Brazil Nuts are to die for. Figuratively, and LITERALLY.
As David Taylor, a researcher for Smithsonian Magazine, explains:
A single pod of Brazil Nuts can just about fit in a man’s hand. But whenever a good-sized pod tumbles from its perch some eight stories above the forest floor, people take notice … the four- to six-pound pods hit the ground with a force that can — and does — kill a man. At times they literally plant themselves on impact.
And then there are other risks that come with harvesting this nut, including opposing Castañeros (nut harvesters) that will try to cut your head off to eliminate competition. Not to mention forces of nature in the form of vipers, jaguars, and malaria carrying mosquitoes.
Why people keep on harvesting these nuts is, of course, a testament to the demand that Brazil nuts create.
We are, after all, talking about a superfood. According to Dr. Richard Mattes of Purdue University, via NY Times:
They’re high in protein, and protein is satiating. They’re high in fiber, and fiber is satiating. They’re rich in unsaturated fats, and there is some literature that suggests that has satiety value. They’re crunchy, and that would suggest just the mechanical aspect of chewing generates a satiety signal.
A good combination of protein, fiber, fat, and crunch means that snacking on Brazil Nuts can help you stay full for hours, nullifying your cravings and making you eat less for the remainder of the day.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, my friend. Brazil nuts also unleash the man in you, in more ways than one.
Want to raise testosterone levels naturally?
Get your daily boost of testosterone in seconds with Brazil nuts.
These nuts are loaded with Magnesium, and magnesium plays an important role in energy regulation, particularly in how your body uses Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). ATP is your body’s energy currency, and it needs to be bound to a magnesium ion for it to be active.
Magnesium also plays a vital role in increasing testosterone levels, both among athletes and sedentary individuals. A good dose of magnesium leads to optimum energy regulation, which also means optimum fat metabolism.
Beyond energy regulation, magnesium also offers a host of other health benefits such as better calcium absorption (healthy bones = more muscles), better cardiovascular function (treating hypertension), and the treatment of diabetes.
The fats in Brazil nuts are also precursors to testosterone production (cholesterol is needed to “manufacture” testosterone).
And then there’s selenium (which we’ll talk more about in a little while) that helps you boost testosterone levels. Selenium is an important trace mineral that resides in the seminal ducts and testes, aiding in sperm and testosterone production.
Want to grow more muscle?
Brazil Nuts are “complete proteins”, meaning that they contain all nine essential amino acids for muscle growth and development, as well as repair.
A complete protein profile means that Brazil nuts should kickstart protein synthesis like no other expensive commercial protein powder supplement can do. Bodybuilders, in fact, turn to these nuts for better muscle gains.
A cup of Brazil Nuts contains 19 grams of protein, that’s one-third of the daily recommended protein intake (adult men need about 56 grams of protein a day).
Want to accelerate fat metabolism?
ONE Brazil nut is enough to give you the daily recommended intake of selenium, and selenium helps your body metabolize fat.
About 6 to 8 nuts, which weighs an ounce, has 544 mcg of selenium. That’s almost 800% of the daily recommended intake!
Selenium is important because it facilitates processes in your Thyroid, specifically the conversion of the inactive T4 hormone into the active T3 hormone.
200 mcg of Selenium a day – one or two Brazil Nuts a day, in other words – can aid in such conversion, and T3 function helps you regulate energy levels in your body better.
Optimal energy regulation, of course, means better fat metabolism, more energy, and better body composition.
Want to regulate your cholesterol levels?
If you’re having trouble with your cholesterol levels, Brazil nuts should be your snack of choice.
Brazil nuts are a rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) as well as polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). Both are generally good fats, although too much of the latter is bad for you.
The nuts specifically contain MUFAs in the form of palmitoleic acid and oleic acid. Both help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol while at the same time increasing HDL (good) cholesterol in your blood stream.
These fats are the reason why Brazil nuts are associated with a number of cardiovascular and metabolic benefits.
Want an endless supply of Brazil nuts?
Alas! You can’t have too much of a good thing…
Remember, while the fat in Brazil nuts gives your blood a healthy lipid profile, too much PUFA may lead to increased risks for cancer as well as inflammatory diseases such as asthma and arthritis.
Higher amounts of selenium may also pose problems. Selenosis, a condition that results in capillary damage due to high levels of selenium in the blood, leads to the loss of skin, hair, and nails.
Too much selenium may also turn your blood lipid profile for the worse, increasing LDL and total cholesterol levels as opposed to keeping them within normal ranges.
That said, keep your intake to a serving a day. These nuts are delicious and are easy to overeat. A half-cup should be enough to give you all the wonderful health benefits without causing serious side effects.
As always, I’d love to hear from you.
If you have questions that I can answer, the comments section is always a good place to start a good discussion.
And good discussions call for delicious food, so while you’re at it, go get yourself a half-cup of Brazil nuts.
That should be double the fun!