Brazil nut trees are located in the non-flooded forests of Brazil, Bolivia, and Peru and are one of the tallest trees in the tropical rain forest. Brazil nuts are nicknamed cream nuts because of their creamy texture and buttery outer appearance. Like other nuts they are nutrient dense and are an excellent source of monounsaturated fat. In addition, Brazil nuts have the highest levels of selenium than any other natural food source.

Disease/ ailments:

High cholesterol
Cardiovascular disorders
Nervous disorders (irritability, depression, memory loss)

Health benefits:

Invigorates the nervous system: The appropriate balance of calcium, magnesium, and potassium helps to maintain muscle tone and prevent nervous irritability.

Reduces cholesterol: Due to the balanced fatty acid composition and possibly the high vitamin E content, nuts lower blood cholesterol levels.

Cardiovascular: Vitamin E is a powerful fat-soluble antioxidant that prevents the formation of arteriosclerosis and other disorders related to aging.

Antioxidant: The exceptionally high levels of selenium make Brazil nuts a potent anti-aging food. Selenium is an important cofactor for the antioxidant enzyme glutathione-peroxidase, which can help in preventing coronary artery disease, liver cirrhosis, and cancers.

Good source of:

selenium, vitamin E, B1, magnesium, phosphorous

Purchasing, storing, & enjoying:

Purchasing: Brazil nuts can be sold raw (with shells or without), roasted, and salted

Storing: Because of its polyunsaturated (healthy) fats, Brazil nuts are susceptible to turn rancid and deteriorate when exposed to air, humidity, and sunlight. Therefore, it is recommended to purchase nuts and store them in the refrigerator.

Enjoying:

  • Brazil nuts can be enjoyed as a healthy and filling snack or as an ingredient in a recipe. Instead of using walnuts or pecans for a recipe, try using Brazil nuts.
  • They are used in desserts, in particularly fruitcakes.
  • Brazil nuts can also be made into Brazil nut milk by grinding the nuts with water in a blender and straining out the remaining liquid.

Resources & recipes:

Black bean Brazil nut burger: http://www.mutantspace.com/vegan-burger-recipe-good-as-meat-burger/

 

References:

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/brazil-nuts.html

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/87/2/379


About the Author

Ashley Kim

"Our bodies are our gardens—our wills are our gardeners." – William Shakespeare

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