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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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  2. Hi! I have just been recommended to eat Brazil nuts for excess mercury, so was interested to read all about the other health benefits, especially as I underwent chemo for colon cancer last year. Started today and hope to see the benefits in the future. Thanks for the article 😉

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

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  6. 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

  7. Hi Shawn!
    Is there a certain brand of Brazil nuts u recommend? I just googled wild organic Brazil nuts and food Some raw organic ones made by sunfoods. Just curious if u have any recommendations….thanks!

  8. i eat every day 4 apricot kernels 10 raw almond and 4 brazil nuts i grind them and eat them with a spoon in the morning around 10am next months is my labratory test hop i see result o by the way it taste very good

  9. I actually eat a bag a week, I read maybe 2or3 , seriously I can’t! I have a bag on my desk and I eat them thru out the day I love them!

  10. Hi,
    Shawn Stevenson, I listened to your podcast on James Altucher show, I am facing problem of healthy diet, I like spicy foods and less fruits, How do get daily diet plan? what do you recommend for helthy diet ?

  11. And while we’re at it. What can people do to protect themselves against Roundup (that is now a Class Action lawsuit) exposure? Or the Fukashema problem that is contaminating the entire Pacific Ocean. Are there any natural foods one can eat to ameliorate these unintentional exposures ? H

  12. Okay, if Brazil nuts are so good for you, why do people on the net say they cause cancer?

  13. Shawn!! I have been listening to your podcast for like 3 weeks. I have been implementing a bunch of different ideas you have provided. I had been intermitten fasting for about 5 months and couldnt get under 200 lbs I got off sugar, started eating all raw foods, no more “vegetable” oils or foods cooked/roasted in them, getting a full gallon or more of water a day, very limited dairy, no alcohol and i feel great and the six pack is even starting to come through! I was just reading your article about the benefits of brazil nuts on prostate health. Do you have any more info on prostate health? Im 47 and I want to be pro active since my uncle died of prostate cancer.

  14. Hi
    Last week while having acupuncture treatment I was discussing the benefits of Brazil nuts and selenium and my acupuncturist said that not all Brazil nuts contain selenium only ones grown in a certain area of the world where the soil is rich in selenium. Now I’m confused about whether or not the ones I’m buying are even helpful in benefits. Can anyone clear this up for me.
    Thanks.. Heather

  15. Thanks for this article, really helpful. I like all nuts (not cooked ) and this time I bought them with Brazilian nuts as well, is great!

  16. I had a hard time finding them in stores so I ordered them online, been looking for a while. I love love love them, always have but didn’t want the planters version of one or two per highly salted can of mixed nuts. I got them from and they are really delicious. I’ve always been a healthy eater, a life long vegetarian, but as I get older I am looking for ways to be even more healthy, Great article. Thanks

  17. Some time ago I read an article which stated that students in England
    would eat brazil nuts the night before a test. They claim it helped the

  18. Yeees. I like to munch few mixed nuts in the morning so my Mack!has someting to chew. But pecans n walnuts are too fatty 4 me n my liver gets upset.

  19. Great i eat then every day as a mid morning or afternnon snackalong with a banana or two

  20. Shawn, please explain to me regarding eating too many Brazil nuts can affect your DNA, I’m not sure I understand. Thank you!

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  22. My favorite healthy snack is 3 brazil nuts with two oranges they go good together

  23. Last year I was diagnosed with a very small banign growth on one of my thyroid glands. My symptom that I experienced was as tho I had received a gentle karate chop to my throat. I researched natural remedies & found unsweetened cranberry juice & Brazil nuts could be helpful. So shorty after adding a small amount of these 2 items to my daily intake, I am symptom free. I just had 5 raw Brazil nuts along w/ stevia sweetened chocolate & some dried, tho moist prunes & yum, my reoccurring dessert. A splash of cranberry juice in water with the Calm product rounds out the intake that helps me keep at bay the sensation that’s uncomfortable yet brought to my attention the need to address & eliviate the problem. Enjoy these Brazilians yourself!!

  24. 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?

  25. 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,

    1. 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.

  26. 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.

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

  27. 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)

    1. 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.

    2. Brazil nuts have made an incredible difference in my testerone levels and it is a god send

  28. 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?

    1. 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. 🙂

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  30. 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.

  31. 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?

    1. 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!

  32. 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.

  33. Pingback: NewsCheek » 50 Superfoods You Should Be Eating
  34. 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!

  35. 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! =)

    1. I have read in a website that brazil nuts do not prevent prostate cancer but increase the cancer risk! Please read
      Please confirm whether it is correct as I am 80 year old and I am suffering from BPH. I want to eat foods that prevent prostate cancer risk. Pl suggest

  36. 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!!

  37. 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.

    1. 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.

  38. 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

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

      1. 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!

    2. 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.

  39. 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.

    1. 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 😉


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