Brazil nuts, or often also called Brazil nuts, are energy-dense nuts that are rich in nutrients with a myriad of benefits. These large beans can give your body intake of protein, fat, carbohydrates, and even meet certain mineral needs for a full day.
Brazil nuts may not be as popular as their relatives like walnuts or pistachios, especially considering the price is more expensive. In fact, beans that come from plants Bertholletia excelsa it has a taste and efficacy that is not inferior to the two. What are some examples?
Health benefits of Brazil nuts
Eating brazil nuts is believed to provide health benefits through several ways, including:
1. Maintain the function of the thyroid gland
Thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland located in front of the esophagus. This gland regulates the function of hormones essential for growth, energy formation, and body temperature regulation.
The thyroid gland needs the mineral selenium to function normally. Selenium deficiency is fairly rare, but this condition can cause damage to thyroid cells, enlarged glands, and trigger diseases related to thyroid function.
Brazil nuts are very rich in selenium. Enough to consume just one item, you can meet 175% of selenium needs in a day. In addition to selenium, the protein content in these nuts can also maintain the function of your thyroid gland.
2. Helps the treatment of thyroid disease
In addition to maintaining thyroid function, selenium in Brazil nuts also benefits people who experience thyroid dysfunction. Several previous studies have mentioned its potential in Hashimoto's disease and Grave's disease.
Hashimoto's disease causes thyroid damage so the sufferer experiences lethargy, disturbance the mood, and weight gain. While Grave's disease triggers the over production of thyroid hormone, causing sleep problems, weight loss, and bulging eyes.
Based on these studies, selenium supplements can improve the mood sufferers of Hashimoto's disease and inhibit symptoms in Grave's disease. This finding still needs to be studied further, but there's no harm in fulfilling your selenium needs with consumption of Brazil nuts.
3. Reducing the risk of heart disease
Brazil nuts contain lots of unsaturated fats, antioxidants, and selenium which are beneficial for heart health. Consumption of Brazil nuts can also affect levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) and HDL (good cholesterol) in the body.
In one 2013 study, consumption of 20-50 grams of brazil nuts every day was proven to increase HDL levels and reduce LDL. In another study, consumption of 15-25 grams of Brazil nuts is known to improve blood vessel function.
Cholesterol levels in the body and blood vessel function are important factors in maintaining heart health. By keeping both of them normal, you can reduce the risk of heart disease and blood circulation.
4. Brazil nuts are good for diabetics
Brazil nuts also provide benefits for diabetics who need to carefully choose snacks. Launch research in European Journal of Nutrition, eating just one Brazil nut for eight weeks can reduce total cholesterol and fasting blood sugar.
Other studies also mention that the intake of selenium supplements of 200 micrograms can improve the function of the hormone insulin and increase its sensitivity. Low insulin sensitivity is a factor that causes type 2 diabetes.
5. Improve immune function
Brazil nuts can enhance immune function through the zinc content in them. Without adequate zinc intake, your immune system is unable to activate T-lymphocytes, which are white blood cells that work directly against infections.
A handful of brazil nuts contain about one milligram of zinc, or about the equivalent of 10% of the daily needs of adults. This amount is enough to help maintain your immune function.
6. Prevent inflammation and ward off free radicals
Brazil nuts contain antioxidants in the form of selenium, vitamin E, and several types of phenol compounds. All of these ingredients help protect your body's cells from free radical damage.
In addition, the high selenium content also adds to the antioxidant benefits of Brazil nuts. Selenium increases the function of the enzyme glutathione peroxidase. This enzyme works to reduce inflammation in the body and ward off free radical attacks.
Brazil nuts are one of the many nuts that are beneficial to health. This fiber-rich food is beneficial for heart health, the immune system, and even able to maintain the function of the thyroid gland.
However, make sure you consume them in reasonable amounts. Selenium is good for health, but excessive intake can actually cause other disorders. So, limit consumption so as not to exceed a few eggs in a day.