5 Health Benefits of Brazil Nuts

Brazil nuts are extremely delicious and tasty treats, loaded with health benefits. It is true that they are high in calories, but they also provide high amounts of beneficial nutrients that your body needs in order to function properly and protect itself against diseases. Read on to discover some of the most significant Brazil nuts health benefits and understand why they are good for you.

1. High Selenium Content

The greatest health benefit of Brazil nuts lies in their high selenium content, and this is what makes them so special. One single kernel provides 100% of the daily value for selenium, while 1 ounce contains as much as 536.8 mg of this nutrient, meaning 766% of the DV!

The body cannot produce selenium by itself, so it must be obtained through food and water.
Although not being an antioxidant, selenium plays an important role in the antioxidant defense system of the human body. It boosts the activity of antioxidants, for their functionality greatly depends on the presence of selenium. Selenium is an essential component of two important antioxidant enzymes, known as glutathione peroxidise and thioredoxin reductase, and it also increases the vitamin E function in the body.

High levels of selenium in Brazil nuts are therefore associated with many health benefits. Listed below are some of the most important ones.

  • Selenium helps fight free radicals and boosts the immune system. It encourages the production of glutathione, the most important antioxidant enzyme that defends our body against free radical damage.
  • Selenium is essential to thyroid gland function.
  • Selenium aids in protection against breast and prostate cancer, as well as other forms of cancer
  • Selenium prevents blood clotting and helps protect from heart diseases.

2. Contains Unsaturated Fats and Omega-6 Fatty Acids

Brazilian nuts contain a small amount of saturated fats and very high levels of monounsaturated fats. They provide 18.8 grams of total fat, of which 25% are saturated fats, 41% are monounsaturated, and 34% are polyunsaturated.

  • They are particularly rich in palmitoleic acid and oleic acid, which help lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol levels in the blood. These monounsaturated fats are therefore very useful in preventing coronary heart diseases, heart attacks and strokes.
  • Brazil nuts contain also good amounts of omega-6 fatty acids, which also protect against heart diseases.

These delicious nuts are however very fattening and you should consume only one serving per day, in order to keep the daily calorie intake under control and maintain proper weight.

3. Complete Protein

Brazil nuts are good sources of complete proteins, meaning that they provide all of the essential amino acids needed for human growth and development, and required for muscle tissue repair.
Another great Brazil nuts health benefit comes from their high levels of an important amino acid know as methionine. Methionine plays an essential role in the prevention of chronic illnesses, as well as in fending off premature aging symptoms and signs.

Brazil nuts are actually the seeds of a big fruit from a pretty massive rainforest tree.
About 15 to 30 seeds sit in a large round pod that weighs around five pounds.
The ripe pods fall to the ground, where they’re harvested by people… or carried off by animals.

4. Important Minerals

Besides selenium, Brazil nuts contain high amounts of other important minerals such as copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and zinc. These minerals enhance a wide range of bodily functions, while strengthening the immune system and promoting good health.

5. Vitamin E and B-complex Group Vitamins

Brazil nuts are also a good source of vitamin E and B-complex group vitamins, especially thiamin, or vitamin B1. 1 ounce (6 to 8 nuts) contains 0.17mg of thiamin and provides 11% of the recommended daily value of this essential nutrient.

Thiamin helps keep the nervous system healthy and is important for energy metabolism and heart health.

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that maintains the integrity of cell membranes and protects skin from free radical damage.

Although a little fattening, Brazil nuts are an extremely nutritive and healthy plant food!
 by JESSICA   July 23rd, 2012 
source: youqueen.com


    • ~ Thank you ~

      What are omega-6 fatty acids? Can eating omega-6 fatty acids cause heart disease?

      Omega-6 fatty acids are a type of unsaturated fat found in vegetable oils, nuts and seeds. When eaten in moderation and in place of the saturated fats found in meats and dairy products, omega-6 fatty acids can be good for your heart.

      At one time, some researchers believed that omega-6 fatty acids metabolize in your body to become a type of fatty acid that can inflame and damage the lining of your arteries. That damage causes narrowing in your arteries, which can lead to heart disease.

      However, after reviewing the evidence, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that people eat between 5 and 10 percent of their daily calories from omega-6 fatty acids, an amount most people already eat. Replacing saturated fats from foods such as meat, butter, cheese and pastries with plant-based foods that contain omega-6 fatty acids, including vegetable oils, nuts and seeds, will help you achieve the AHA recommendations

      Donald Hensrud, M.D.

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