Found in the dense forests of Brazil and Peru, Brazil nuts are exceptionally flooded with healthy nutrients. Eating a sufficient amount of Brazil nuts on a daily basis will provide all the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs to sustain. And if you didn’t already know, Brazil nuts contain very high amounts of selenium, known for its anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and anti-aging properties.
You need to eat Brazil nuts to boost immune health, fight skin diseases, reduce inflammation, and prevent heart diseases. You can create a mixed nut salad with Brazil nuts or use it in desserts, you can eat them exactly the way you like.
1. Daily Consumption of Brazil Nuts Reduces Inflammation
Interestingly, Brazil nuts are great superfoods for reducing excessive inflammation in the body. Inflammation is an important process in the human body for protection against damaged cells and diseases. But when inflammation rapidly grows out of the control, it leads to acute inflammation or chronic inflammation.
A study conducted 10 healthy individuals were given portions of Brazil nuts to test its effect on inflammatory markers in the human body. This trial was conducted in span of 30 days, determining the body’s response to C-reactive protein, creatinine, and other such inflammatory markers. (1)
The results put forward that there is a long-term decrease in inflammatory responses in individuals who consumed more Brazil nuts as a part of their daily diet.
Brazil nuts also contain high amounts of fiber, which, according to a study, helps reduce inflammation caused by gout. (2)
Key Takeaway: Brazil nuts contain powerful antioxidants that play an important role in reducing excessive inflammation in the body. It improves the anti-inflammatory responses to fight diseases and infections.
2. Brazil Nuts Decrease Chances of Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome is determine by a specific number of markers such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, high glucose levels, excessive fat (especially around the waist), and high triglycerides.
Brazil nuts help alleviate two out of five metabolic syndrome markers, while reducing risk of obesity, heart diseases, and diabetes in healthy individuals.
Brazil nuts reduce blood glucose levels and and triglycerides by replacing saturated fats in the body. Brazil nuts contain carbohydrates and unsaturated fat which are good for the body, in spite of being high in calories, study suggests. (3)
Another study suggests that people suffering from metabolic syndrome require more vitamin E-ich diets for proper cell protection. Moreover, it is also important for reducing fats in the body, especially when people with metabolic syndrome are more susceptible to obesity. (4)
Key Takeaway: Studies are done to prove that Brazil nuts plays a role in treating metabolic syndrome with the help of carbohydrates and vitamin E. It is found that sufficient levels of both nutrients found in Brazil nuts can lower levels of metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and obesity.
3. Brazil Nuts Contain High Selenium and Ellagic Levels that Help Fight Cancer
Brazil nuts contain high levels of selenium which have many surprising health benefits, including the prevention of cancer.
In one study, high levels of selenium in the blood showed a significant decrease in the proliferation of liver cancer. A balanced selenium intake, if not a high intake, can dramatically affect the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer). (5)
An increased brazil nuts intake also showed lowered levels of tumor progression and accumulation in rats. This also states that selenium-deficient rats are more likely to contain inflammatory markers that lead to different types of cancer. (6)
Brazil nuts also contain ellagic acid which is an antimutagenic and cancer-preventive compound. It features a strong therapeutic efficacy against all types of cancer cells. (7)
Lastly, selenium also has an influence against types of cancer including melanoma and prostate cancer in the human body. What it does is it triggers the body’s natural immune system for fighting against aggressive cancer cells. (8)
Key Takeaway: Health studies prove that Brazil nuts can help prevent and treat rapidly growing cancer cells in the body. Selenium, which is present in abundance in Brazil nuts, has anticancer properties with long-term health benefits.
4. Brazil Nuts Fortify the Heart Against Coronary Heart Disease
Coronary heart disease is characterized by excessive plaque buildup inside the body’s coronary arteries. These arteries are responsible for proper blood flow to your heart muscle.
By replacing certain fatty foods with Brazil nuts can improve your heart condition, study suggests. It replaces saturated fat content with refined carbohydrates and unsaturated fats.
The trail indicates that 1 mg intake of Brazil nuts five times a week can have a 39% impact on coronary heart disease prevention.
Brazil nuts’ cholesterol lowering effects showed dramatic improvements in coronary arteries performance. Moreover, since Brazil nuts contain high amounts of unsaturated fatty acids, which are the “good” fats, they contribute in the total reduction of plaque buildup in the arteries. (9)
This also help meet energy production needs in the human body without increasing the saturated fatty acid content, which could also lead to obesity and other heart conditions.
Key Takeaway: Eating 1 mg of Brazil nuts, at least 5 times a week, for their unsaturated fatty acids content is beneficial for the prevention of coronary heart disease.
