As more and more people began to realize its amazing nutritional profile, food makers started turning it into everything from sandwich spread to milk. Well, history is repeating itself, but this time, all eyes are on the mighty Brazil nut. As the buzz continues to grow about the culinary and nutritional champion, the odds of it taking first place in the nut aisle popularity contest is looking pretty good. We can’t say we’re surprised, either— this tiny nut is pretty mighty!
What makes the unsung hero of the nut world such a powerful health food? For starters, it’s the richest known food source of selenium out there, with just two of the tiny nuts providing more than a day’s worth of the mineral. Not only does selenium play a key role in metabolism, immunity and reproductive health, but it also helps the body absorb vitamin E, which can help ward off cataracts later in life. Not to mention, Brazil nuts are packed with health-boosters like copper, zinc, potassium, riboflavin, heart-healthy fats and magnesium, a mineral many women are deficient in (especially those taking birth control pills).
And the taste? If you’ve tried them before you’ll likely agree its rich, creamy flavor is pretty appetizing. This is why health food manufactures and eateries are starting to throw the half-moon shaped nut into everything from green juices and chia pods to nut butters, pestos and vegan cookie and cheese alternatives. Interested in snacking on them? Add the nut to oatmeal with some fruit and honey, pop them in your mouth raw, or roast them for 10 minutes with a bit of maple syrup and salt.
Our only word of warning is to keep portion in check. High levels of selenium can be harmful, so stick to a serving (5-6 nuts a day).