Health Benefits Of Brazil Nuts – The Anti-Cancer Superfood

Brazil nuts are quickly becoming one of the hottest foods for improving health and longevity.

Not many foods are able to improve your sexual performance, protect against cancer, and boost your metabolism, but Brazil nuts can!

So what are the specific health benefits of Brazil nuts?

Well, let’s start at the very top with the anti-cancer powerhouse selenium.

Brazil nuts are the densest food source of bioavailable selenium. Selenium is an antioxidant that plays many important roles in our body.

Here’a a quick list of selenium benefits

*Selenium assists thyroid function by converting the inactive T4 (thyroid hormone) into the active T3 form. -> Healthy thyroid function = healthy metabolism 

*Selenium’s antioxidant properties improve the function of vitamins E and C, which help to decrease the aging of skin.

*Selenium is a potent health food for men because it boosts testosterone levels and improves sperm production and motility.

*Selenium is important for women as a protective against breast cancer. Dr. Ralph Moss presented studies showing that “The higher the selenium, the lower the [rates of] breast cancer”.

*Selenium fortifies the immune system to protect against bacterial and viral infections.

*Selenium enables a healthy cholesterol ratio by helping to raise HDL and lower LDL.

One of the most impressive benefits of selenium I discovered was from a five-year study conducted at the University of Arizona and Cornell University. This data showed that, “patients receiving selenium had a 63% decrease in cancer of the prostate, a 58% decrease in colon or rectal cancer and a 46% decrease in lung cancer.”

This is beyond impressive and, again, the highest source of selenium is found in this incredible Brazil nut.

Brazil nuts can be part of an overall healthy diet plan because they contain rich amounts of other key nutrients as well.

They’re a great source of the antioxidant Vitamin E (52% of RDA per 100g) which is required to maintain cell membranes and protect the health of the skin.

Brazil nuts are an excellent source of several B-vitamins, which range in functions from improving brain health to boosting the metabolism.

You’ll also find nice amounts of copper, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and zinc in Brazil nuts too.

Many raw nuts have great health properties, but Brazil nuts are definitely at the very top of the list.

How to many Brazil nuts should I eat?

Just 100g of Brazil nuts provides about 3485% of recommended daily intake of selenium. The 100g is equal to a big handful, but you definitely don’t need that much… and too much of ANY thing can be problematic for you.

We have this idea in our society that if some is good, then 10 times more must be better. Yes, brazil nuts and selenium can give you some great health benefits, but trying to overdose on them can actually damage your DNA.

Two to four nuts a day is a nice sweet spot.

Now, whenever I hear about a “new” superfood that seems to have all of these amazing health benefits, my question is: Do the nutrients in the food actually show up in our bodies? Meaning, can the use of these foods show measurable changes in our blood work (or other biomarkers)?

I was pleasantly surprised that the research for Brazil nuts says, YES:

What to know when buying brazil nuts

Because Brazil nuts are mainly protein and healthy fats, they are very much subject to going “rancid” and the delicate oils getting damaged.

The fats of the Brazil nut is where the real magic is at when it comes to the sexual benefits, so it’s pretty important to ensure you have a good source.

Many health food stores and grocery stores now carry Brazil nuts because they’re in such high demand. Make sure that they are firm and not rubbery when you bite into them, buttery texture when you chew, and be sure that they don’t smell “off” (biggest, but hardest to recognize warning sign).

They should be kept in a cool, dry place and eaten relatively quickly. This is why I tend to not recommend buying them from open bulk containers. My favorite source of Brazil nuts is right here: Wild Organic Brazil Nuts 

How to eat ’em 

Quality brazil nuts taste pretty nice on their own, or maybe with a pinch of sea salt. It’s important to understand that roasted, toasted, roasted, cooked up nuts have the delicate fats within them damaged, and can actually be harmful to your body.

Cooked nuts pale in comparison to the vast benefits of raw nuts. If you want your nuts to be healthy, then please don’t cook them 😉

Brazil nuts can be crushed and added to your favorite salad to provide some nice crunch. Toss 1 or 2 into your smoothie. Chopped and sprinkled on top of your favorite healthy dessert or yogurt. And having fresh Brazil nut butter with chocolate is A-MAZING.

Have you had Brazil nuts before, or are you excited to try them? Leave me a question or comment below and let’s get the convo started about the benefits of adding Brazil nuts to our diet.

