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Brazil Nuts

This article is part of a larger article titled "100+ Healthiest Foods On Planet Earth."  Read it here.

Brazil Nuts Nutritional Information (per 100g)

Water: 3.4 g
Calories: 659 kcal
Protein: 14.3 g
Carbohydrate: 11.7 g
Dietary fiber: 7.5 g
Sugars: 2.3 g
Fat: 67.1 g
Saturated fat: 16.1 g
Monounsaturated fat: 23.9 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 24.4 g
Vitamin C: 0.7 mg
Vitamin B1: 0.6 mg
Vitamin B3: 0.3 mg
Vitamin B6: 0.1 mg
Vitamin B9: 22 μg
Vitamin E: 5.7 mg
Calcium: 160 mg
Iron: 2.4 mg
Magnesium: 376 mg
Phosphorus: 725 mg
Potassium: 659 mg
Sodium: 3 mg
Zinc: 4.1 mg

Brazil nuts are large, creamy sources of selenium, which is an important contributing factor to a properly functioning immune system. Indeed, Brazil nuts actually contain the highest known levels of selenium of any food and so a lot of study has been done on the effects of eating these delicious nuts.

Reduces Inflammation And Lowers “Bad” Cholesterol Levels. Brazil nuts are so packed with selenium that consuming just one nut a day can have a significant impact on your  health, according to research that investigated how their consumption would affect cell damage and inflammation in patients receiving haemodialysis treatment.

Participants consumed one nut a day for three months. The results showed that the levels of oxidative stress had been reduced. Additionally, the inflammation that led to cell damage fell. It was also noted that the levels of “bad” cholesterol had decreased, whilst levels of “good” cholesterol had increased. This isn’t surprising really since Brazil nuts, like most nuts, are a rich source of unsaturated, good fats and omega-3 fatty acids.

Helps Prevent Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease. Whilst being overweight or obese is not the only factor that can cause cardiovascular disease to develop, it is certainly an important one. Losing weight in a healthy way is obviously the best option, but whilst this process occurs, how do you prevent cardiovascular disease becoming a big problem? According to this study, you consume one Brazil nut a day!

Thirty-seven morbidly obese women consumed one nut a day for eight weeks, then they underwent tests to measure factors that would contribute to heart disease. The results found that their lipid profile – levels and types of fat in the blood – had improved and their levels of selenium and”good” cholesterol had increased.

The increase of selenium is important because, as evidenced above, it helps to significantly reduce inflammation that can lead to cell damage that leads to disease. All of these factors contribute to a reduced risk of developing cardiovascular related diseases.

Improves Cognitive Functions. A very recent study has examined how the consumption of just one Brazil nut a day can affect cognitive function in older adults who have mild cognitive impairment. It is understood that a reduction in selenium in the diet over time can have a major impact on the levels of antioxidants in the body that fight against cell damage. Consumption of selenium-rich Brazil nuts can help to restore this balance.

The participants were on average 77 years old and 70% of them were female; they consumed one Brazil nut a day for six months, the control group did not. After this time, the group who had consumed Brazil nuts experienced an improvement in their verbal fluency, as well as their constructional praxis – which is the ability to build simple shapes out of things like sticks and blocks.