In fact, Brazil nuts are the No. 1 food for selenium, according to the National Institutes of Health. (Nih.gov, Selenium Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet). Selenium is an essential trace mineral that supports myriad body functions, including the thyroid, brain, hormones and the immune system and reproductive systems.*
Brazil nuts are also high in dietary fiber, magnesium, calcium and potassium, according to the USDA nutrition facts for a one-cup serving.*
Cooking with Brazil nuts
You may have munched on Brazil nuts as part of your trail mix – they're the big ones with the light flaky skin that sometimes take a couple bites to finish.
Brazil nuts are rich and creamy, making them easily adaptable for many different dishes, especially in plant-based cooking, cakes and chopped atop your favorite salads. Try making your own homemade Brazil nut milk for a pleasant, nutrient-rich alternative to almond milk.
Brazil nuts are the real Paleo deal!
Brazil nuts come from the Bertholletia excelsa tree and have been eaten by the native people of South America's rainforest region at least since the Upper Paleolithic era, some 11,000 years ago.*
The first mention of the Brazil nuts from western sources goes back to 1569, when Spanish and Portuguese explorers were introduced to Brazil nuts while exploring the Madre de Dios river region of Peru. It was Dutch traders who introduced the food to Europe in the early 1600s, although it would take another hundred years or so before they became popular there. Today, nearly half the Brazil nuts are imported to the United States come from Bolivia.