins, antioxidants and minerals.

Raw nuts are cut into small units using large shelling machines. For household needs, a small nutcracker machine or a hand clamp is sufficient.

Brazil nuts can be eaten without any accompaniment. In addition, they can also be grilled, salty or sweet.

They are also used in puddings, pesto, chocolate bars and crunchy cereal bars. Coarsely ground Brazil nuts are also used to sprinkle fruit or vegetable salads.

These nuts are also used in desserts, especially in fruit cakes. You can also add them to the soup; as well as meat and vegetable dishes.

Brazil nut oil is used in dressing and cooking.

Other Uses

Brazil nut oil, extracted from these nuts, has many traditional medicinal applications as emollient oil and massage oil.

It is light yellow in color and has a pleasant sweet smell. Its emollient property helps protect the skin from dryness.

It is also used in cooking, but also as an essential oil in traditional medicines in aromatherapy, in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries.

Recipes

Brazil nut milk

You will need

  • 2 cups of brazil nuts
  • 4 cups of mineral water
  • 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

Preparation

  • Soak your brazil nuts in cold water for 8 hours of time.
  • At the end of the time, throw away the water and rinse your nuts well. Put the nuts in your blender with the mineral water and the vanilla. Mix the elements well.
  • Use a white cloth or a fine sieve to collect the milk from the nuts.
  • Use the back of a spoon to collect all the milk from the nuts.

You can save the pulp for other uses (6).

Nutritional value

Brazil nut milk is rich and creamy like almond milk. It is rich in selenium. Selenium acts in the body as an antioxidant.

It fights against the progression and proliferation of free radicals. It inhibits the activity of cells that promote aging.

Selenium has a positive effect on fertility. It supports the immune system in general. It also stabilizes your thyroids and acts against asthma.

Brazil nuts are also rich in minerals, Omega-6, trace elements and vegetable proteins.

I highly recommend this fairly rich milk.

Eat Brazil nuts: the 9 surprising health benefits
Brazil nuts

Brazil nut cookies

You will need:

  • 2 ¼ cups of flour
  • 200 grams of butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of brazil nuts
  • 200 grams of sugar or less depending on your taste
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 200 grams of grated coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon of yeast
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt

Preparation

  • In a bowl, beat your sugar and butter until the mixture becomes smooth and creamy. Add your eggs and beat the mixture.

Add the vanilla and beat the mixture once more.

  • In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt.
  • Mix them. Gradually add them to the previously obtained creamy mixes.

When the two mixtures are well incorporated, add the grated coconut and the Brazil nuts at the end.

  • Spread parchment paper on your baking sheet
  • Using an ice cream scoop, place the dough on the baking sheet. Please

space a few centimeters apart so that they can fit well and stay pretty after cooking.

  • For the cookies to look good when baking, take care to flatten the arranged balls using a kitchen shovel or a piece of baking paper.

This will allow the cookies to be baked thoroughly.

  • Bake your cookies at 180 degrees Celsius for 10-15 minutes before removing them from the oven.

Nutritional value

In these cookies you have important foods such as grated coconut, eggs and Brazil nuts.

Coconut helps stabilize blood sugar levels, it aids digestion. It brings a superb aroma to your cookies. Coconut is also rich in minerals and vitamin B6.

Eggs are very rich in vitamins B2, B6, B12, selenium, and several other minerals. They are also rich in protein.

Brazil nuts provide you with several minerals such as selenium as well as many other nutrients. Thanks to the nuts, your cookies are creamy, tender and tender.

Pro vegetarian recipe

You will need:

  • ½ cup of Brazil nuts
  • ¼ lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of parsley
  • 1 teaspoon of rosemary
  • 2 garlic cloves, cleaned
  • 1 / 2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of thyme

Preparation

Soak your nuts in water for 6 hours. Keep them in the refrigerator for 6 hours. At the end of the time, drain your nuts and crush them.

In a frying pan going to the fire, brown the herbs with the olive oil. Then add the other ingredients including the nuts.

Cook over medium heat, then over low heat for about XNUMX minutes.

Nutritional value

This recipe is vegetarian and provides all the nutrients the body needs.

Precautions

Brazil nuts are very rich in selenium as we pointed out above. So avoid excessive consumption. Our daily selenium requirement per day is 0,4 mg or 400 micrograms.

Long-term excess consumption of Brazil nuts will lead to poisoning and health problems (8).

In addition, excess selenium in the body can lead to hair loss and brittle nails. This is only true for selenium in dietary supplement.

The selenium in foods such as Brazil nuts cannot cause your hair to fall out and your nails to become brittle.

By consuming too many Brazil nuts, you expose yourself to digestive problems such as bloating and gas. Some people develop allergies such as skin conditions, mouth problems, bad breath, fatigue, nervousness.

If you consume too many Brazil nuts, you are exposing yourself to consuming excess calories, which is dangerous for your health.

Limit your consumption of Brazil nuts to either once a week or twice a month.

Brazil nuts eaten in excess over a long period of time can lead to the problems of high blood pressure, diabetes and weight gain.

Conclusion

Brazil nuts contain several nutrients. Whether it is to treat your tyroids, stabilize your cholesterol level or to treat acne. But given their high calorie content, I advise you to consume them moderately.

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