Brazil nuts: health properties and contraindications
Such a product as the Brazil nut is rare and valuable, and due to its medicinal properties is even considered unique. He has a lot of useful properties, but can also harm human health, so it is important to study all the characteristics before consuming.
- Brazil nut: how it looks and where it grows
- Composition and calories
- Useful properties of the Brazil nut
- General benefits
- For women
- For men
- For breastfeeding
- For children
- Brazil nut oil: properties and uses
- Brazil nut in medicine
- For diabetes
- For pancreatitis
- For gastritis
- With gout
- Bertolletia in cosmetology
- For Face
- For Hair
- Harm and Contraindications
- How to choose and store
- How to consume correctly
- How much can be eaten per day
- Do I need to soak before eating?
- Can I fry?
- How to peel it
- Interesting Facts
Brazil nut: what it looks like and where it grows
The Brazil nut is a representative of the flora of South America (Peru, Guiana, Bolivia - territories with a hot tropical climate). Trees are several tens of meters in height and about two meters in width, belong to the long-livers. Fruiting culture usually in the 12th year of life. The fruits of the plant are quite large, sometimes weighing up to 2 kg. Inside there are 8 to 24 kernels of oily structure. They are covered with a thin but tough shell. Externally, such a nut resembles the fruit of a coconut tree. The ripe nuts usually fall to the ground, which makes them easy to collect.
The tropical tree is also characterized by another name, Bertollet, after the chemist C. Bertollet.
Composition and calories
Brazil nuts contain in their composition many beneficial substances for human health. Nutrients and components are able to replenish the body with the necessary supply of energy. The fruits consist of fiber, amino acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, flavonoids. Also in the seeds of the nut found a variety of trace elements, representatives of the vitamin group B, vitamin C, retinol, tocopherol and others. If you regularly include 100 grams of this product in your diet, you can get half the daily allowance of vitamin B1 and a quarter of the daily dose of vitamin E. Of the minerals, the fruit of the Brazil nut contains phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc and potassium.
A large part of the mineral composition is selenium. This substance protects the digestive tract from the development of cancer, normalizes the functioning of the nervous system and helps to combat stress. Also the presence of selenium in the human body contributes to the production of the right amount of white blood cells and immunoglobulins.
The amino acids in the composition of the kernels restore redox reactions in the body. Also the unique composition of the nut contributes to the breakdown of fats and building muscle mass.
However, when wishing to lose weight it is important to take into consideration the high caloric content of peanut bran, which is almost 700 kcal per 100 grams. The fats are almost 70%, and carbohydrates are only 12%.
Useful properties of the Brazil nut
The fruit of the Brazil nut is used as a preventive measure for predisposition to cancer, strengthen the immune system of the body. The use of Brazil nuts increases blood circulation and suppresses inflammatory processes. The product contributes to the normalization of the thyroid gland, treats diseases of the joints, protects against the development of cataracts. With the regular use of bertholletic seeds improves the cardiovascular system, minimizing the risk of thrombosis, heart attack, atherosclerosis.
In addition, the seeds of the Brazilian plant cleanse the intestines due to their fiber content. The product ensures the absorption of useful minerals and vitamins that come with food into the human body.
Brazil nuts have a beneficial effect on the female body. The grains alleviate the symptoms of menopause, reduce pain during menstruation, and normalize the cycle. Scientists have found out that the selenium in the fruit is a prophylactic of breast and genital cancer. Also this substance normalizes the hormonal background, the violation of which leads to problems with conception. Components of the seeds of the Brazilian plant are responsible for the maturation of eggs.
The fruit of the Brazilian tree can protect the body from premature aging. That is why the nut is widely used by women in cosmetology. It moisturizes and nourishes both skin and hair. Due to the content of vitamin E, the skin becomes elastic and velvety structure.
Oil of grains has anti-inflammatory properties, eliminates burns and various skin diseases. The product is used both for a nourishing mask, and for the prevention of various pathologies, and as a dessert. It is enough to consume it in the morning by one teaspoon.
The representatives of the strong half of mankind should treat the use of Brazil nuts with special attention. Such a product of plant origin will help to solve a number of issues regarding male health. First of all, the fruit of the tree will help to reduce the risk of developing a tumor in the prostate gland, reduce the likelihood of prostatitis. Walnut seeds contribute to the production of testosterone, leading to an increase in sexual desire. They also make sperm motile and restore the function of the testes.
At home, the Brazil nut is considered the best remedy for infertility in men. It is for this reason that men in Brazil often have children at an advanced age. In addition, the fruit of the tree can eliminate fatigue after a hard day's work or physical activity, normalize metabolism and improve the immune system.
Selenium in the composition of the kernels of the nut plant acts as an antioxidant and anticancer agent that protects cells from the effects of toxins.