5. Eating Brazil Nuts has Positive Effects on Cognitive Performance for Adults
Oxidative stress has a huge impact on cognitive performance in healthy individuals. According to a study, the antioxidant capacity of selenium present in high amounts in Brazil nuts play an important role in reducing oxidative stress in the body.
This has a direct positive impact on the cognitive effects of the human brain.
The trial focused on 31 older adults with cognitive impairment were a sufficient amount of Brazil nuts on a daily basis. Meanwhile, markers such as their blood selenium concentration and oxygen radical absorbance capacity were evaluated.
After 6 months of Brazil nuts intake, the participants verbal fluency and constructional praxis had significantly improved with a reduced oxidative stress marker. This proves that a high blood selenium level accounts for improved cognitive performance in older adults with or without mild cognitive impairment. (10)
Key Takeaway: A single ounce of Brazil nuts provides healthy individuals with an increased selenium intake in older adults with MCI. It is essential to improve cognitive function and reducing oxidative stress in the brain.
6. Brazil Nuts Contain Zinc which is Good for Cellular Health
The high zinc levels found in Brazil nuts help stimulate cellular health to fight diseases, infections, and other toxins in the body. It also reduces oxidative stress which could lead to DNA damage in healthy individuals.
High blood zinc levels in the body is a good marker for a healthy immune system. This prevents the proliferation of cancer, chronic diseases, etc. It’s also an important nutrient for childhood growth and well-being.
Zinc contains over 3,000 essential proteins that repair and stimulate every cell in the body. With a zinc deficiency, the human cells are more likely to get affected by inflammation and oxidative stress causing DNA damage and other illnesses.
By increasing your Brazil nuts intake, you’re incorporating a healthy zinc intake for proper immune response and metabolic function. (11)
Key Takeway: A long-term zinc intake has surprising health benefits including cellular repair and stimulation. It prevents DNA damage caused by oxidative stress and the onset of many other diseases and types of cancer.
7. Eating Brazil Nuts Daily Positively Influences Your Mood
Mood boosters are always good for physical and mental health. Brazil nuts play a significant role in influencing a person’s mood. With a trial conducted on a set of people for 5 weeks showed that lower levels of blood selenium levels resulted in tiredness, depression, and anxiety.
Hence an increase in selenium intake, with the help of Brazil nuts, may improve the neural centre in the brain responsible for mental health and well-being. (12)
Along with the many proven benefits of Brazil nuts, there’s enough evidence to prove that it impacts mental health too. Eating at least 30 g of Brazil nuts on a daily or five days per week basis can influence the way you feel. (13)
Brazil nuts are healthy and delicious snack foods to eat after meals or at evenings for prolonged health benefits.
Key Takeaway: People consuming sufficient amounts of Brazil nuts on a daily basis show improved mental health symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and tiredness. Due to its high selenium levels, it affects a person’s mood dramatically.
8. Brazil Nuts are Loaded with Selenium which Can Lower Thyroid Hormone Levels
An increased intake of selenium can improve thyroid function in humans, study suggests.
The trial was conducted on 40 patients with hemodialysis patients for 3 months. A single nut intake on a daily basis showed a decrease in thyroid hormone levels in the human body.
Thyroid hormone levels include T3 and T4 levels which impact the thyroid gland to either create a balanced or abnormal thyroid hormone environment. Abnormal thyroid hormone levels give rise to thyroid disease, hyperthyroidism, or hypothyroidism.
With a regular Brazil nuts supplementation with patients with HD and healthy individuals showed an improvement in thyroid stimulating hormone or TSH levels in the bloodstream. (14)
Key takeaway: Selenium is a much need antioxidant for the body for the proper functioning of the thyroid hormone. It regulates the proper production of active thyroid hormone, resulting in less abnormal T3 and T4 levels in the human body.
9. Brazil Nuts Benefit Successful Aging
Brazil nuts contain high amounts of selenium and dietary fiber for preventing age-related diseases and oxidative stress. They contribute to successful aging in the many healthy ways.
For preventing age-related cognitive diseases, an increased selenium intake is essential. It reduces any mental impairment that could dramatically impact cognitive, emotional, and intellectual behavioral skills.
It also helps reduce the influence of Alzheimer’s disease in older adults. Dementia is one significant marker of AD, according to many reports. It’s an irreversible disorder characterized by loss of communication skills, memory, and self-care.
