Brazil nuts come from Bertholletia excelsa tree, a member of the Lecythidaceae family and found in the Amazon.
Brazil nuts are eaten either raw or blanched, and they are actually seeds, despite being known as nuts. These nuts are larger than peanuts or almonds, and are very similar to coconuts, growing up to 5 lbs. The tree can grow to be over 200 ft, producing more than 250lbs of nuts annually.
Only one or two Brazil nuts daily add various vitamins and minerals to our diet. Specifically, each nut contains around 0.7g grams of protein (14% by weight), 33 calories, and minerals like iron, magnesium, and selenium. Brazil nuts provide many benefits, and adding as little as two nuts to your daily diet could be of great help. Check out some of the benefits:
Thanks to their ability to fight inflammation, Brazil nuts can help with many health conditions. It is I important to note that they contain ellagic acid, which is a polyphenol and micronutrient.
In a couple of studies, it is shown to combat wrinkles by preventing inflammation and collagen loss. Ellagic acid also has neuroprotective effects. To sum up, just one but daily can have significant anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
In one study, ellagic acid is found to be effective intreating tumors. Brazin nuts are packed with selenium and are the number 1 food source of this mineral. Just one nut daily can provide 160 percent of the RDA of selenium. This mineral is known to help in the prevention of several types of cancer, including prostate cancer, colon cancer, and breast cancer. One study done by a team of Chinese researchers showed a strong link between selenium intake and incidence of esophageal cancer.
Selenium has been shown to improve mood naturally. In one older and quite relevant study, people reported a better mood after supplementing of selenium for five means. Supplementation with 100 mcg of selenium has also been shown to help prevent post-natal depression. A nut or two daily is a simple and cheap way to get all the selenium you need.
Selenium occurs in our bodies as selenocysteine, which is part of many different selenoproteins. These selenoproteins support important functions by regulating thyroid hormones, boosting immunity, acting as antioxidants, and supporting liver detoxification.
Selenium-dependent enzymes are utilized by the body to remove iodine molecules found in Thyroxin (T4 hormone). These convert to triiodothyronine (T3 hormone), the active thyroid hormone which is responsible for most of the functions associated with thyroid hormones.
The thyroid gland needs hydrogen peroxide to produce thyroid hormones, which causes the thyroid to deal with oxidative stress. Selenium is required for the production of glutathione peroxidase, a compound that protects the thyroid from oxidative stress.