Doctors advise to eat Brazil nuts during pregnancy, because it contains a lot of vitamins and minerals. It is possible to include the fruit in the diet throughout the whole period of carrying a fetus.
In addition to a large list of important vitamins and minerals, Brazil nut kernels contain omega-3 and omega-6 acids. These elements can get into the human body only with food, and in the nuts there are more of them than in any other food that can be used by future mothers.
Arginine in the composition of the nut ensures the normal development of the baby. Brazil nuts have the ability to support a woman's reproductive function and prolong her generative period.
You should not consume this product in large quantities. Three or four fruits a day is enough, otherwise negative consequences can not be avoided.
During lactation, the Brazil nut has a positive effect on milk formation. Therefore, it is not recommended to completely exclude this product from the diet. However, in order not to have problems, you need to know what specific varieties are allowed, when you can use it in the food of a nursing woman.
Any product in large quantities can cause harm to the human body. During breastfeeding, you should follow some rules, the observance of which will only bring benefits. First of all, it is important to observe the dosage - no more than six seeds a day. Acquired grains should be properly stored, if the fruits have become bitter, it is better to get rid of them.
If close relatives are allergic to one of the species of this culture, it is better not to use it at all.
After using the Brazil nut in food, it is important to monitor the reaction of the baby, in case a rash appears, the product should be excluded. In order to detect a baby's allergy to walnut seeds consumed by a nursing woman, small portions of walnuts should be introduced into the menu.
Excessive consumption of nuts can lead to an increase in the concentration of radium, resulting in serious disorders in the body. When the shells of the kernels enter the body, liver cells are destroyed. An overdose of the fruit of the Brazilian tree can cause brittle nails, nervous system disorders, hair loss.
It is recommended to introduce nuts to the diet of a child not earlier than three years. At a younger age, the child's body is prone to allergies, as well as the baby may choke on the small seeds. At the age of two, a child can occasionally try chopped nuts, so that after three years, the body is already familiar with this product.
The fruit contains selenium, which is useful for skin diseases and regulates blood sugar levels. The product should not be given to children who are allergic to anything, since Brazil nuts are at the top of the list of the most allergenic nuts.
Also, barium with radium is found in the composition, which is a restriction for use in children. A couple of nuts a day will be enough for a child.
When losing weight
Arranging unloading days with the use of Brazilian seeds is not the best option. They contain a lot of calories, due to which the use of such fruits is limited when following a diet. All the same, the beneficial properties that bring great benefits to the human body should be put above a high number of calories.
Oil from the grains of Brazil nuts is used as a dressing for various salads. In addition, such oil has useful components that protect the skin from cellulite and the appearance of stretch marks, which is often faced by people seeking to lose weight.
If you consume two or three nuts at a time of dieting while losing weight, there will be no harm to the figure, while the body will get the vitamins, micro and macronutrients it needs.
It should be remembered that every diet leads to depletion of the body by limiting healthy fats and protein. Consequently, a few nuts eaten at this time will only protect against exhaustion.
Brazil nut oil: properties and uses
Brazil nut oil nourishes the human body with the necessary substances and provides energy reserves. It is used in cooking, medicine and cosmetology.
Application of the oil by adding it to medicinal baths will restore the skin. Especially such a procedure will benefit if a person has psoriasis or dermatitis. Regular use of the oil normalizes blood glucose and lowers cholesterol.
Brazil nut oil has a rejuvenating effect, prevents the appearance of wrinkles, protects against the development of cancer. An important property for HIV-infected people is the ability to slow down inflammatory processes in the patient's body. The product is able to normalize the nervous system, to combat diseases of the skin.
If you include a plant component in a face mask, you can remove redness resulting from the negative effects of sunlight and cold wind. The oil can be used both in its pure form and as an ingredient in a cosmetic product.
Brazil nut in medicine
Brazil nuts in the medical field are most often used for the prevention of cancer, to regulate blood pressure, to normalize blood glucose levels, as well as to reduce cholesterol levels. This product is also characterized by its anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antiviral effect.
Walnut oil has wound-healing properties, which also treats inflammation of the skin.
In case of diabetes.
In addition to the fact that Brazil nuts saturate the body with useful vitamins and minerals, strengthen a weakened immune system, they are beneficial for people with diabetes. This is due to the ability of the fruit to prevent retinopathy, that is a disease that occurs as a complication of diabetes. This pathology leads to blindness.
As for the amount that can be consumed by a diabetic, in this case it all depends on the composition of the diet followed by the patient. Only a dietitian can decide this. Some specialist recommends eating 1-2 nuts a day, someone else will be enough to add only a particle of one grain to a dish.
Important: The glycemic index of the Brazil nut is 10 units.