Studies suggest that selenium plays an important role in preventing AD by reducing high cholesterol levels, blood glucose levels, and insulin resistance. Other antioxidants such as vitamins and fatty acids also play an important role for proper brain regulation. (15)
On the other hand, a fiber-rich diet can prevent age-related diseases and obesity in older adults. People with sufficient dietary fiber have an 80% chance of a longer and disease-free life than those who never consumed fiber-rich nuts such as Brazil nuts. (16)
Key Takeaway: A proper intake of Brazil nuts, for its high selenium and fiber capacity, can reduce age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, hypertension, obesity, oxidative stress, and other chronic illnesses.
10. Brazil Nuts Play an Important Role in Healing Damaged Skin
Healthy, glowing skin is prevents chronic skin diseases such as cancer and other infections caused by genetic or environmental factors.
Deficiency of certain important nutrients such as vitamins and antioxidants can have a drastic impact on a cellular level of the skin. Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant, reduces free radical damage caused by UV radiation or skin damage.
It also plays an important role on many skin conditions such as wrinkling, skin thickening, edema, etc. It reduces the inflammatory response of damaged skin by triggering oxygen radical production in the skin. (17,18)
Vitamin E increases the production of natural killer cells to boost their activity to destroy all damaged cells caused by free radical and inflammation.
Zinc, which is present in Brazil nuts, is also associated with the healing properties of skin wounds and cuts.
Key Takeaway: Brazil nuts contain many nutrients such as vitamin E, selenium, zinc, and other antioxidants that play a role in reducing skin damage caused by radiation or free radicals.
11. Brazil Nuts are Rich with Vitamin E to Promote Healthy Muscles
Healthy muscles are a part and parcel of proper physical function. Brazil nuts contain vitamin E which help prevent muscle damage and promote proper muscle function.
It helps build stronger muscles and preventing cellular damage due to physical exercise. With the help of vitamin E, the body’s plasma membrane, responsible for muscle healing, functions properly to strengthen muscles and recover faster.
It also regulates the body’s nervous system away from muscle-specific diseases and increased muscle pain during injuries.
A study conducted on rats showed that vitamin E-deficient rats showed reduced physical performance than those with an increased vitamin E diet. It also proved that vitamin E deficiency can cause swollen muscles and increased inflammation on a cellular level for muscle repair and stimulation. (19)
Key Takeaway: Vitamin E affects the body’s muscle center as well for preventing muscle pain and damage due to constant wear and tear. It promotes membrane repair and strengthens muscles, destroying free radical damage on a cellular level.
12. Brazil Nuts have Anti-Diabetic Properties
Brazil nuts are a powerhouse of healthy nutrients with anti-diabetic properties.
Thiamine is one of the powerful compounds present in Brazil nuts that impact glucose metabolism and cardiovascular health in humans. A thiamine deficiency increases oxidative stress, reduce endothelial function, and impacts glucose metabolism which contributes to diabetes proliferation in most humans. (20)
It is also a powerful nutrient which reverses the symptoms of kidney disease or failure in diabetic patients. Kidney diseases, in diabetic patients, is characterized by an increased protein albumin excretion rate in the urine. Thiamine, or vitamin B1, decreases the secretion rate by 41% in patients with an increased thiamine-rich diet. (21)
Interestingly, calcium also plays a role in the preventing and treatment of diabetes in individuals. Studies show that an increase in calcium intake lowers levels of body mass index and body fat content in diabetic patients. This prevents the proliferation of type 2 diabetes. (22)
Dietary fiber helps with proper calcium absorption in the body. It also helps control your glucose levels, cholesterol levels, and body fat. People with a calcium and fiber-rich diet reduce proliferation of kidney disease, diabetes, and other malabsorption abnormalities. (23)
Key Takeaway: Many recent studies prove that Brazil nuts can help reduce the proliferation of different types of diabetes. It lowers the body’s cholesterol levels, glucose levels, and fat content to curb symptoms of type 2 diabetes in people more likely to have obesity problems.
13. Eating Brazil Nuts May Influence Weight Loss
Did you know protein-rich diets can help with weight loss more than you previously thought?
Brazil nuts contain good amounts of proteins that help reduce hunger and curb appetite. According to a recent study conducted on rodents, an increased protein intake showed signs of weight loss and reduced hunger drive in in rats.
It also affects the body’s hormones responsible for appetite and food absorption in the body. This study shows that protein-rich diets help with proper breakdown and absorption of food particles for reduced levels of ghrelin, responsible for weight gain, in rats.
