Brazil Nut – Meet Our Super Healthy Brazilian Friend
Brazil nut is a natural wonder of the Amazon rain forest. Although high in calories, these smooth, creamy-textured nuts are an excellent source of protein, healthy fats and the antioxidant selenium. They are fast becoming one of the hottest foods for improving health and longevity.
Health Benefits of Brazil Nuts
1. Heart health
Much of the fat content in Brazil nuts is mono-unsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) like palmitoleic acid (16:1) and oleic acid (18:1) that helps lower LDL or “bad cholesterol” and increase HDL or “good cholesterol” levels in the blood. They contain good amounts of omega-6 fatty acids, which also protect against heart diseases. Selenium also helps prevent blood clotting.
2. Loaded with antioxidants :
Brazil nuts hold exceptionally high levels of selenium. Selenium is a powerful antioxidant that can prevent damage to cells by free radicals, boost the immune system, and increase red blood cell concentration. Just 1-2 nuts a day provides enough of this trace element.
3. Brain Food
The high selenium content of Brazil nuts may boost mental performance. Thiamin in Brazil nuts keeps the nervous system healthy. It is vital for easing mind-related problems like stress, migraine and memory loss.
4. A good source of minerals
They contain essential minerals like magnesium, copper, manganese, zinc, vitamin E, potassium and riboflavin.
Magnesium helps with the functioning of muscles, the production of protein and absorption of energy from food.
copper which can help the body use iron, maintain bone and connective tissue health, promote thyroid function, support the production of melanin and protect and repair tissues.
Phosphorous supports bone and teeth health.
5. Boosts Thyroid function
Brazil nuts are particularly beneficial for those with low thyroid function as they are an excellent source of selenium which is needed to produce the active thyroid hormone. The antioxidants in these nuts have the ability to make an active enzyme that supports the thyroid, known as “triodithyronine”.
6. Builds immunity
These nuts are also beneficial for those who get frequent cold and flu as they contain nutrients like Vitamin C, zinc and selenium which boost the immune system naturally, thus helping to fight off cold or flu. They also help wounds to heal.
7. Rich in protein
Brazil nuts are good sources of complete proteins, meaning that they provide all of the essential amino acids needed for human growth and development, and required for muscle tissue repair.
8. Healthy skin
Glowing skin :Selenium in Brazil nuts speeds the cell turnover process, providing 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 mucus membranes and the skin.
Acne: 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 the toxins from the body, preventing the onset of acne.
Brazil nuts are the easiest and least expensive treatment to make the hair healthy and shiny. It contains high amounts of omega 3 fatty acids, which stimulate the production of sebum in the scalp, conditioning the hair naturally. It is also a good source of Vitamin E, one of the most important nutrients required for improving the appearance of the hair. Eat a handful of Brazil nuts daily to notice a major improvement in the quality of your hair.
How to use Brazil Nuts?
- Two to four Brazil nuts a day is said to be ideal.
- They can be eaten on their own or added to fudge, smoothies, puddings, desserts, pesto, chocolates and crunchy-bar preparations.
- Coarsely ground Brazil nuts can be sprinkled over fruit/vegetable salads to give a nice crunch.