Brazil nuts are a delicious, chunky nut that you’re as likely to enjoy in an indulgent brownie as some healthy granola. Their sweet and creamy flavour complements chocolate really well, which is why home bakers love to add Brazil nuts to their creations.Whether you’re a brazil nut lover or sceptic, we’re about to explain everything about this tasty bite. We’ll explain the origins of Brazil nuts and the health benefits of eating them. We’ll advise of any drawbacks to these delicious nuts and break down their nutritional profile, so you can discover their mineral content yourself.
What are brazil nuts?
No prizes for guessing where they come from, Brazil nuts are (of course) the edible seed of a plant native to Brazil. Brazil nut trees grow in the Amazon rainforest, and they’re some of the tallest and strongest trees on our planet.
Benefits of eating brazil nuts
Brazil nuts are associated with a wide range of health benefits, including:
- Cognitive support. Brazil nuts are rich in antioxidants which science suggests are great for the brain. Evidence suggests that these compounds may help to prevent depression and cognitive decline.1,2
- Lower cholesterol. Eating brazil nuts can reduce levels of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol that clogs arteries. Brazil nuts are such masters at lowering cholesterol, lipids in the blood (which indicate cholesterol levels) may be lower immediately after eating one portion!3
- Thyroid health. Brazil nuts are jam-packed full of selenium, a mineral that’s strongly correlated with supporting normal thyroid function. For those who have an inactive thyroid, emerging evidence suggests that consuming selenium can improve thyroid function, and, by doing so, enhance mood and immune protection.4,5,6,7
- Mood support. Evidence suggests that Brazil nut consumption can support your mood. A scientific study showed that when participants with anxiety and depression took 100mcg of selenium a day (the equivalent of eating 1 to 2 Brazil nuts) for 5 weeks, their symptoms alleviated.8
Drawbacks of eating brazil nuts
People with a nut allergy should evidently avoid Brazil nuts, in case they experience an inverse reaction or anaphylactic shock.
The nutritional profile of Brazil nutsAn average 29g portion of Brazil nuts contains:9
- 737% of your recommended daily selenium intake. Selenium helps the immune and reproductive systems function and can help heal damaged tissues.10
- 26% of your recommended daily magnesium. Magnesium is essential for the maintenance of bone health and muscle function.11
- 20% of your recommended daily phosphorus intake. Phosphorus encourages bone and teeth health.12
Last updated: 3 November 2020