Description of Brazil nuts
Brazil nuts grow in the non-flooded forest regions of Brazil, Bolivia and Peru. The tree grows up to 50 meters tall, has a wide umbrella like foliage and has a life about 500 to 700 years. One mature tree bears up to 300 fruit pods in a season. The pod is a large shelled fruit (weights up to 2,5 kilos), very similar to coconut. It takes about 14 months for it to mature and then it falls down from the tree. Each pod features 10-25 seeds, which has an individual thick dark-brown colour shell. The kernel weights about 5 grams, has a three-sided shape, white meat and sweet nutty flavour. Brazil nuts are high in calories – two nuts has about 90 calories (100 g provide about 656 calories, which are equivalent of an egg). Brazilian nuts have been staple diet of Amazonian.
The health benefits of Brazil nuts
These nuts are the richest and most reliable food source of selenium. One Brazil nut provides more than the daily recommended value. Selenium lowers the risk of heart disease, liver cirrhosis and cancer, reduces allergies and inflammation. The Brazilian nuts are an especially excellent source of polyunsaturated and mono-unsaturated fatty acids (palmitoleic acid and oleic acid). These fatty acids lower LDL (“bad cholesterol”) and increase HDL (“good cholesterol”). It is a very good source of magnesium, vitamin-E and vitamin-B complex. Magnesium is important for healthy nerves and muscles and relieves PMS. Vitamin-E is a very good source of anti-oxidants, helps for skin to renew and protects it from harmful oxygen-free radicals. Vitamin-B complex (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6 and folates) is good for cellular substrate metabolism inside the body.
Due to the results of researches Mediterranean diet with monounsaturated fatty acids helps to prevent coronary artery diseases and strokes. Like almonds and pine nuts, brazil nuts are gluten free.
More about Brazil nuts
Brazil nut oil has clear yellow colour with a pleasant, sweet smell and taste and it has many traditional medicinal applications and massage therapy. This oil helps to protect skin from dryness, it is used for cooking, traditional medicines and aromatherapy.