Brazil nuts, selenium injection
BENEFITS OF BRAZIL NUTS
- It would help to lose weight
- Supporting cardiovascular health
- Improves the beauty of skin and hair
- Potentially anti-cancer
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- What are Brazil nuts?
- Nutritional Composition
- Sustainable consumption: favoring organic and fair trade Brazil nuts
- Dosage of Brazil nut
Contraindications and side effects
- Excessive consumption of Brazil nuts can cause the following side effects:
- History, cultivation and market of the Brazil nut
- This enzyme protects cells against oxidation and regenerates immune cells.
- It would help to lose weight
- Supporting heart health
- Improve the beauty of skin and hair
- Potentially against cancer
- Stimulate intestinal transit
- You may be interested:
What are Brazil nuts?
The Brazil nut is the fruit of the Amazon nut (Bertholletia excelsa). Being able to reach over 50 m in height by 16 m in circumference, it is a giant of the Amazon rainforest.
Like the African baobab (Adansonia digitata), the longevity of the Amazonian walnut tree is exceptional and can reach up to 1000 years.
This tree grows mainly in Brazil, but also in other tropical regions of South America, such as Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia.
It is generally found in humid environments and along the banks of the Bas-Tocantins and the River Madeira in Brazil.
Brazil nuts come from a nut that grows in the Amazon.
After flowering, which takes place from August to November, the Amazon Walnut produces large nuts that weigh up to 1.5 kg.
Each fruit contains many elongated seeds, which in turn are protected by a hard shell. Once the seed is peeled, a white almond is discovered, wrapped in a thin reddish-brown film: the famous Brazil nut.
Brazil nuts, commonly known as Amazon nuts or Brazil nuts, take the form of a small croissant.
Once dried, they are eaten as is, used for cooking or bagged for marketing. Particularly oily, they are also used to make edible oil.
Brazil nut vegetable oil is also used in cosmetics for its benefits to skin and hair.
Today, Brazil nuts are generally eaten in combination with other nuts and oil seeds: almonds, cashews, hazelnuts...
They are commonly found in energetic mixtures of dried fruits and seeds.
It must be said that they do not lack nutritional assets or beneficial properties for the body.
The Brazil nut is especially recommended to fight free radicals, stimulate intestinal transit, support cardiovascular health and improve the beauty of the skin.
Some studies have also shown its potential in cancer prevention.
- 18 amino acids, 8 of which are essential
- Vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, C, E, folate EFA
- Minerals and trace elements: selenium, copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, chlorine, iodine.
- Fats: oleic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid, α - linolenic acid
- Phenolic compounds: lignans
- Triterpenes: squalene
The benefits of Brazil nuts How do you eat Brazil nuts?
Brazil nuts are most often marketed in their dry form. Starting in December, the fruits of the Amazon nut are harvested when they fall to the ground.
They are then opened in half to extract the nuts. The nuts are dried in the sun and then sold, with or without shell.
They can be easily found on the Internet, in organic stores or in supermarkets that offer dry fruits in bulk. We prefer nuts sold with their brown skin (tegument) because they will go stale faster.
Brazil nuts are ideal as an appetizer or dessert.
Dried Brazil nuts can be eaten as an appetizer or used in the preparation of desserts: cakes, cookies, rolls, raw energy bars...
You can also make a delicious vegetable drink from Brazil nuts by mixing 15 g of nuts with 250 ml of water. Ideal in the morning cereal or in a pancake batter!
Brazil nut vegetable oil
Brazil nut vegetable oil can be used in cooking.
It is then used in the same way as classic walnut oil. It is not recommended for cooking, add it instead to salads, cold soups and toasts.
In cosmetics, Brazil nut vegetable oil will easily integrate into your beauty routine.
Add a few drops to your day cream or a little shea butter. It can also be applied as a hair mask to nourish and repair damaged hair.
Brazil nuts and berries
Because they are quite high in calories, Brazil nuts should not be eaten with other oleaginous fruits that are too high in fat, such as macadamia nuts.
Instead, combine them with berries or super low-fat foods such as goji berries or acai berries, also native to Brazil.
However, beware of excess selenium: intake should not exceed 500 micrograms (µg) per day. For your information, 100 g of goji berries provides 60 µg of selenium.
Sustainable consumption: favoring organic and fair trade Brazil nuts
As usual, it is really advisable to consume organic Brazil nuts to avoid any treatment with pesticides, to ensure a better quality of the product and to optimize its benefits.
In this case, they are often sold in organic stores, so it is easy to get them. Organic farming is also more environmentally friendly.
Fair trade products are preferably chosen to ensure that they support the work of small producers in South America.
The collection and sale of Brazil nuts is an important source of income for many people in Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia and Colombia.
Brazilian walnuts are vulnerable species, so it is also important to support cooperatives that grow them in a respectful way.
Dosage of Brazil nut
Rich in calories and selenium, Brazil nuts should be consumed in moderation.
It is advisable not to eat more than 30 g of nuts during the week. Although they are beneficial to health, you should only eat one or two nuts a day.
