Not Too Nuts!
By Alyssa Adler
Similar to all nuts, Brazil nuts are nutrient dense and contain high amounts of fats, fiber, protein and antioxidants (NIH). The fats in Brazil nuts are mostly polyunsaturated and monounsaturated, which are heart healthy and help lower cholesterol. These nuts are also a good source of calcium, magnesium and potassium.
Brazil nuts contain high amounts of the element selenium. In fact, one Brazil nut alone gives you all the selenium that you need for the day! According to the National Institute of Health, selenium is suggested to have preventative effects with cancer such as targeting DNA repair, cell destruction, and immune system functioning.
Brazil nuts can be found in grocery stores raw (shelled or unshelled), roasted or salted. The high fat content in these nuts makes them more susceptible to rancidity when exposed to air or sunlight. But, buying these nuts in the shell allows for a longer shelf life. Look for nuts that are whole, firm, unbroken and brown in color. Store these nuts in an airtight bag in the refrigerator to preserve freshness.
As nuts are high in calories, be sure to stick to the correct portion size of 30g, or around 10 brazil nuts.
Brazil nuts have a variety of uses in the kitchen. Consume these nuts for a snack, or add them over a fruit or vegetable salad. Brazil nuts are also used as a topper on baked goods, puddings, and fruitcakes. Additionally, Brazil nut oil is an ingredient used in baking or salad dressings. Although Brazil nuts are extremely versatile, it is important to be mindful of the total consumption of Brazil nuts due to high aflatoxin levels.
Have some brazil nuts with vanilla yogurt for a simple summer breakfast, of spice things up by using brazil nuts in this recipe– just chop them up a bit and toss in spices for a flavorful snack. They are also delicious when chopped and added to salads- the possibilities are endless!
Alyssa Adler is a Boston University Graduate from Long Island, New York. She was CFYL’s 2016 summer web intern after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition Sciences with a concentration in Dietetics. She has since gone on to earn her Masters degree, and is now a Clinical Nutritionist at Mt. Sinai’s St. Luke’s hospital here in New York City. Alyssa has a food blog called Red Delicious and Nutritious which focuses on healthy eating and living and how decadent foods can be made wholesome and delicious. A woman after our own heart!
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