Brazil nuts are one of the healthiest nuts that humans can consume, yet they don’t have the popularity of other nuts. Let’s take a look at some of the amazing health benefits of this superfood and why you should incorporate Brazil nuts into your balanced diet.
Brazil nuts tend to be larger than other more commonly found nuts, so we will be looking at the nutrition information for a single Brazil nut that’s about 5g in size:
|Total Carbs||0.587 g|
As you can see above, Brazil nuts are high in fat yet low in net carbs, making them an extremely filling food perfect for anybody following a low carb diet.
Now let’s take a look at some of the micronutrients and minerals available in a single Brazil nut that’s about 5g in size:
Brazil nuts pack a punch when it comes to the huge variety of different minerals and micronutrients that they possess, making them a very nutritious ingredient in any meal or snack.
High Concentration of Selenium
One key mineral needed by the human body is selenium, but many people which Brazil nuts happen to be the king of when it comes to concentration. Not a single other food has a higher amount of selenium in it than a Brazil nut.
The NIH recommends that an adult intake around 55 mcg of Selenium per day, yet a single Brazil nut contains about 95.8 mcg. This means that simply eating one Brazil nut per day more than fulfills the daily recommended amount of selenium intake for a normal adult. You can read here about why selenium is so important.
Multiple studies have shown how healthy Brazil nuts are when it comes to heart health. A study conducted in 2012 showed that regular consumption of Brazil nuts for an extended period of time (daily for over 8 weeks) decreased the risk of heart disease by increasing HDL cholesterol levels.
A separate study conducted in 2011 took a look at the LDL cholesterol levels and found that eating about 3-5 Brazil nuts a day for 16 weeks not only reduced LDL cholesterol levels, but also improved triglyceride levels and blood vessel functions.
Increased Brain Function
Due to high selenium levels, many scientists and nutrition experts believe that regular consumption of Brazil nuts can contribute to increased function of the brain. A study took a look at older adults and found that Brazil nuts not only restore deficiencies of selenium, but also increased cognitive function of those with mild cognitive impairment.
Low selenium levels have been proven to contribute to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Studies have suggested that adequate levels of selenium can reduce the risk of forming such neurodegenerative diseases and increase brain health.
Due to the numerous antioxidants, minerals, and micronutrients that are abundant in them, Brazil nuts should be considered a superfood. For the lowest price, try to find them in a bulk section of a grocery store. Eating as little as a single Brazil nut a day can have a significant increase in health when combined with a balanced diet and exercise plan.