Brazil Nuts


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Nutrition Brazil nuts are 18% protein, 13% carbohydrates, and 69% fat. The fat breakdown is roughly 25% saturated, 41% monounsaturated, and 34% polyunsaturated. The saturated content of Brazil nuts is among the highest of all nuts, surpassing macadamia nuts, which are primarily monounsaturated fat[citation needed], and the nuts are pressed for their oil. Because of the resulting rich taste, Brazil nuts can often substitute for macadamia nuts or even coconut in recipes. Also due to their high polyunsaturated fat content, primarily omega-6, shelled Brazil nuts soon become rancid. Nutritionally, Brazil nuts are a good source of magnesium and thiamine and are perhaps the richest dietary source of selenium, containing as much as 1180% of the USRDA (U.S. Recommended Dietary Allowances), although the amount of selenium within batches of nuts varies greatly. Recent research suggests that proper selenium intake is correlated with a reduced risk of both breast cancer as well as prostate cancer. This has led some health commentators and nutritionists to recommend the consumption of Brazil nuts as a protective measure. The Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa) is a South American tree in the family Lecythidaceae, and also the name of the tree's commercially harvested edible seed. The Brazil nut tree is the only species in the monotypic genus Bertholletia. It is native to the Guianas, Venezuela, Brazil, eastern Colombia, eastern Peru and eastern Bolivia. It occurs as scattered trees in large forests on the banks of the Amazon, Rio Negro, and the Orinoco. The genus is named after the French chemist Claude Louis Berthollet. The Brazil nut is a large tree, reaching 3045 metres (100150 ft) tall and 12 metres (36.5 ft) trunk diameter, among the largest of trees in the Amazon Rainforests. It may live for 500 years or more, and according to some authorities often reaches an age of 1,000 years.
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