Brazil nuts are hard to find. They are not available in any place other than at the Amazons forest. Brazil nuts are delicious in terms of taste, and are full of fats, proteins and other nutrients that are essential.
Brazil nut trees botanically belong to the Lecythidaceae family. These nuts are generally found in Peru, Brazil and Bolivia, particularly in regions that are non-flooded forest. These trees usually are very tall and can grow up to 50 meters. The trees have an amazing life span of 500 to 700 years! In a given season, each of the trees bears as much as 300 fruit pods. After pollination, it takes approximately 14 months to mature. Ideally each pod can weigh up to 2.5 kg.
Brazil nuts happen to be the Amazonians staple diet. The nuts contain good amount of anti-oxidant, vitamins and minerals and high calories. Approximately 656 calories are provided in each 100g of Brazil nut. The nuts are rich with palamitoleic acid and oleic acid that helps in lowering the bad cholesterol and boost the good cholesterol.
Coronary artery diseases and strokes can be prevented with these nuts with it being rich in monounsaturated fatty acids that favors a healthy profile of blood lipid. Brazil nuts are also a good source of selenium. Approximately 1917 mcg of selenium and 3485% of recommended daily intake are contained in 100g of brazil nuts. Research revealed that cancers, coronary artery diseases and liver cirrhosis can be prevented if adequate selenium foods are added to the regular diet. Brazil nuts are also a good source of vitamin E, with 7.87 mg available per 100g of the nut. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant.
These nuts are gluten free and therefore a perfect healthy alternative for people who suffer from celiac disease and allergy in wheat food. Additionally, these nuts are a great source of vitamins from the B-complex group including niacin, vitamin B6, folates, pantothenic acid and riboflavin. In addition to all these, Brazil nuts also contain a number of other minerals including phosphorus, magnesium, copper, calcium, manganese, iron, zinc and potassium. Copper helps in preventing bone weakness and anemia.
These nuts can also be use to produce Brazil nut oil having a number of traditional medicinal applications. This oil help in keeping the skin protected well from dryness. The oil can also be used for cooking.
Brazil nuts are available in the stores in the form of salted, roasted and raw. You can purchase the nuts in any of these forms that depending upon your personal preference. The nuts if exposed to air, sunlight and humidity can turn rancid. Purchasing unshelled nuts are generally recommended. The unshelled nuts can be kept in a dry and cool place for months. The best option for storing the nuts is to put them in an air tight bag and refrigerate them.
You can eat the nuts in its raw form. They can also be sweetened, salted or roasted. In whatever form you have these nuts, they taste delicious. You can also put them while preparing puddings, pesto, fudge, crunch bar or chocolate bars. You can sprinkle the coarsely ground nuts over vegetable or fruit salads to make it more tasty or even in the fruitcakes for desserts. Adding some brazil nuts to the vegetable or meat dish or the soup can boost up the taste.