Posted on Oct 29, 2019, 2 p.m.
Research suggests that eating nutrient dense Brazil nuts are not only a healthy and nutritious snack but they also can help to reduce inflammation, improve heart health, and support thyroid function.
Brazil nuts can be consumed raw or blanched, they have a smooth and almost buttery texture with a nutty flavour. They are one of the healthiest nuts being a rich source of healthy fats, protein, and energy: once ounce contains 187 calories, 4.06 grams of protein, 3.33 grams of carbohydrates, 2.13 grams of protein, and 18 grams of healthy fats. These nuts are packed with high levels of monounsaturated fats which can assist in weight management, reduce inflammation, and prevent heart disease, according to a study published in the journal Nutrients.
These nuts are also one of the best sources of the mineral selenium which plays roles in immune response, metabolism, and reproductive health as each nut on average contains 96 mcg which exceeds the RDV of 55 mcg. Higher intake of selenium can lead to reduced cancer risk, enhanced immunity, and improved moods.
Selenium is also important to production of hormones like T3 and proteins that help to protect the thyroid gland from damage which is responsible for secreting hormones that help with temperature regulation, metabolism, and growth. Low levels of selenium has been linked to reduced thyroid activity and an increased risk of thyroid disorders.
Maintaining adequate selenium intake can help to improve symptoms of thyroid disorders and supplementation has been shown to enhance mood and immune function in those with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Those with Grave’s disease thyroid disorder also benefit from consuming selenium rich Brazil nuts according to a study published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine which showed high intake improved thyroid function in those with this autoimmune disease.
Brazil nuts are rich in antioxidants which help to keep cells healthy by neutralizing free radicals that cause damage, research suggests 20-50 grams of Brazil nuts can significantly decrease levels of inflammatory markers in the blood.
Brazil nuts contain heart healthy fats, such as MUFAs and PUFAs that help to lower the risk of heart disease, a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that they can help lower bad cholesterol by at least 25%.
Brazil nuts contain polyphenol ellagic acid which has protective effects on the brain, along with the antioxidants, consuming these nuts can help to improve cognitive function, especially in older adults.
Brazil nuts are little powerhouses that can help to provide health benefits backed by science which makes them a good food to add to any diet, provide there is no allergy. To avoid the possibility of excessive selenium intake it is recommended to consume them in moderation.
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This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.