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  • traci s.
    29 Apr 2013, 4:20 pm

    I think we are on the same wave length Shawn. 🙂 Just came over here to do some ordering from your “store” to replenish my necessities and saw your newest post.
    I will be honest, brazil nuts haven’t been high on my radar but I do love any kind-just have to watch my intake according to my coach. 😉
    You covered just about everything in this article. Some standouts for me are the thyroid, immune and skin benefits of selenium. And, I love that you say exactly the amount because people (I included) do have a tendency to think that if two are good, then ten are best. 😉
    I will definitely be adding to the salads and smoothies or maybe a fun chocolate dessert. Hmm-my mind is suddenly going a mile a minute. 😉
    Thanks for the link to your favorite source. Best go order before they sell out. 🙂
    And, as always, thanks for your research and info.

    • Shawn
      29 Apr 2013, 7:08 pm

      Traci, I’ve done the same thing too (2 are good, then 10 are best). That’s definitely how I know! I’ve finally gotten away from using nuts and seeds as a snack and started using them as more of a condiment. Thanks so much for the share, and make sure to save a piece of the dessert for me 😉

  • Seth
    29 Apr 2013, 5:34 pm

    I have not tried these but I am just beginning on my journey to a healthier me so I am excited to try them out

    • Claudine
      29 Apr 2013, 5:47 pm

      I have been eating almonds but have not tried brazil nuts. Something to add to the list.

      • Shawn
        29 Apr 2013, 7:12 pm

        Test them out and let me know what you think, Claudine. I’ve been keeping a bag of them with me everyday, so if I’m in a pinch I’ll just eat a couple and be good to go. Thanks for sharing!

    • Shawn
      29 Apr 2013, 7:10 pm

      Seth, they are TOPS when it comes to the family of nuts and seeds that are best for men. I learned so much in my research and tried to condense as much of it as I could. Definitely start adding 2 to 4 in a day and see how it works for you.

  • Velda
    29 Apr 2013, 7:24 pm

    Great article, Shawn – as usual. I think I should get some brazil nuts. One question, I have had a hyperactive thyroid and is now under control, so I am a little hesitant to try something that may “boost” the thyroid function. If it balances the thyroid that is fine, but if it boost it, I may have an issue. Do you know? Thank you, Shawn, for such great articles and for the research.

    • Shawn
      30 Apr 2013, 2:47 am

      Velda, that’s a really great question. You actually said it best, it more so “balances” or optimizes thyroid function. If it needs to be increased it can help with that, if it needs to be reduced it can help with that too. That’s the benefit of focusing on natural foods that our bodies can recognize versus synthetic drugs and supplements. Those things can be helpful, but they are much further down the line of options. You might want to look into Reishi mushroom for your thyroid too.

  • traci s.
    29 Apr 2013, 9:45 pm

    You know it. 😉

  • Kelly
    30 Apr 2013, 4:43 am

    Well I must have been putting thoughts in your head, because I was just reading about these. There are so many things to change. But my first step was like a 12 step program. It’s like I asked the universe for some help because what I was currently doing wasn’t working for me. Then I came across The Shawn Stevenson model. And OMG there is so much information here. I’m just glad I did, because it just makes sense. Thank you Shawn for being passionate in what you do. It reflects on the information you put out there!!

    • Shawn
      30 Apr 2013, 5:20 pm

      Awesome, Kelly, thank you!

  • Jennifer
    1 May 2013, 8:42 pm

    Nuts about this article!
    I had no idea Brazil Nuts had so many health benefits. The research is thorough and the information presented with such ease for one to process. Great work here! Totally sharing this article. I do have one question- What nut (if any) has similar health benefits? I have an allergy to Brazil Nuts.
    Thanks Shawn. Keep surprising us with fresh information! =)

  • MissBeth
    15 Jul 2014, 8:42 pm

    Thank you for being specific about how many we should eat. Nuts are one of those things that can be difficult for me to control, so it’s good to be told that more than 4 of these at a time can actually cause problems (Damage my DNA–yikes!).
    And a good reminder of how quickly they can turn rancid.

    Thank you, again, Shawn. As always, you bring us excellent information!

  • Andrea
    7 Oct 2015, 1:10 pm

    Great tips Shawn!! never liked brazil nuts but I’m slowly getting used to them. What intrigues me the most is your last comment on “how to eat em” – Brazil nut butter with chocolate… 🙂 Do you have a recipe for that or just best to google it? Thanks again for providing this empowering resourceful information to make us better version of our selves.

  • Ana
    18 Jan 2016, 1:14 pm

    I’m brazilian and I love the brazilians nuts. It’s healthy and tasty

  • Lora
    17 May 2016, 8:53 am

    I had always loved brazil nuts, even as a child. I believe our bodies tend to crave what we need. Do you agree?.
    Maybe I have been low on magnesium ever since I was young?

