Brazil nuts are botanically not nuts, but are in fact seeds from the Brazil nut tree, one of the largest trees growing upward 200 feet found in the Amazon.
They are native to South America and surprisingly the greatest exporter is not Brazil but Bolivia.
Nutrition & Health
Like most nuts, Brazil nuts are naturally cholesterol free, gluten free and are a low glycemic-index food. They are good source of protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins & minerals and particularly:
Best food source of selenium
One single kernel provides 100% of your daily requirement.
Contains Anti-inflammatory properties
Brazil nuts contain ellagic acid which has anti-inflammatory effects in the body and can even be neuro-protective. In addition, selenium is also very important in combating inflammation in the body.
Promotes thyroid function
Selenium is a key component necessary for your body to be able to create and use thyroid hormones. Brazil nuts can help to keep your thyroid in proper working order and in overall good health.
Is a Cancer fighting food
Again, due to their high ellagic acid which is an anti-mutagenic, anticancer compound and their selenium content which can prevent the incidence of certain cancers.
In a nutshell, these nuts are highly nutritious. They have the highest content of magnesium than any other nut and are the best food source of selenium in the world. Brazil nuts have been shown to fight inflammation, combat cancer, positively affect mood, improve heart health and control thyroid health.
However, the amount of Brazil nuts consumed should be in small amounts since they are so rich in selenium and this can cause a selenium toxicity. Pay special attention if making Brazil nut milk and use sparingly - not as a staple food.
Storage & Buying Tips
Look for Brazil nuts that are whole, brown and heavy in the hand and avoid the ones that are shriveled or in pieces. Due to their high polyunsaturated fat content these nuts can spoil easily. Store Brazil nuts in an airtight container in a cool, dark, dry place without exposure to humidity or sunlight. If you store in the refrigerator in airtight bag or container, they can last for a few months.