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Like all tree nuts, Brazil nuts are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals beneficial to health.
Regularly eating nuts has been shown to contribute to heart health, reduce overall mortality and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, assist with weight management, reduce the risk of cancer, improve sperm quality, reduce depression and overall promote good health.
A 30g serve is around 10 Brazil nuts.
|Nutrient||Per 100g||Per 30g|
|Total fat (g)||68.5||20.6|
|Saturated fat (g)||14.8||4.44|
|Monounsaturated fat (g)||21.8||6.54|
|Polyunsaturated fat (g)||29||8.7|
|Omega 3 ALA||20||6|
|Dietary fibre (g)||8.5||2.55|
|Niacin (mg eq)||3.8||1.14|
|Folate DFE (ug)||22||6.6|
|Vitamin B6 (mg)||0.3||0.09|
|Vitamin E (mg)||5.3||1.59|
In addition to the health benefits that all tree nuts provide, Brazil nuts have been associated with:
- Increasing selenium levels in the blood, thereby improving selenium status (1,2).
A systematic review, published in 2022, found regular Brazil nut consumption resulted in improvements in various health markers, including lipid markers and fasting glucose, oxidative stress and DNA damage, and inflammation and thyroid function (3).
What makes them unique?
Compared to other tree nuts, Brazil nuts are rich in selenium and contain higher amounts of copper, magnesium and phosphorous.
- Selenium is a powerful antioxidant and helps maintain resistance to disease.
- Magnesium and phosphorus have a structural role in bone building, while copper aids in nervous system function and the formation of red blood cells, and skin and hair pigments.
A 2022 systematic review and meta-analysis of eight randomized clinical trials looked at the effect of Brazil nuts on selenium status, blood lipids, and biomarkers of oxidative stress and inflammation (2). It found Brazil nut consumption improves selenium status and impacts glutathione peroxidase activity – suggesting an antioxidant effect.
More nutrition facts
- Brazil nuts are a ‘source’ of polyunsaturated fat, copper, zinc, thiamin, niacin and vitamin E, and are high in magnesium and selenium.
- They contain a similar amount of both poly- and monounsaturated fats – important for their role in heart health.
- They are high in the amino acid arginine. Arginine is converted to nitric acid in the body which causes blood vessels to relax and remain elastic, preventing blood clotting.
- They are naturally low in sugar and sodium.
Where they are grown?
Brazil nuts can only grow in South America, as they need the rainforests of the Amazon valley of Brazil, Peru and Bolivia to grow.
Forms and best eaten with…
Brazil nuts tend to be available as whole nuts only.
They are delicious popped inside a fresh date or pitted prune, and make good butters when combined with almonds and cashews (make ‘ABC’ butter).
Remove nuts from plastic bags and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer. Nuts can be refrigerated for up to four months and frozen for up to six months.
Remember, bringing nuts back to room temperature before eating can help them taste nuttier.
- Thomson, C.D., et al., Brazil nuts: An effective way to improve selenium status. Am J Clin Nutr, 2008. 87(2): 379-84.
- Godos, J., et al., Effect of Brazil nuts on selenium status, blood lipids, and biomarkers of oxidative stress and inflammation: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. Antioxidants, 2022. 11: 403.
- da Silva, A., et al., Effects of regular Brazil Nut (Bertholletia excelsa H.B.K.) consumption on health: A systematic review of clinical trials. Foods, 2022. 11:2925. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11182925
Published July 17, 2019