Bertholletia excelsa is known as Brazil nut and it is a tree belonging to the Lecythidaceae family that can be up to 50 meters height. The fruits are woody capsules that have inside the seeds that, in their turn, are protected by a hard shell. This shell should be broken and the Brazil nuts are obtained, well known and eaten all over the world. These nuts are a high protein food and contain mineral salts, such as magnesium, phosphorus, that plays an important role in a wide range of processes for the production of energy used by the body, potassium, manganese but, above all, selenium, with a high antioxidant power, able to counteract the free radicals, to support the immune system, helpful to protect from the inflammations and to promote the functionalities of the thyroid. According to a scientific study, published in 2013 on the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism and performed by a team of Brazilian researchers, eating Brazil nuts may have a role in lowering the levels of LDL cholesterol and, at the same time, increasing the HDL cholesterol, the good one, after 9 hours from the consumption of nuts. This effect, on the basis of the results of the study, is due to the action of the selenium.
In addition to this, these nuts bring also vitamins such as vitamins of group B, C and vitamin E, another powerful antioxidant able to counteract the aging processes. Finally, the Brazil nuts contain omega 3 fatty acids, important to keep under control the levels of cholesterol, and fibers, that improve the digestive processes. Brazil nuts are a perfect snack for mid-morning, 2-3 Brazil nuts together with a few cashew nuts, walnuts and raisins are the right choice for getting nutrients and energy. However, don’t exaggerate with the consumption of Brazil nuts because, like all dry fruit, are a high calorie food, in addition to this can also cause allergies.
Then, because of the risk of aflatoxin contamination, carcinogenic substances produced by a mold and that can be found on the surface of the nuts as a consequence of wrong storage conditions, remember not to keep the Brazil nuts in warm and wet places and choose always products purchased in trusted shops.