DESPITE its name, the Brazil nut is technically a seed rather than a nut.  That’s nuts, isn’t it? And to complicate things even more, the seeds do come from the Brazil nut tree.  
We’ll keep calling them nuts, however, just to keep things uncomplicated. 

They are a good source of fibre, Omega 6 and Omega 9.  Fibre helps with gut health, toilet transitions and some types can lower blood cholesterol.  

Omega 6 essential fatty acids promote inflammation in the body in a good way in the context of when we have a wound there will be inflammation which is a key part of the body’s natural defence mechanism.  

Omega 9 fatty acids, meanwhile, help balance out our blood cholesterol level so it doesn’t become too high.

Brazil nuts are a good source of a range of important minerals like potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc. These help with movement in our bodies, tooth enamel, sleep, energy metabolism and the normal functioning of our immune systems.  
razil nuts are one of the best sources of selenium with just five or six of them providing around 64-76ug which will meet the daily recommendations for adults where we live.  Selenium is a key nutrient required to support healthy thyroid function.  They are also a good source of plant-based iron called non-haem iron. 

The nuts need soaked in water overnight with a pinch of sea salt to break down chemicals in their skin called phytates, which make it harder for iron to be absorbed into our bodies. Iron helps transport oxygen around our bodies and reduces tiredness.  

Lee McCusker (BA; MSc; MSc; MSc; ANutr; SENr) is a registered nutritionist from Belfast and can be found on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  Email: attentive