Contraindications and side effects
Excess selenium can have harmful effects on health: nausea, fatigue, irritability, hair loss, brittle nails... In addition, the consumption of Brazil nuts has certain contraindications:
- People who are allergic to nuts and oil seeds should avoid eating them.
- Consumption of Amazon nuts is not recommended for people suffering from high blood pressure or diabetes;
- People who are overweight or obese should consult their doctor before taking it.
Excessive consumption of Brazil nuts can cause the following side effects:
- Digestive disorders (bloating, flatulence...)
- Cramps and stomach pain.
- Weight gain.
If you experience side effects, stop taking the medication and consult a physician.
History, cultivation and market of the Brazil nut
The nuts that have always been eaten
Brazil nuts have been consumed for centuries by the people of South America.
According to this review on its use in the Amazon, traces have been found in a cave dating back to the Paleolithic! This means that they were already consumed by the ancient hunter-gatherers of the Amazon.
Brazil nuts are distinguished by their exceptional selenium content.
While spirulina (Arthrospira platensis), maca (Lepidium Meyenii) and birch sap also contain selenium, their content is much lower than that of Brazil nuts.
With 178 µg (micrograms) of selenium per 100 g, a single nut is enough to cover our daily needs!
Selenium is a trace element that plays an important role in fighting free radicals and protecting the body. In fact, it has an antioxidant effect and participates actively in the production of glutathione peroxidase.
This enzyme protects cells against oxidation and regenerates immune cells.
In addition, glutathione peroxidase supports the activity of antioxidant vitamins such as vitamin C. Therefore, a selenium deficiency often leads to a decrease in immunity.
As this analysis of the composition of Brazil nuts shows, they also contain vitamins, including vitamin E, and amino acids (such as methionine and cysteine) that help neutralize free radicals in the body.
This review by the Universities of São Paulo and Melbourne focused on the nutritional composition of the Brazil nut and its action on the antioxidant system.
This study from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), conducted on hypertensive and dyslipidemic patients, shows how consumption of Brazil nuts increased the antioxidant activity of glutathione peroxidase.
It would help to lose weight
The fiber contained in Brazil nuts promotes and prolongs the feeling of satiety. Like chia seeds (Salvia hispanica) and psyllium (Plantago ovata), they are natural appetite suppressants that help control appetite and weight.
However, they should be eaten in moderation, as they are high in calories (702 kcal per 100 g) and high in fat.
This study from the Federal University of Goiás (Brazil), conducted on rats, examined the prebiotic properties and potential of nuts, including Brazil nuts, in the prevention and treatment of overweight and obesity.
Supporting heart health
Like most nuts, Brazil nuts contain important nutrients for cardiovascular health.
In addition to fiber, they contain heart-healthy fatty acids such as oleic acid (omega-9), stearic acid and α-linolenic acid (omega-3).
All these fatty acids help prevent cardiovascular disease by maintaining normal blood cholesterol levels.
They act in particular on the concentration of LDL cholesterol or "bad cholesterol".
Finally, Brazil nuts are an interesting source of vegetable proteins that also reduce the level of "bad cholesterol", which is responsible for heart disease.
This study from Pennsylvania State University in the United States, which includes several clinical trials, demonstrates the beneficial effects of nut consumption on the heart and on heart disease.
Improve the beauty of skin and hair
Whether consumed or applied as a vegetable oil, the Brazil nut contributes to the beauty of the skin thanks to its high content of vitamin E (5.33 mg per 100 g).
This vitamin has antioxidant properties that protect the skin from premature aging. In addition, it repairs and helps maintain the elasticity and tone of the skin.
Brazil nut vegetable oil is softening, calming and moisturizing. It is especially recommended for dry, sensitive and reactive skin. It can also be applied directly to hair to repair hair fiber and damaged ends.
This human study from the Government Medical College in Srinagar, India, shows the benefits of vitamin E for the skin.
Potentially against cancer
Studies have highlighted the potential of the Brazil nut in the prevention of certain cancers.
In fact, the selenium it contains, associated with vitamin E, may reduce the risk of breast, colon, lung, and prostate cancer.
By stimulating glutathione peroxidase activity, selenium protects cells and plays a crucial role in the elimination and detoxification of cancer-causing agents.
This study by the Roswell Park Cancer Institute (United States), conducted on rats, examined the effect of selenium from Brazil nuts on cancer prevention.
Stimulate intestinal transit
Brazil nuts not only contain minerals and trace elements, but are also rich in fiber. Thus, 100 g of nuts provide 7.5 g of fiber, which is more than cashews (4.4 g per 100 g) or walnuts (6.7 g per 100 g).
Fiber is a nutrient known for its benefits to the digestive system and the intestines.
They relieve discomfort and transit disorders (constipation, bloating, etc.) thanks to their natural laxative effect, facilitate progression in the colon and balance the intestinal microbiota.
However, studies are still needed to evaluate its effectiveness in improving traffic.
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