10 Health Benefits Of Brazil Nuts

By jolene
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Brazil nuts come from the Brazil nut tree that originated from South America. The tree is native to eastern Colombia, Guianas, Brazil, Venezuela, eastern Bolivia, and eastern Peru. A large tree reaching 50 meters tall and measuring 1 to 3meters in diameter, it is one of the largest trees found in the Amazon rainforests. Living about 500 years or more, the stem is often straight without branches in its lower half. It also has a large crown of branches that is often above the canopy of the surrounding trees.

Since it is illegal to cut down these magnificent trees in Brazil, it can often be found in various areas producing heavy and rigid fruits that may pose a threat to people and vehicles who happen to be passing under the tree. Although Brazil nuts can be harvested from plantations, the production is often low and is not economically viable. In 2014, the production of Brazil nuts is about 95,000 tonnes globally with the largest producers from Bolivia and Brazil.

Health Benefit Of Brazil Nuts #1: Increase Cardiovascular Health

Many experts have touted the benefits of nut consumption as it helps to lower low density lipoprotein levels which in turn improves cardiovascular health. Since Brail nuts have a very high amount of healthy unsaturated fats or high-density lipoprotein omega-3 fatty acids, palmitoleic acid, and oleic acid, it can be greatly beneficial for cardiovascular health.

The contents of the Brazil nuts such as unsaturated fats, selenium, vitamin E, and magnesium can help improve heart health. Although the consumption of nuts are great for the heart, it should be practiced along with decreasing stress, exercise, and better lifestyle habits.

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Health Benefit Of Brazil Nuts #2: Lower Cholesterol Levels

Cholesterol is an important lipid that helps to maintain the integrity and fluidity of membrane structures in the cell. It is also crucial as a precursor for the biosynthesis of steroid hormones, vitamin D, and bile acids.

Since high cholesterol is associated with an increased risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease, the standard management of high cholesterol often involves medication such as statins and fibrates. Many studies have found that the consumption of nuts can help reduce cholesterol levels due to the presence of heart healthy fats.

Health Benefit Of Brazil Nuts #3: Anti-inflammatory Effects

Brazil nuts have anti-inflammatory properties due to the presence of selenium levels and ellagic acid. Ellagic acid is a natural substance that can be found in cherries, walnuts, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries.

Selenium is important as it is involved in antioxidant activity that can protect cells against inflammation and free radical damage. A study observed that the consumption of one Brazil nut daily was able to increase the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory response in the body.

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Health Benefit Of Brazil Nuts #4: Fight Cancer

Since Brazil nuts are a source of ellagic acid, it can help fight cancer as ellagic acid binds to chemicals that causes cancer. It may also prevent cancer cell growth. However, since ellagic acid is eliminated quickly and poorly absorbed, these characteristics may result in the limitation of its usefulness as a routinely recommended medicine.

However, there are many patients who still take ellagic acid supplements for cancer. The presence of selenium in Brazil nuts have also been found to prevent and lower the incidence of cancer. A study observed that the there is an inverse association between serum selenium levels and incidence of esophageal cancer.

Health Benefit Of Brazil Nuts #5: Improving Mental Function

Since Brazil nuts contain ellagic acid, it may be beneficial for those who are looking to improve their mental function. Studies have observed that the consumption of ellagic acid for 12 weeks were able to improve IQ and mental function among overweight males.

However, this was not observed among males with normal body weight. More research on a larger and longer scale will be required to confirm these findings. Ellagic acid has also been thought to have neuroprotective benefits.

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Health Benefit Of Brazil Nuts #6: Improve Mood

Due to the high content of selenium in brazil nuts, it is possible that Brazil nuts can help with improving mood as selenium has been proven to prevent depression and lift mood. A study examining the effects of selenium on mood, anxiety, and depression found that low levels of selenium were associated with increased reports of tiredness, depression, and anxiety.

These participants then reported decreased negative emotions after five weeks of selenium therapy. Also, researchers found that individuals have higher levels of serotonin after consuming nuts such as almonds, Brazil nuts, and walnuts. Serotonin has also been associated with mood regulation, appetite, and sleep.

Health Benefit Of Brazil Nuts #7: Boosts Testosterone

The high content of selenium in brazil nuts also means that it can be considered as a testosterone superfood. Selenium is important as it also improves the volume, quality, and motility of sperm due to the increased testosterone levels.

Another important factor is the presence of L-arginine in Brazil nuts that can be beneficial for those who suffer from erectile dysfunction. It is important to note that the consumption of Brazil nuts should not replace any medical therapy recommended by medical professionals.

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Health Benefit Of Brazil Nuts #8: Thyroid Function

The thyroid is an important organ in the body that helps with the regulation of metabolism which in turn controls the body temperature, heart rate, and more. Selenium is a crucial component which is necessary for the production and utilization of thyroid hormones. This is also the reason why Brazil nuts can be greatly beneficial to help regulate thyroid function.

Studies have shown that there is an association between selenium deficiency and thyroid metabolism. A study in Brazil found that individuals with lower levels of T3 thyroid hormones saw improvement in their thyroid hormone levels when they increased their selenium levels through the consumption of Brazil nuts.

Health Benefit Of Brazil Nuts #9: Improve Skin

Brazil nuts contain thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin E, vitamin C, magnesium, phosphorus manganese zinc, selenium, and many more vitamins and minerals. The many nutrients present in Brazil nuts helps improve skin health. The omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin C, selenium, and vitamin E helps to improve the elasticity of the skin and give it a healthy glow.

Selenium also helps to stimulate glutathione which is an antioxidant that removes free radicals that causes skin cancer and wrinkles. Brazil nut oil can be beneficial for those with psoriasis and eczema as it is an excellent emollient.

Health Benefit Of Brazil Nuts #10: Improves Immune System

Like any other foods that have a high concentration of nutrients, brazil nuts can help strengthen the immune system as the presence of organic compounds, antioxidants, and vitamins help stimulate the production of antioxidant compounds and white blood cells.

The nutrients present also plays a role in the growth, wound healing, and repair of ells and tissues. High magnesium levels in Brazil nuts also increase nutrient uptake efficiency in the digestive system. All these factors combined help improve the immune system.

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