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Brazil nuts are edible seeds which grow on the Brazil nut tree. These nuts grow inside a round shell which is similar to coconut in appearance. Each shell contains around 12 to 20 pieces of this nut. It can be eaten raw like other nuts and one can consume it after blanching as well.
This nut is packed with many nutrients and has various health benefits which we will discuss in this article. We should always include the different varieties of nuts in our diet as they provide us with nutrients and fibre. They are a great source of energy and are rich in fats and calorific hence one should consume them in limited quantities.
Nutritional Value Of Brazil Nut
The Brazil nuts contain proteins, monounsaturated fats, along with various minerals and vitamins. 100 g of Brazil nuts contain 656 calories, 66 g of total fat, 14 g of proteins, 12 g of carbohydrates, 8 g of dietary fibre, 0.7 mg of vitamin C and 0.1 mg of vitamin B6, 2.3 g of sugar, 659 mg of potassium, 3 mg of sodium, 2.4 mg of iron and 376 mg of magnesium and no cholesterol. The Brazil nuts are also a rich source of a mineral called selenium, which acts as a powerful antioxidant and fights cancer.
Health Benefits Of Brazil Nuts:
1. Lowers cholesterol
2. Improves mental health
3. Boosts the mood
4. Reduces the risk of cancer
5. Combats heart ailments
1. Lowers Cholesterol
Brazil nuts are known to lower the bad cholesterol (LDL) levels. These nuts have low saturated and unsaturated fat levels. It has been observed that having just one serving of around 6-10 Brazilian nuts aids in improving the lipids profile in healthy adults, a research mentioned in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism revealed.
2. Improves Mental Health:
These nuts contain ellagic acid (EA) which is also found in berries and pomegranates. It is an antioxidant that is known to have anti-inflammatory properties. A study has revealed that it acts as a neuroprotective agent which reduces oxidative stress and protects the nerve cells from degeneration, damage as well as deterioration of its function.
3. Boosts Mood
Uplifting mood is another amazing benefit of this nut. It contains selenium, an antioxidant which triggers the secretion of active thyroid hormone which combats hypothyroidism and helps in uplifting your mood. When you have low levels of thyroid in your body it is known as hypothyroidism, and the condition leads to mood swings, anxiety and irritability.
The selenium present in this nut thus aids in improving your mood. Selenium has various other health benefits too; it aids in boosting the proper functioning of our immunity system and boosts reproduction, etc. The recommended selenium intake should be around 0.35 mg per day.
Too much of selenium intake leads to a condition called selenosis, which leads to brittle nails and hair loss. Please consider your doctor before consuming this nut if you are consuming selenium supplements.
4. Reduces The Risk Of Cancer
The consumption of Brazil nut is linked to the reduction of cancer risk. Consuming selenium in moderation aids in lowering the risk of stomach and oesophageal cancers as per a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers are some other kinds of cancers that Brazil nut is known to combat according to several studies.
5. Combats Heart Ailments
The Brazil nuts are likely to reduce the risk of heart diseases; the selenium present in this nut aids in combating inflammation and oxidative stress which are the factors are associated with plaque build-up in the arteries that further leads to coronary artery disease and heart attacks.