1. Rich in nutrition
Brazil nuts are rich in nutrients and energy.
A 1-ounce (28 g) serving of Brazil nuts contains the following nutrients :
- Calories: 187
- Protein: 4.1 grams
- Fat: 19 grams
- Carbohydrates : 3.3 grams
- Fiber : 2.1 g
- Selenium : 988% of Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
- Copper : 55% of RDI
- Magnesium : 33%
- Phosphorus : 30% of RDI
- Manganese : 17% of RDI
- Zinc : 10.5% of RDI
- Thiamine: 16% of RDI
- Vitamin E: 11% of RDI
Brazil nuts are rich in selenium. A single nut contains 96 micrograms, which is 175% of the RDI. Most other nuts provide less than 1 microgram on average.
In addition, they contain higher concentrations of magnesium, copper and zinc than most other nuts, although the exact content of these nutrients will vary depending on the climate and soil.
Finally, Brazil nuts are an excellent source of healthy fats. In fact, 36% of the fat in Brazil nuts is 37% polyunsaturated fatty acids, which have been shown to be good for heart health.
2. Rich in selenium
Brazil nuts are rich in selenium . In fact, they contain more of this mineral than any other nut, and each nut contains an average of 96 micrograms. However, some packages have as much as 400 micrograms per nut.
The RDI for adult selenium is 55 micrograms per day. Therefore, Brazil nuts contain on average 175% of the required amount of this mineral .
Selenium is a trace element that is essential for the normal functioning of the body. It is vital to your thyroid and affects your immune system and cell growth .
In fact, higher levels of selenium are associated with enhanced immune function and better outcomes for cancer, infections, infertility, pregnancy, heart disease and mood disorders.
Although selenium deficiency is rare, many people in the world have insufficient selenium intake for optimal function. For example, sub-optimal selenium states have been found in people throughout Europe, the United Kingdom, and the Middle East .
Brazil nuts are an effective way to maintain or increase selenium intake. In fact, a study of 60 people found that eating two Brazil nuts a day is as effective as taking a selenium supplement in increasing selenium levels.
3. Support thyroid function
Your thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland located in your throat. It secretes several hormones that are essential for growth, metabolism and body temperature regulation.
Thyroid tissue contains the highest concentration of selenium because it is necessary for the production of the thyroid hormone T3 and the protein that protects the thyroid from damage.
Low selenium intake can cause cell damage, decreased thyroid activity, and autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Graves’ disease. It may also increase your risk of thyroid cancer .
A large study in China showed that people with low selenium levels have a significantly higher prevalence of thyroid diseases (such as hypothyroidism, thyroiditis, and goiter) compared with people with normal selenium levels.
This highlights the importance of obtaining adequate selenium intake. One Brazil nut a day can provide enough selenium to maintain normal thyroid function .
4. It is helpful for patients with thyroid disease
In addition to ensuring normal thyroid function, selenium can also improve the symptoms of patients with thyroid disease.
Hashimoto's thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease in which the thyroid tissue is gradually destroyed, leading to hypothyroidism and a series of symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain and feeling cold.
Some reviews have found that selenium supplementation can improve the immune function and mood of patients with Hashimoto's thyroiditis.
However, two other reviews concluded that there is insufficient evidence to determine the role of selenium in the treatment of this disease. Therefore, further research is needed ).
At the same time, Graves’ disease is a thyroid disease that produces too much thyroid hormones, leading to symptoms such as weight loss, weakness, sleep problems, and bulging eyes.
Studies have shown that selenium supplementation can improve thyroid function and delay the progression of certain symptoms in people with this disease. However, more research is needed ).
There are no studies investigating the use of Brazil nuts as a source of selenium, especially in patients with thyroiditis or Graves' disease. Nevertheless, including them in your diet may be a good way to ensure that your selenium content is adequate.
5. Can reduce inflammation
Brazil nuts are rich in antioxidants, which these substances helps to keep cells healthy. They do this by fighting the damage caused by reactive molecules called free radicals.
Brazil nuts contain a variety of antioxidants, including selenium, vitamin E, and phenols such as gallic acid and ellagic acid .
Selenium increases the levels of an enzyme called glutathione peroxidase (GPx), which helps reduce inflammation and protect your body from oxidative stress-the imbalance between antioxidants and free radicals Cause cell damage.
The anti-inflammatory effects of Brazil nuts can be achieved over a long period of time through single, large and small doses.
A study of 10 people pointed out that a single serving of 20 grams or 50 grams (4 or 10 nuts, respectively) can significantly reduce a variety of inflammatory markers, including interleukin 6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF). -α) (.
Another three-month study gave people receiving kidney failure treatment one Brazil nut a day. It turned out that their selenium and GPx levels were elevated, while inflammation markers and cholesterol levels were significantly reduced.
However, Follow-up studies have observed that once people stop eating Brazil nuts, these measurements will return to their original levels. This indicates that long-term diet changes are required to obtain the benefits of Brazil nuts.
6. Good for your heart
Fatty Brazil nuts contain heart-healthy, such as polyunsaturated fat, and rich with antioxidants, minerals and fiber, all of which may help reduce the risk of heart disease .
A study of 10 healthy adults investigated the effect of eating Brazil nuts on cholesterol levels. It gave them 5, 20 or 50 grams of Brazil nuts or a placebo.
After 9 hours, compared with the group that received the lower dose, the group that received 20 or 50 grams had lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and higher levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.
Another study analyzed the effect of Brazil nut consumption on obese people with selenium deficiency who are being treated for kidney disease.
Studies have found that consuming Brazil nuts containing 290 micrograms of selenium every day for 8 weeks significantly increases HDL cholesterol levels. Increasing your HDL cholesterol level may reduce your risk of heart disease ).
In addition, a 16-week study of obese adolescents observed that eating 15-25 grams of Brazil nuts a day can improve blood vessel function and reduce low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
The effect of Brazil nuts on heart health is promising. However, you need to enter a further study to determine the optimal dose and what people might get the most benefit.
7. May be good for your brain
Brazil nuts contain ellagic acid and selenium, both of which are good for your brain.
Ellagic acid is a polyphenol in Brazil nuts. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and may have protective and anti-depressant effects on your brain .
Selenium can also play a role in brain health as an antioxidant .
In one study, elderly people with mental disorders ate one Brazil nut a day for six months. In addition to increased selenium levels, they also showed improved language fluency and mental function .
Low selenium levels are associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, so it is important to ensure adequate intake.
More importantly, some studies have shown that selenium supplementation may help regulate depression, which is significantly related to insufficient selenium intake. However, the results are conflicting and require further research .
Health risks of consuming Brazil nuts
Brazil nuts provide some impressive health benefits, but eating too much can be harmful.
In fact, ingestion of 5,000 micrograms of selenium (the content in approximately 50 average-sized Brazil nuts) can cause poisoning. This dangerous condition is called selenium poisoning and can cause breathing problems, heart attacks, and kidney failure.
In addition, too much selenium, especially selenium from supplements, can increase the risk of diabetes and prostate cancer.
However, communities in the Amazon region that have naturally higher levels of selenium in their traditional diets did not show any negative effects or signs of selenium poisoning.
Nevertheless, it is important to limit the daily intake of Brazil nuts.
The upper limit of adult selenium intake is 400 micrograms per day. For this reason, it is important not to eat too many Brazil nuts and check the selenium content in the nutrition label.
Limiting your intake of one to three Brazil nuts per day is a wise way to avoid excessive selenium intake.
In addition, people who are allergic to nuts may be allergic to Brazil nuts and need to avoid them.