The main rule of compliance with the diet of a person with pancreatitis is to control the diet - the food should be taken in small doses 5-6 times a day, not overloading the pancreas. Nuts should be present in the diet, but it is allowed to use only low-fat varieties. Brazil nuts are on the list of prohibited products. This is due to the content of a large amount of fiber, which negatively affects the normal operation of the pancreas.
Gastritis is a disease associated with inflammation of the mucous membrane of the stomach. This pathology also requires a special diet. In the acute course of the disease, a stricter dietary control is necessary, and a variety of foods can be consumed during remission.
Nuts have different effects on the stomach depending on the type and variety. Therefore, in the presence of gastritis, it is important to determine which type of this product can be eaten, and which should be limited or excluded altogether.
Nuts of the Brazilian tree in such a disease is not recommended to consume. This variety has a strong effect on the mucosa of the stomach. More often than not, it is the grains of bertoletia that can cause an exacerbation of gastritis.
Gout is characterized by the deposition of uric acid in the joints. With this disease, it is important to adhere to certain dietary rules, so as not to harm the body and not to aggravate the situation. Use the fruit of the Brazilian plant in gouty arthritis is possible, but you should use a limited amount of them. The product is useful for the cardiovascular and nervous systems. Also walnut seeds normalize metabolism and stimulate the stomach.
The use of walnuts in gout depends on the course of the disease. The remission stage involves the use in small quantities. In the case of exacerbation of gouty arthritis, however, it is necessary to exclude any kind of nuts from the diet.
Berthodiaceae in cosmetology
In cosmetology, the fruit of bertoletia has been used since ancient times, especially in the form of oil, which has many healing properties. As already mentioned, the product has wound healing and anti-inflammatory properties. But in addition to this, the walnut oil is characterized by the ability to moisturize and nourish the skin, get rid of fine wrinkles, soften it, make it more elastic. The product is also used to restore the structure of the hair. The product of the Brazil nut helps with dermatological diseases and has a strengthening effect on the nails.
The oil can be added to various cosmetic compositions in the form of creams, shampoos, balms. Adding just a few drops of this useful product will saturate the skin with useful vitamins and mineral elements, making the skin more beautiful and well-groomed.
For the face
To protect the skin from the appearance of fine lines, you can use a mask for which you need to take 30 ml of walnut and wheat oil, 20 ml of jojoba oil and 3 drops each of essential oils of mint and geranium. All ingredients should be thoroughly mixed. The ready mask should be applied to the problem areas (decollete area, eye area) and keep for about 10 minutes. After that, the mask should be washed off with warm water. You can use such a remedy three times a week.
You can prepare a mask, which will be especially useful for dry skin. To obtain this cosmetic you need to mix 30 ml each of Brazilian walnut oil, grape seed oil and avocado oil, and add a few drops each of chamomile, sandalwood and geranium essential oils. Apply the prepared mixture to the skin and keep for 15-20 minutes, then rinse with cool water.
You can use the oil as an additional component of a ready-made cream. It is enough to add a few drops of the product to the used cream or facial tonic, which will improve the effect of cosmetic products.
The same manipulation can also be carried out in the case when the hair needs additional nourishment. For example, it is recommended to add 20 drops of oil to a bottle of shampoo. Regular use of such a shampoo will only benefit your hair.
To restore the structure of the hair, you should prepare a remedy using nut oil from the seeds of bertoletia. It is only necessary to heat the product in a water bath and distribute the composition evenly over the entire length. After that, you should wrap your head with cellophane and wrap it with a towel. Keep such a mask for about two hours. To enhance the effect of such a remedy, you can include a couple of drops of any essential oil in the mixture. This will return your hair a healthy shine and radiance.
A common problem is the weakening of the hair, which leads to hair loss. In this case, you need a remedy that strengthens the roots. To prepare it, you need to mix in equal amounts of exotic tree seed oil and any fatty vegetable oil (almond, apricot). After that, add a few drops of essential oils of rosemary and jojoba to the mixture. The resulting mass should be applied to the head, massaging thoroughly for about 10 minutes, cover with a scarf or towel and keep for half an hour. At the end of this time, rinse the mask with warm water. If you carry out such procedures twice a week, after a month, the result will be a pleasant surprise.
Most cooks consider the taste and nutritional characteristics of the fruit of Brazilian bertholetia the best among all other types of nuts. Culinary uses use the kernels both fresh and roasted, adding them to salads, baked goods and various dishes.
To prepare cheesecakes you will need 5 pecans, 600 g of cottage cheese, 2 eggs, 50 g of flour and vegetable oil, as well as 30 g of sugar.