Moreover, proteins interact with calcium sensing receptors to help reduce appetite and prevent obesity. (24)
Key Takeaway: Brazil nuts hold high levels of proteins that promote proper metabolism for suppressing appetite and resisting weight gain in healthy individuals. It decreases hormone levels responsible for weight gain and hunger to prevent multiple diseases linked with weight gain such as obesity, heart diseases, etc.
7 Delectable Ways to Add Brazil Nuts to Food
Not many of us know this but Brazil Nuts have an incredibly creamy and rich flavor. This makes them adaptable for all kinds of different dishes. They may be primarily used for baking purposes only but that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative with Brazil nuts.
You can easily make Brazil nuts a part of your morning meal or healthy snacking habits. The thing about them is that you can use them in unique ways to prepare dishes that offer a scrumptious and sustainable addiction to meals or snacks. So let’s find out how!
1. Brazil Nut Cookie/Shortbread
Coffee and chocolate lovers will not want anything else once they learn how to prepare this rich Brazil nut cookie that we like to call shortbread.
1/2 cup of Brazil nuts
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
3/4 cup of flour
1/4 pound of softened, unsalted butter
6 tbsp of brown sugar
3 tbsp of rice flour
Preheat your oven up to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. The Brazil nuts should be grounded finely at the beginning of the process.
Add butter and sugar into a bowl and beat the paste until it becomes fluffy. Then mix the flours and nuts to turn it into a thick, smooth dough. Cover it up using baking sheet along with parchment.
Use a 6-inch flan ring on top of the sheet as your guide. Press the smooth dough onto this sheet from inside the flan ring to create a 6 inch circle. After removing the ring, flatten out the dough using the rolling pin.
Mark the circle into 8 wedges with the help of a fork before sprinkling some granulated sugar. Following which bake the dough for at least 40 minutes.
After removing it from your oven, cut along those marked lines to divide the dough into 8 pieces. Let it cool completely before enjoying it with your coffee or chocolate. And if you’re not having it right away, then store it in your airtight container.
2. Brazil Nut Cherry Pudding
Nothing more cheerful than cherries with Brazil nuts to fuel your body after a long, adventurous day.
1 cup of cherries
4-6 dates, preferably Pitted Medjool
1/4 cup of soaked and drained Brazil nuts
Blend the ingredients in your blender or food processor. Add some more liquid to it until it becomes creamy. This liquid can be fresh fruit juice, coconut water, or water.
Chill the paste until you think it’s ready to eat.
Add the finishing touch by topping it off with crushed nuts and a cherry.
3. Brazil Nuts Roast
A healthy and delicious meat-free substitute for your Sunday lunch or Christmas dinner.
200g of chopped Brazil nuts
1 tbsp of fresh thyme, chopped
50g of white breadcrumbs, fresh
Finely grated layer of a single lemon
2 peeled carrots, finely chopped
Black pepper, freshly ground
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
100g of Cheddar cheese
1 deseeded green chilli, chopped
1 stick of celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
30g of butter
500g of buttered loaf tin (lined with baking parchment)
Vegetable gravy (optional)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 180 degrees Celsius.
Keep aside 2 tbsp of Brazil nuts and lay out the rest on baking sheet. Roast these in your oven for not more than 10 minutes.
Throw the butter on the frying pan with onion and cook for 5 minutes. Then add the chilli, celery, and carrots and cook that for another 5 minutes until they all become soft. Shift the ingredients to a bowl.
Keep aside 2 tbsp of cheese and use the rest with the vegetables. At this point, you can add the lemon, thyme, parsley, breadcrumbs, eggs, and nuts too. Season them well enough.
Transfer this to the buttered loaf tin before sprinkling the reserved cheese and nuts. Bake for about 45 minutes. Following which let it cool for 5-10 minutes before you slice the fresh roast to serve it with some vegetable gravy.
4. Brazil Nut Herb and Garlic Cheese
Yes, that’s right! You can prepare your own rich, creamy cheese with Brazil nuts, fresh herbs, and garlic.
2 cloves of peeled garlic
1 tbsp of fresh thyme, chopped
2 tbsp of fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbsp of fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tsp of salt
2 tbsp of olive oil
1/2 tsp of black pepper, ground
1/4 cup of lemon juice
1 1/3 cups of Brazil nuts
Soak the Brazil nuts in water and refrigerate them for 6 hours.
Preheat your oven up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and coat a baking sheet using the cooking spray.
Drain the nuts and place them together with 2 tbsp of oil, 1/4 cup of water, salt, garlic, and lemon juice. Blend it in your blender or food processor for 8 minutes.
Take a bowl and line one quarter of it with a towel. Place the blended mixture in the center of this towel. Bring the sides and corner of the towel together and twist them around the mixture. Squeeze it gently to remove all the excess liquid.
