Brazil nuts are the seeds of the Brazil nut tree (Bertholletia excelsa) – a tree growing in the rainforest of the Amazon. Due to the characteristic look of the nuts, they are often called the Brazilian gold. The fruits of the peanuts resemble a coconut, from which, after being cut with a machete, you can extract the seeds. They dry in the sun and are being peeled. What are the details about the Brazil nut nutrition, can you always eat them and how many can be eaten every day?
How many Brazil nuts should you eat a day?
The selenium content in those nuts is so high that it is not advisable to consume them in excess – 3-4 nuts a day is a recommended amount. The consumption of one nut per day is absolutely sufficient if you just want to eat them just prophylactically.
They are also useful in the form of supplementing selenium deficiency – then the recommended solution is to take a maximum of two nuts per day. Like many other substances, depending on the dose, selenium can be both beneficial and toxic. In one Brazilian nut, there is about 50 mcg of selenium.
Even in the case of a deficiency of selenium, exceeding the maximum tolerated daily dose may cause unpleasant effects of selenium overdoses – eg. skin blemishes, nails breakage, hair loss or nausea.
Brazil nut nutrition
Due to the fat content, the nuts are quite caloric, 656 kcal per 100 g. However, remember that these are mainly unsaturated fatty acids, which regulate the level of bad cholesterol and reduce hypertension, so you do not have to be scared of them. They are a rich source of vitamins B1 and E, which as an antioxidant prevents the degradation of cells. It helps in maintaining a healthy appearance of the skin and mucous membranes. It also affects fertility and stimulates wound healing after surgery and burns. They provide the body with the necessary minerals in the form of magnesium, phosphorus, copper, potassium, iron and calcium. They help in combating stress and can be consumed by diabetics.
Due to the high content of zinc, they are recommended for people who drink a lot of alcohol (zinc enhances the action of alcohol dehydrogenase-enzymes found in the liver). They also contribute to the proper functioning of the immune system and protection of cells against oxidative stress. These nuts have the highest content of selenium of vegetable origin, already one nut provides us with daily demand for this mineral. Selenium is above all a very strong antioxidant. It protects us against the formation of cancer cells. It positively affects the normal skin condition and the course of enzymatic reactions.
Can the Brazil nuts be harmful?
While the nuts are eaten in the right dose, they should not be harmful. However, the problem may be the presence of phytic acid, which is classified as an anti-nutritional substance. This component impairs the process of mineral absorption, delivered to the body along with food. This phenomenon, however, appears mainly in the case of exceeding the recommended daily dose. The effect of phytic acid can also be overcome by properly preparing the nuts before consumption – just soak them in water for a minimum of 8 hours. This solution also allows softening the nuts, so that their consumption does not strain teeth in case of hypersensitivity. People who have a high risk of allergic reactions – for example, after eating pistachios or mangoes – should not eat them.
We hope that we have encouraged you to eat the nuts. Complementing the daily diet in dried fruit and nuts, do not forget about Brazil nuts – a healthy, tasty and nutritious snack.