To begin with you need to chop the nuts. Then you need to put cottage cheese, eggs, sugar and flour in a bowl, add chopped grains and mix everything thoroughly. Form the cheesecakes from the dough, roll them in flour and put them in a frying pan with preheated oil, frying on both sides. Serve the ready cheesecakes with jam or sour cream.
You can make muffins with Brazil nuts. For this you need to take 100 g of walnuts and prunes each, a glass of water and flour, 15 g of baking powder, a pinch of cinnamon and cloves, 100 g of sugar, two teaspoons of lemon zest and 70 g of vegetable oil.
First you need to soak the prunes, rinse them and immerse in hot water for 15 minutes, then pour the water into another bowl, but do not pour it out, because it will be useful. Next, you need to peel the nuts and finely chop the kernels. Prunes also finely chop, and grate the lemon zest. Next, add crushed walnut seeds, spices and sugar to the flour. In a separate bowl, mix the water, which remains from the prunes, sunflower oil and lemon zest. Pour this mixture into a bowl with flour, mix everything thoroughly and add prunes. Then grease the muffin tins, fill with batter and send to the oven for 30-40 minutes at 180 degrees. The finished dessert should stand in the mold for 10 minutes, after which it can be placed on a dish to cool completely.
Harm and contraindications
The product has a high degree of caloric content. This allows you to quickly saturate the body, but with regular use, even with compliance with acceptable norms, Brazil nuts can still have a negative impact on the figure. Therefore, the fruit is not recommended for use in obesity, it is also worth limiting their use in weight loss.
The shells of kernels contain a poisonous substance that, if ingested in large quantities, causes tumors or cirrhosis of the liver. Pureed kernels do not have these properties.
Due to the high selenium content, overeating is fraught with nausea, vomiting, breathing difficulties and even pneumonia. Also, excessive consumption of walnut seeds can cause poisoning. This results in hair loss, broken nails, and yellow sclera of the eyes.
How to choose and store
When buying Brazil nut kernels in the shell, you should pay attention to its integrity, it should not have dents and cracks. In this form, the nuts can be stored for up to two years.
If you buy peeled varieties, you should choose hard nuts with a smooth surface. You should not buy damaged seeds. The peeled kernels should be kept in a refrigerator, in a tightly closed container, so that they do not absorb other smells and do not interact with oxygen. Otherwise, the fruits will not only acquire a bitter taste, but also become dangerous to health.
The right way to consume
You can consume the fruit of the Brazilian crop in raw or roasted form. Also nuts are found in the composition of various salads, in baking. If desired, the seeds can be salted, sweetened or crushed and added to dessert. The product is even used in the preparation of cheese and sauces.
In the presence of allergies or chronic pathologies of the digestive tract, it is better to refuse to eat Brazil nuts.
How much can be eaten per day
The daily norm of brazil nuts is 2-3 nuts, but no more than 5, because after eating 5 grains you already have a feeling of heaviness in the stomach. Therefore, it is very important to observe moderation in the application. Only then will it be possible to benefit from this product.
Do I need to soak it before drinking?
In the process of soaking dormant kernels are awakened, the germination process begins, which leads to the fact that the taste of the fruit changes, the kernels are enriched with enzymes, and phytic acid, which is harmful to the body, is removed. It is enough to soak the Brazil nut for four hours. To prepare the solution, you need to put purified water and raw nuts in a bowl in a ratio of 2:1. You should also add a teaspoon of salt per glass of nuts.
Can I roast them?
You can roast nuts whole or in chopped form. Kernels have the ability to finish cooking and become darker after the roasting process, so when roasting in a pan, it is better to turn off the fire earlier, so as not to overcook them. We recommend using a cast-iron pot for frying. You can fry no more than one cup at a time. The appearance of golden color and a specific smell of nuts indicates readiness.
You can roast the fruit and in a microwave oven. To do this, you need to roast them at a power of 800 for 3-4 minutes, while constantly pausing the timer and stirring the kernels.
If you use an oven, you will need about 10 minutes of processing at a temperature of 180 degrees.
How to peel
Several methods can be used to make peeling Brazil nut shells easier. For example, freeze the grains in the freezer, after which they can easily be cleaned with a nutcracker.
Cooking is also used. For this purpose, it is necessary to boil water, put nuts in it for a minute. After that, you need to take them out of the boiling water and immediately throw them into a container with cold water. As a result, the shell will be very easy to clean.
You can spread the nuts on a baking tray and send it into the oven for 10 minutes. After this, the kernels will be easy to crack.
Many of us have seen this type of nut in stores, but few people know these facts:
- The Brazil nut blooms for only twenty-four hours. If the plant is not pollinated by insects during this time, there will be no fruit.
- The use of bertholletia fruits by people after 45 years of age can protect against Alzheimer's disease.
- If a person is found to have an intolerance to mangoes, the body will react the same way to Brazil nuts.
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