The Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa) is the best and most effective natural source of selenium . This unique kernel is found only in the forests of the Amazon, where the trees are wild and not even cultivated. Brazil nuts do not grow in any other part of the world. It is characterized by a large elliptical shape (3 times greater than almonds) with slightly tapered ends and is extremely helpful, as long as you do not overdo its quantities.
Brazil nut is from a South American tree species of the family Lecythidaceae. The home country of Brazil nuts is considered to be Brazil, but it is still found in Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru and Venezuela. The rich in selenium, protein, and fat nuts are also very useful and very delicious with a flavor reminiscent of pine nuts.
The fame of the Brazilian nut in Europe comes after the discovery of the New World. Legend tells that a Spanish officer decided to give his starving and exhausted soldiers Brazil nuts . After a while the soldiers regained their strength, resulting in the Spaniards bringing the then unknown nuts to the continent.
In fact, the Brazilian nut trees are among the tallest in the Amazon rainforest. Their height reaches 50 meters high, and life expectancy is up to 500 and even700 years. When Brazilian nuts ripen, they can provide up to 300 fruit pods for the season. Each individual pod weighs up to 2, 5 kg, but there are up to 15 nuts inside.
Actually pod is not a precise definition - the fruit of Brazilian walnut is called Bertholleti (Latin) and is a hard capsule, in which the nuts are enveloped by strong shells are like a fan. Naturally, during the past centuries Brazil nuts were one of the main foods of the local South Americans. Today it is considered that the cultivation of these trees in the Brazilian Amazon jungle protects it from logging.
Composition of a Brazilian nut
Brazil nuts are known as one of the most nutritious foods. They have very high nutritional value and are full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The most important quality of the Brazilian nut is its huge volumes of selenium, making it the largest natural source of this element.
The daily dose of selenium per person on average is about 55 to 100 mg, in 100 g of nuts, there is 1417 mg. Selenium is an antioxidant that protects youth and kills the harmful effects of free radicals.
Being rich in protein and fiber, Brazil nuts help us control hunger, and a few of these large kernels are able to satiate us for many hours to come.
Omega fatty acids are plentiful in Brazil nuts. Predominant is the content of omega-6 fatty acids, which is certain to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. In large doses Brazil nuts also contain copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus and zinc.
In 100 grams of Brazil nuts contains:
14.32 g protein
12.27 g carbohydrate
66.43 g fat
1917 mg selenium
2.43 mg of iron
5.73 mg vitamin E
725 mg phosphorus
376 mg of magnesium
180 mg calcium
4.2 mg of zinc
Benefits of Brazil Nuts
Health benefits of the regular consumption of only 2 nuts Brazil nuts can be enormous. This dose completely satisfies your daily need of selenium, but also gets you lots of magnesium, which is important for bones and prevents the extraction of calcium from the bones. It is proved that Brazil nuts have anti- cancerogenic properties - they can stop the development of malignant tumors.
There is evidence that these nuts are loyal sidekicks in fighting male infertility and early menopause, in the fight against cataracts, atherosclerosis of the heart and blood vessels. Furthermore, these delicious and healthy nuts are nutritious food for those suffering from celiac disease (permanent food intolerance to gluten).
The ingredients in it help reduce bad cholesterol by controlling lipid metabolism in the body. This in turn is a preventive measure against heart attack and stroke. Brazil nuts can help keep youth for long time too.
The high content of selenium in Brazil nuts helps strengthen the immune system. It is an especially useful food during the winter months when we tend to fall into depression. Selenium acts as a ward against blight and lack of humor.
The composition of the miraculous nut involves lots of calcium and copper, which helps prevent anemia and osteoporosis. Large amounts of manganese are important even for the strength of cartilage tissue.
From Brazil nuts, oil is also produced, which has many applications. You can often find it in cosmetic products you use. Brazil nut oil has a lot of applications in traditional medicine in the manufacture of paints, food and therapeutic massages.
The oil is characterized by a clear yellow color and has a pleasant sweet flavor. It is proven to soothe the skin and can prevent it from drying out. An interesting fact is that Brazil nut oil is considered the best oil for lubricating watches.
Dangers of Brazil nuts
As already indicated, the Brazilian nut is extremely useful, but only in moderation. It takes only two nuts a day to meet the needs of your body. Otherwise, the consumption of large quantities of selenium in the body can be quite dangerous. Selenium Overdose causes fatigue, irritability, headaches and stomach trouble.