Brazil Nut | Brazil Nut Health Benefits and Nutrition

Brazil Nuts

Brazil Nut

The Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa) is a South American rain forest tree in the family Lecythidaceae, and it is also the name of the tree's commercially harvested edible seeds. In the Amazon jungle, it is one of the biggest and most durable trees. Large in size, the fruit and its nutshell — which contains the edible Brazil nut — may weigh up to 2 kg in total. Brazil nuts are significant as food because they contain a variety of minerals, particularly a lot of selenium. Brazil nut tree wood is highly valuable for its excellence in heavy construction, flooring, and other carpentry uses.

Brazil Nuts Common Names

Brazil nuts are referred to as castaas de Brasil, nuez de Brasil, or castaas de Pará in a number of Spanish-speaking nations in South America (or Para). They go by a variety of names in Brazil, but "castanha-do-pará" (Portuguese for "chestnuts from Pará") is the most popular.

Brazil nuts were occasionally referred to as "nigger toes" in North America as early as 1896, a slang phrase that eventually lost use as the racist epithet became socially undesirable.


The Brazil nut tree is a sizable tree that grows up to 160 feet tall and has a trunk that ranges in diameter from 3 to 7 feet, making it one of the biggest trees in the Amazon jungle. It frequently lives to be a thousand years old and can live for 500 years or more. With a huge, emergent crown of long branches rising above the surrounding canopy of other trees, the stem is straight and frequently without branches for well over half the tree's height.

Smooth and grey, the bark is. The leaves are oblong, alternating, simple, whole or crenate, dry-season deciduous, dry-season deciduous, 8-14 in long, and 4-6 in broad. Small, greenish-white flowers with six uneven cream-colored petals are seen in panicles that are 2-4 inches long. Each bloom has a two-parted, deciduous calyx.

Origin of Brazil Nuts

The Guianas, Venezuela, Brazil, eastern Colombia, eastern Peru, and eastern Bolivia are the native home of the Brazil nut. It grows in huge forests along the banks of the Amazon River, Rio Negro, Tapajós, and Orinoco as scatted trees.

As a result, in Northern and Northeastern Brazil, you can find them close to roads and streets, in backyards of homes, and outside of producing regions. The fruit is hard and heavy, and when it falls, it poses a major risk to passing cars and pedestrians.

Brazil Nut Fruit

Brazil Nut fruits

Because disturbed forests lack the large-bodied bees of the genera Bombus, Centris, Epicharis, Eulaema, and Xylocopa, which are the only ones capable of pollinating the tree's flowers, Brazil nut trees almost exclusively produce fruit in pristine forests. Different bee genera are the primary pollinators in different areas and at different times of the year. Plantations have produced brazil nuts, however the production is small and not now commercially feasible.

After the blooms have been pollinated, it takes the fruit 14 months to mature. The fruit itself is a big, 4-6 in. diameter capsule that can weigh up to 2 kg and is similar in size to a coconut endocarp. It features a hard, woody shell that is 8–12 mm thick and eight to 24 wedge-shaped seeds that are 4-5 cm long (the "Brazil nuts") that are arranged in whorls, much like the segments of an orange. The polar ends of the middle whorl segment nestle into the upper and lower whorls, allowing up to three whorls to be stacked on top of one another.

Brazil Nut tree with fruits
Brazil Nut Tree with Fruits

Large rodents like the agouti can nibble through the capsule because it has a tiny hole at one end. The seeds within are then divided between consumption and storage; some of the latter can grow into new Brazil nut trees. Agoutis "plant" the majority of the seeds in caches during the wet season, and the new saplings may have to wait years in a dormant state before a tree falls and sunshine reaches them before they can begin to grow again. It has been seen that capuchin monkeys use a stone as an anvil to crack Brazil nuts open.

Brazil Nuts Nutrition

Brazil nuts have 66% fat, 14% protein, 3% water, and 12% carbs (table). 16% of the fat is saturated, followed by 24% monounsaturated and 24% polyunsaturated.