Then use another bowl to bring together pepper, thyme, rosemary, and parsley. Now is the time to unwrap the cheese ball and coat it with herbs.
Place this on the baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. After removing it from your oven, shift it to a platter and drizzle some oil on top. You can serve it just like this or wait for it to cool down. Your fresh veggies and crackers have a delicious buddy now!
5. Brazil Nuts Brownie
Everybody craves brownies, don’t they? So it’s time to indulge in some brownie love with Brazil nuts.
75g of plain flour
125g of dark chocolate, broken up
1/4 tsp of salt
275g of caster sugar, golden
1 tsp of baking powder
175g of block butter
150g of toasted Brazil nuts, roughly chopped
Preheat your oven up to 180 degrees Celsius.
Mix together butter and dark chocolate in a bowl and place the bowl on top of the pan with some simmering water. The bowl should not come in contact with the water. The butter will take about 5-10 minutes to melt.
Then whisk the sugar and eggs in another bowl. Add this mixture to the dark chocolate mixture. Transfer all of this to a tin and bake it for at least 30 minutes.
Once it starts to spring up in the center, remove it from your oven and let the cake cool before cutting it up into 12 squares.
6. Roasted Broccoli Nut Pesto
We all know how delicious Broccoli dishes are, right? So it’s time to make it even better with Brazil Nuts pesto.
1 tbsp chopped tarragon
1/2 cup of flat-leaf, coarse parsley (chopped)
5 tbsp of olive oil, extra virgin
Salt and pepper (pepper should be freshly ground)
1/2 tsp of lemon zest, finely grated
1 large, chopped garlic clove
3 tbsp of Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
2 1/2 pounds of broccoli (with stems discarded)
1/4 cup of coarsely chopped Brazil nuts
Preheat your oven up to 500 degrees Celsius. In the food processor or blender, combine the nuts, some water, lemon zest, garlic, parsley, and tarragon. Create a slightly coarse paste before adding the oil and cheese to blend it further. Then season the mixture with the freshly ground pepper and salt.
Use 2 baking sheets to lay out the broccoli with 2 tbsp olive oil. Make sure that the layer is even before adding the seasoning. Roast this in your oven for not more than 8 minutes. To bake for an additional 8 minutes, you need to switch the sheets.
Once the broccoli becomes crisp-tender and brown, transfer them to the platter. This is the time to sprinkle the pesto over the dish and serve it right away!
7. Toasted Brazil Nuts with Charred Sprouts
Sprouts can give you a lot more depth and texture once you char them and add Brazil nuts.
1kg of halved brussels sprouts
150g of butter
Finely ground zest of 1 lemon
A handful of Brazil nuts
2 tbsp of olive oil
Toss the brussels sprouts in a pan with oil. Cook them for at least 5 minutes until they become charred. At this point, it’s important to cook them thoroughly. The end result needs to be firm enough. After you’ve achieved this, cool and bag them up to place them in the freezer. Then defrost the charred sprouts to cook.
Chop the Brazil nuts into pieces and lay them out on baking sheet. Place it in your oven at 180 degrees Celsius for not more than 10 minutes. This is when the nuts turn light golden. Following which store them in your airtight container or place them in the freezer.
The last step requires you to add the butter to a pan until it becomes golden. Toss all the ingredients into it. Keep the brussels sprouts as whole as possible. Once you’ve cooked them for at least 5 minutes, bring in that lemon zest. Stir it properly before serving your dish.
Wrapping It Up
Brazil nuts are very healthy for many reasons. They’re used as oil, in salads, desserts, and as snacks for their powerful vitamin and mineral capacity. You can eat them raw, roasted, salted, and in so many versatile ways to your liking.
Now that you know what makes Brazil nuts so popular and healthy, it’s time you incorporate this superfood in your lifestyle. Coupled with regular exercise and a healthy diet, you will notice a dramatic difference in your physical and mental health in just a few months. And you need not worry about the quality of Brazil nuts, you can store them in an airtight container or refrigerate them for up to several months.
Jen Miller is a former electrical engineer and product specialist with more than 20 years of product design and testing experience. She has designed more than 200 products for Fortune 500 companies, in fields ranging from home appliances to sports gear and outdoor equipment. She founded Jen Reviews to share her knowledge and critical eye for what makes consumers tick, and adopts a strict no-BS approach to help the reader filter through the maze of products and marketing hype out there. She writes regularly and has been featured on Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, The Huffington Post, Tiny Buddha and MindBodyGreen.