05 Jul 2021: #HealthBytes: Know how Brazil nuts are beneficial for your health
Brazil nuts are native to the Amazonian forests of Brazil and grow on trees that are as tall as 200 feet! Most health benefits of Brazil nuts come from their rich content of selenium. In addition, these nuts contain phytonutrients like lutein-zeaxanthin and beta-cryptoxanthin along with minerals like calcium, phosphorus, copper, iron, magnesium, and zinc, among others. Here's more on its health benefits.
Thyroid: Contains selenium that aids in normal thyroid functioning
Studies link an improperly functioning thyroid gland to selenium deficiency. This is because selenium binds with other molecules in the thyroid gland and helps in the creation and efficient usage of thyroid hormones. Brazil nuts are a rich source of selenium and research suggests that it helps in improving the selenium levels of individuals with thyroid irregularities and improves thyroid functioning.
Brain function: Helps in better functioning of the brain
A study found that elderly participants, who consumed one Brazil nut every day for six months, showed an improvement in their verbal abilities and spatial skills. This benefit has also been linked to its high content of selenium that protects the brain from damage by increasing antioxidant levels. In addition, the ellagic acid present in the nuts also helps in protecting the brain.
Anti-cancer: Ellagic acid present in the nuts has anti-cancer properties
The ellagic acid found in Brazil nuts has several other health benefits as well. This includes its anticancer and antimutagenic properties that reduce the risk of cancer. Furthermore, the selenium in Brazil nuts is also known to reduce the risk of cancer. The National Foundation for Cancer Research in the US attests this fact and states that Brazil nuts aid in cancer treatment.
Healthy heart: Contains minerals and antioxidants that prevent heart diseases
Brazil nuts are a rich source of calcium, potassium, and magnesium that are crucial for regulating blood pressure. The nuts also contain soluble fiber that can lower the levels of bad LDL cholesterol. Adding to this, the antioxidants present in Brazil nuts lower the risk of heart diseases. Thus, a moderate intake of Brazil nuts helps in maintaining overall good health.
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