Brazil nuts have 659 calories per 100 grammes (3.5 oz) and are a good source of dietary fibre (30% DV), thiamin (54% DV), vitamin E (38% DV), magnesium (106% DV), phosphorus (104% DV), manganese (57% DV), and zinc (43% DV) (20% or more of the Daily Value, DV). Potassium, calcium, and iron are present in moderate concentrations (10–19% DV).

With just 28 g (1 oz) delivering 544 micrograms of selenium, or 10 times the DV of 55 micrograms (see table for USDA source), Brazil nuts are a particularly rich source of selenium. The selenium content of different batches of nuts, however, may differ significantly.

Studies on selenium intake and insufficiency use the high selenium concentration as a biomarker. In obese individuals, consuming just one Brazil nut per day for eight weeks was sufficient to raise HDL cholesterol and restore selenium blood levels.

Brazil Nut Nutritional value per 100 g


656 kcal


12.27 g

Dietary fiber

7.5 g


14.32 g


66.43 g


15.13 g


25.48 g


20.57 g

Vitamins Quantity %DV†

Vitamin A


Thiamine (B1)


Riboflavin (B2)


Niacin (B3


Vitamin B6


Foliate (B9)


Vitamin C


Vitamin E


Minerals Quantity %DV†
















1917 μg

Brazil Nuts Health Benefits

Selenium, a trace mineral essential for healthy bodily operation, is abundant in Brazil nuts.

Selenium promotes thyroid health and aids in maintaining optimal immune system performance. A stronger immune system and better results with a variety of illnesses, including cancer, heart disease, infections, and infertility, are two benefits of higher serum selenium levels. It is just as effective to eat two Brazil nuts daily to maintain or increase your selenium intake as it is to take supplements.

Vitamin E and phenols are only two of the antioxidants found in Brazil nuts. By scavenging free radicals, antioxidants can lessen oxidative stress and inflammation in your body. Your chance of developing a number of diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and some types of cancer, can be decreased by reducing inflammation.

Brazil nuts also have additional health advantages, such as:

Thyroid health

To maintain proper thyroid function, selenium is required. Including adequate selenium in your diet can lower your risk of thyroid cancer, Graves' disease, and Hashimoto's disease.

Reduced Heart Disease Risk

Brazil nuts are rich in monounsaturated fats, a type of good fat. Your cholesterol levels can be raised by adding monounsaturated fat to your diet, which can lower your risk of heart disease. Brazil nuts' high quantities of dietary fibre can also aid in lowering blood cholesterol levels, which lowers the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Management of Diabetes

According to certain research, selenium from Brazil nuts may assist type 2 diabetics' blood sugar levels by enhancing insulin sensitivity and lowering insulin levels.

Relief from Inflammation

Vitamin E and phenols are only two of the antioxidants found in Brazil nuts. By scavenging free radicals, antioxidants can lessen oxidative stress and inflammation in your body. Your chance of developing a number of diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and some types of cancer, can be decreased by reducing inflammation.

Bone Health

Magnesium and calcium, which are both essential for strong bones, can be found in Brazil nuts. Magnesium, which is crucial for bone density, is present in roughly 25% to 33% of the required daily intake in one ounce of Brazil nuts. Bone density may increase with increased magnesium intake.

Brain Health

Low selenium levels have been linked to neurological diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. Selenium and other antioxidants found in Brazil nuts can support better brain health. Increasing your selenium consumption can also assist to boost your mood, according to some research.

Other uses

In the production of paint, clocks, and cosmetics, brazil nut oil is utilised as a lubricant. The Brazil nutshell is used frequently as an abrasive to polish objects like metals and ceramics because of its hardness, same to how jeweler's rouge is used. 

Availability of Brazil Nut

Brazil nuts can be purchased at your nearest supermarket or online; Amazon also sells all types of nuts and seeds online, including Brazil nuts. Brazil nuts' price varies from Indian rupees 2,000 per kilogramme to rupees 3,000 per kilogramme depending on the geography of the area

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