Brazil nuts come from the South American Bertholletia excelsa, or Brazil nut, tree. They are a good source of healthful fats, protein, fiber, and selenium.
Despite its name, the Brazil nut is technically a seed rather than a nut. By definition, nuts are hard-shelled fruits that contain a single, large seed. Walnuts and pistachios are good examples.
Brazil nuts may offer surprising and powerful nutritional benefits, including boosting heart health, providing antioxidants, and improving brain function.
In this article, we discuss the health benefits of Brazil nuts, their risks, and how to add them to the diet.
Brazil nuts in a bowl
Brazil nuts are a healthful source of essential nutrients.
Brazil nuts are among the richest dietary sources of selenium, an essential mineral with antioxidant properties. Selenium plays an important role in reproduction, metabolism, and immune health.
A single Brazil nut contains 68 to 91 micrograms (mcg) of selenium, meaning that just one nut per day can provide the daily recommended adult allowance of 55 mcg.
In addition to selenium, Brazil nuts contain plenty of protein, essential minerals, and healthful fats.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a serving of three Brazil nuts contains the following nutrients:
- 99 calories
- 2.15 grams (g) of protein
- 10.06 g of fat
- 1.76 g of carbohydrate
- 1.10 g of fiber
- 109 milligrams (mg) of phosphorus
- 99 mg of potassium
- 56 mg of magnesium
- 24 mg of calcium
- 0.61 mg of zinc
- 0.36 g of iron
- 0 mg of sodium
Given their impressive nutritional profile, it is no surprise that Brazil nuts have become so popular.