    • Shawn
      17 Aug 2016, 2:47 pm

      I totally agree. Our body’s intelligence is greater than any theory about what we should or shouldn’t eat. The goal is to strive to be in balance so that we can truly hear our body’s communication!

  • sania
    3 Jul 2016, 12:47 pm

    Dear shawn I have a craving for these nuts and do/ consume about 100 gm once or twice a week. I was wandering why and wandered if it is not harmfull for me thats why I googled it. Thank you I have a beter understanding now.

    • Shawn
      17 Aug 2016, 2:49 pm

      That’s awesome, Sania, thank you for sharing that!

  • Bob Smith
    31 Jul 2016, 2:38 pm

    What if you have high cholesterol Shawn?

  • Glendean Rochester
    12 Aug 2016, 8:39 am

    Just love to eat them for snack. I use just 4 to 5 a day. Love the crunch in them.
    Do they help to lower your blood sugar?

    • Shawn
      17 Aug 2016, 3:10 pm

      They can help regulate blood sugar two ways… 1) by being a naturally lower glycemic food and 2) by providing your body with an array of minerals and trace minerals that help to regulate insulin response and glycemic load. 🙂

  • Cheri
    13 Aug 2016, 2:21 pm

    Shoot, I’ve been roasting mine (quite dark because I like them that way) and have been eating regularly for a few months now. How can I tell if I’ve caused damage to my body. I’ve been eating about 6-8 a day! (I feel fine)

    • Shawn
      17 Aug 2016, 3:22 pm

      Hey Cheri, no need to be too worried. It’s awesome that you’re eating roasted Brazil nuts instead of roasted Snickers bars lol. Seriously though, just add in a few non-roasted nuts if you’re going for the real health benefits. And if you’re ever eating them roasted just make sure to take an antioxidant supplement to help buffer any cellular oxidation. The healthy fats you want will not really be available, but this is still a much healthier snack than Doritos. Turmeric or Acai are two good options for antioxidant supplements.

  • Melissa
    13 Aug 2016, 9:36 pm

    I’m glad I clicked on your articles because I have been eating way too many Brazilian nuts. I will now limit my intake because of this article.

    • Shawn
      17 Aug 2016, 3:14 pm

      Thanks for sharing that, Melissa! We are all grabbing small lessons along the journey. It’s what we do with them that counts. 🙂

  • Tracey
    16 Aug 2016, 10:41 am

    Greetings Shawn,
    I live in Australia which has low selenium in it’s soil and i grew up on a farm in a time when imported or all year round fresh fruit and vegetables were rare. This coupled with the fact that we were relatively poor meant both my parents saw fruit as a luxury and vegetables as only those few we could grow in a low water area, so any selenium i might have accessed thru these sources was non existent. As a result I have suffered for years from chronic mental health problems. I have been diagnosed with everything from bipolar disorder to schizoaffective disorder to depression as well as trying to self medicating with various drugs both legal and illegal. There was three children in my family. I am, in my opinion, the only survivor. My brother killed himself at 39 yrs old and my sister has a 25 year chronic drug addiction and very questionable health. I learned about selenium 23 yrs ago and have experienced freedom from mental health problems and the nasty drugs they feed you ever since.
    Thank you for your research it proves my subjective experience,

    • Shawn
      17 Aug 2016, 3:13 pm

      Oh. My. Goodness. Tracey, your story is amazing! I’m so happy that you found something that brought you back to health. I appreciate you sharing that, and I hope that you share your story more often because people need to hear it.

  • leah
    18 Aug 2016, 10:48 am

    I’m wanting to give them to my 8 year old autistic grandson who is a very picky eater. Could I crush one a day and add to his peanut butter. Have you heard of any benefits of taking these in helping autism?

  • 29 May 2018, 5:13 am

    Pls Shawn I’m in Cameroon and wish to know how to get this Brazilian nut. Thanks.

  • Beverly Oglesby
    9 Jun 2018, 8:30 pm

    I read that you should only eat 1 or 2 Brazil nuts a day. Too much selenium is not good either. So I’ve only been eating 1 or 2 a day. Should you refrigerate them because if that’s all you eat a day they don’t go down very fast. I have not found a place here where I can just buy a smaller amount at a time. Any more information on the fact that taking too much selenium is not a good thing (Brazil nuts are very high in selenium) it would help….thanks

  • Sara Marie
    30 Jun 2018, 5:41 am

    I haven’t been able to find your favorite wild raw Brazil nuts. Where can I view this? Kind regards, God Bless you.