Despite the name a “Brazil nut” is actually not a nut at all. What we call Brazil nuts are actually the seeds of the Brazil nut tree. Brazil nut trees grow so large that just one tree can produce 250 pounds worth of nuts in a year. As well as being tasty there are plenty of health benefits of Brazil nuts. Here are five great reasons to make this “nut” part of your diet.

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Anti-Inflammatory
The first health benefits of Brazil nuts is that they are tremendous anti-inflammatories. Many nuts, including Brazil nuts, contain ellagic acid. This acid is a potent anti-inflammatory and has been shown to protect your neurological system too. Brazil nuts also contain plenty of selenium, which is an important weapon in the fight against inflammation. In fact Brazil nuts are such potent anti-inflammatories that eating just one a day could be all it takes to improve your anti-inflammatory response.

Fights Cancer
Brazil nuts belong on any list of natural cancer-fighting foods because of the selenium and ellagic acid content. Ellagic acid in particular is an effective anticancer and antimutagenic. Selenium has also been shown to slow down and even prevent the spread of cancer. A study in China showed that increasing selenium levels brought down the levels of esophageal cancer, which is quite common in China due to air pollution. It’s also suggested that selenium can help fight cancer because it can reduce mercury levels and mercury may be something that causes cancer.

Lifts Your Mood
The best natural source of selenium in the world is the Brazil nut and selenium has been shown to prevent depression and lift spirits, meaning that Brazil nuts are a great natural mood buster. A study carried out by the Swansea University Department of Psychology showed that the less selenium people had in their diets the more stressed, anxious, and tired they were. The results were reversed after these people were given selenium. Another key element in regulated your mood is serotonin. Not only does it keep you happy but it also helps you sleep and control your appetite. Eating nuts such as Brazil nuts, almonds and walnuts can improve your serotonin levels. As such Brazil nuts make for an effective depression diet treatment plan designed to naturally improve mood through diet.

Heart Health
Brazil nuts have been shown to give your heart a healthy little boost when taken in small amounts. This is because they possess selenium, potassium, calcium and magnesium; all of which regulate blood pressure and heart health. While it is true that Brazil nuts are high in fat most of these fats are the healthy kind; unsaturated fats. Brazil nuts can also improve your HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) levels and protect you against heart attacks, heart disease, and strokes.

Thyroid Control
Your thyroid plays an important role in controlling your metabolism, heart rate, and even body temperature. The thyroid also contains a higher concentration of selenium than any other organ. Selenium is needed to stimulate the production and release of thyroid hormones so brazil nuts, which are naturally high in selenium, are great for regulating your thyroid and keeping your whole body happy and healthy.

Nutrition Facts Brazil Nuts  (1)

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Sources
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26846140
http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/467465/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1873372
http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-blog/nuts-and-health/bgp-20087724
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26545554

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Despite the name a “Brazil nut” is actually not a nut at all. What we call Brazil nuts are actually the seeds of the Brazil nut tree. Brazil nut trees grow so large that just one tree can produce 250 pounds worth of nuts in a year. As well...