One of the richest food sources of the antioxidant, anticancer mineral selenium, Brazil nuts are also a good source of calcium and magnesium for healthy bones.

Brazil nuts have a very high total fat content. Much of this is monounsaturated, but there is also a reasonable amount of polyunsaturates and a high content of omega-6 linoleic acid, one of the essential fats. When cooked at high temperatures, these fats oxidize and are no longer healthy, so Brazil nuts are best eaten raw. The nut is extraordinary in its extremely high content of the mineral selenium and, on average, just one to two nuts can provide a whole day’s recommended intake. Selenium helps protect us from the diseases of aging. The nuts are also a good source of magnesium and calcium. Extremely rich in selenium, a mineral often lacking in modern diets. Antioxidant, anti-aging, and anticancer. High magnesium content protects heart and bones. A good source of vitamin E for healthy skin and healing.

Practical tips:

Keep unshelled nuts in a cool, dry, and dark place for up to six months. The shells of Brazil nuts are tough to crack so purchase a good quality nutcracker. Shelled nuts should be stored in the refrigerator and consumed within a few weeks because their high fat content means they go rancid quickly. They are best eaten raw as a handy snack or added to your breakfast muesli.

Brazil nuts are not actually nuts, but seeds that are enclosed in a hard fruit the size of a coconut. The trees grow wild in the Amazon rainforests of Brazil and are rarely successfully cultivated.

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