In short, eating too many Brazil nuts can cause you to overconsume selenium, a mineral that is beneficial in moderation, but toxic when consumed in excess. According to the National Institutes of Health, the maximum daily limit for selenium in adults is 400 mcg. A single nut from Brazil contains 96 mcg. Do we start with the simple from the shocking? Brazil nuts can kill you.
Just one Brazil nut contains twice the daily recommended amount of selenium our body needs, and an overdose of selenium can have some very unpleasant side effects. Brazil nuts are good for you, too. This suggests that if you're trying to lose weight, Brazil nuts may be more of an obstacle than useful, especially if you eat too many of them. Participants in the Brazil nut group had higher levels of selenium and greater activity of an antioxidant enzyme called GPX3. Brazil nuts are actually very healthy for health and introduce a lot of essential nutrients into the body.
According to the results of scientific studies, certain compounds in Brazil nuts can benefit health in a variety of ways, including reducing the risk of heart disease, regulating blood sugar levels, and increasing the body's antioxidant system. Although beneficial in small amounts, Brazil nuts can cause selenium toxicity if a person eats them regularly in large quantities. The recommendation is to eat no more than two Brazil nuts a day, so don't put a bowl of these on your desk and then start eating them without thinking. The recommendation of two Brazil nuts a day is a healthy amount for most adults because it helps keep the thyroid happy and boosts immune functions.
That's not to say you can't lose weight by eating Brazil nuts, of course; but if you're looking to eat as much food as possible and stay within a certain calorie range, there are much better options. A study published in the European Journal of Nutrition reported that eating one Brazil nut a day for 8 weeks reduced total cholesterol and fasting glucose levels in healthy adults. Almonds, cashews, peanuts, and walnuts are common additions to snack, salad, and dessert mixes; Brazil nuts rarely receive the same appreciation, but they should be. Brazil nuts are among the richest dietary sources of selenium, an essential mineral with antioxidant properties.
In addition to selenium, Brazil nuts contain lots of protein, essential minerals, and healthy fats. In recent years, large, bulky nuts from Brazil have slowly but surely been introduced to the American palette. Brazil nuts aren't actually nuts, they're technically seeds from large trees that are native to the Amazon rainforest. While they can literally be a hard nut to crack, there's a lot to love behind that tough exterior.