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Nuts About Brazils

By Andrea Moss
May 14, 2009
File under: Healthy Eating, Nuts, Snacks


My only experience will Brazil nuts for the longest time was remembering them as those weird, lopsided, big nuts randomly thrown into the salted, canned nut mixes that I would eat as a kid.

I didn’t remember particularly liking them – nor disliking them – and pretty much forgot about their existence. Until recently. In my constant quest to discover the healthiest superfoods out there, I stumbled upon the humble Brazil nut. And I soon came to find out just how much those guys have to offer.

Brazils are packed with lots of the good stuff: copper, niacin, magnesium, fiber, vitamin E and – the big one – selenium. There’s enough selenium in just 2 Brazil nuts to provide us with the daily recommended amount! That’s great news for many of us, since there’s a lot of selenium-deficient folks out there.

Selenium is an extremely powerful antioxidant, known to reduce the rates of prostate and breast cancers and reduce the risk of heart disease. Selenium can also help boost the immune system, helping to keep us healthy and age gracefully.

Brazil nuts are also a “complete” protein. That means that even though they are vegetarian source of protein, they still contains all of the necessary amino acids to act very much the way meat does in our bodies, helping to foster optimal muscle growth in us humans.

Brazil nuts are also a very good source of zinc (essential to digestion and metabolism).

How many Brazils should you eat? Even though Brazil nuts are a very healthy food (and more fun to take than vitamins!), they’re relatively high in fat and you don’t want to be guzzling them by the bowlful. A small handful of Brazils (say, around 2-4 of them) is a good daily amount.

As always, go for the raw, unroasted nuts to get the most nutritional bang for your buck.

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