Brazil Nuts – The Healthy Nuts
Brazil nuts are commonly eaten raw or blanched and are high in protein, fiber,selenium, thiamine, copper and magnesium — and in addition to being the best selenium food source in the world, they provide numerous benefits for our health.
1. Brazil Nuts Boost Thyroid Health
The thyroid gland has more selenium content than any other organ in the body. Selenium is an important component of molecules that help your body create and use thyroid hormones. Research links thyroid issues with selenium deficiency.
Another study had also found that individuals with thyroid problems could increase their selenium intake through Brazil nut supplementation – which had also resulted in improved thyroid functioning.
The selenium in Brazil nuts also protects the body from antibodies that cause thyroid disease.
2. Aid Weight Loss
Brazil nuts are rich in fiber, one nutrient that can make you feel full and discourage overeating. The nuts are also rich in arginine, an amino acid that can aid weight loss. Arginine can increase energy expenditure and ultimately promote fat loss.
The selenium in Brazil nuts also keeps your metabolism working efficiently – and this burns off maximum calories.
3. Brazil Nuts Enhance Brain Health
One study found that older individuals who took just one Brazil nut daily for six months saw better verbal abilities and spatial skills. The selenium in the nuts also boosts antioxidant activity that can protect the brain from damage. And the ellagic acid in the nuts, as per research, has anti-inflammatory effects that can protect the brain.
The selenium in the nuts can also elevate mood and prevent depression. The mineral can increase serotonin levels, and this results in a better mood.
4. Help In Digestion
Brazil nuts are good sources of both soluble and insoluble fibers. While the former helps food move through the digestive tract, the latter helps in bowel movement.
5. Contribute To Hair Growth
The deficiency of selenium can lead to hair loss. This is because the mineral helps your body process the proteins required for hair growth.
Selenium also stimulates the hair follicles and encourages hair growth.
That’s about the benefits of Brazil nuts. There are several other nutrients in the nuts that make them what they are. Let’s take a look at them now.
6. Mood Lifter
As mentioned, the No. 1 food source on the planet for selenium is brazil nuts. Selenium has been scientifically proven to lift mood and prevent depression. One study conducted by the Swansea University Department of Psychology in Wales and published in Biological Psychiatry examined selenium’s effects on depression, anxiety and mood.
This double-blind study examined 50 volunteers who were given a placebo or 100 micrograms of selenium on a daily basis, and three times throughout the five weeks they filled out a “Profile of Moods Stats” questionnaire.
Results showed that the lower the level of selenium in the diet, the more reports of anxiety, depression and tiredness, all of which were decreased following five weeks of selenium therapy.
Brazil nuts are great for inflammatory issues in the body because they’re tremendous anti-inflammatory foods. Brazil nuts, as do most nuts, contain ellagic acid. Why is this important? Ellagic acid has high anti-inflammatory properties in the body and can even be neuroprotective.
Another important anti-inflammatory agent in Brazil nuts is selenium, which is hugely important when combating inflammation in the body. Selenium takes part in antioxidant activity that defends against both free radical damage and inflammation.
8. Four Brazil Nuts Once a Month…
One of the craziest studies I read all year involved feeding people a single serving of Brazil nuts to see what it would do to the cholesterol levels of healthy volunteers. They gave ten men and women a single meal containing zero, one, four, or eight Brazil nuts, and found that the ingestion of just that single serving almost immediately improved cholesterol levels. LDL, so-called “bad” cholesterol levels in the blood, was significantly lower starting just nine hours after the ingestion of nuts, and by no insignificant amount, nearly 20 points within a day. Even drugs don’t work that fast. It takes statins around four days to have a significant effect.
But that’s not even the crazy part.
The researchers went back and measured their cholesterol five days later, and then 30 days later. Now, keep in mind they weren’t eating Brazil nuts this whole time. They just had that single serving of Brazil nuts a month before and their cholesterol was still down 30 days later. It went down and stayed down, after eating just four nuts… That’s nuts!