For centuries, Brazil nuts were a dietary staple of indigenous tribes throughout the Amazon forest of South America. Europe was introduced to the nut in the 1500s by Portuguese and Spanish traders, who used them as rations during their long voyages home.
Brazil nut trees grow in the western Amazon’s rain forests, with a range covering Brazil, Peru and Bolivia. They are among the tallest trees in the jungle, reaching heights of 170 feet and living for more than 800 years. All Brazil nuts are natural, as efforts to cultivate the trees always fail. Because these trees are impossible to cultivate in orchards, Brazil nut production actually helps to keep rainforests intact!
- One ounce of Brazil nuts is a good source of thiamin (vitamin B1) and vitamin E.
- A one ounce serving also provides an excellent source of copper, magnesium and phosphorus.
- Brazil nuts contain high amounts of selenium (536 micrograms per one ounce, which is 700% DRV). In recent years, laboratory experiments and clinical trials have established the role of selenium in the prevention of cancer, inflammatory diseases, cardiovascular disease, neurological diseases, aging and infections.
See nutrition information for fat content.
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- USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 23 (2010), www.ars.usda.gov
- Obikoya, George. The Benefits of Selenium. www.vitamins-nutrition.org
- Nutrition labeling of Food, Code of Federal Regulations, 21 CFR 101.9, Release date April 1, 2010