July 17, 2019 11:37 am Leave your thoughts
For many people, they’re the very BEST of nuts. Chunky, crunchy, thickly satisfying – you know when you’ve eaten a Brazil nut! But what exactly is it that makes them so special?
Best for health
First of all, they’re crashingly good for you. We use the word advisedly – the nuts grow in the pods of the huge Brazil trees in the Amazon region; they literally crash down from a height of 50 metres between December and March each year.
Once they hit the ground, humans can start reaping their health benefits. They’re a great source of magnesium (needed to regulate muscle and nerve function and to help manufacture proteins, bones and DNA), zinc (great for our immune system and for reproductive health) and thiamine (also known as Vitamin B1, allowing us to access the energy in the food we eat). Mineral-wise, they’re perhaps best-known as the finest dietary source of selenium, which we need for proper thyroid function, to maintain our immune system and to heal wounds. Like other nuts, they’re also a good provider of protein (wonderful news for vegetarians and vegans) and rich in fibre.
Best for taste
In taste terms, Brazils are the king of nuts, deliciously, mouth-filling-ly savoury. At Naturally Good Food we sell them in pack sizes ranging from snack size up to bulk boxes. We also sell broken Brazils (if you’re going to chop them anyway, it makes sense to go for the cheaper, broken ones). If you’re looking for these nuts in their easiest-to-eat form, you might like to try them in a Brazil nut butter, spread on toast for breakfast. Brazil nuts are the nuttiest of nuts, the crunchiest and the chunkiest of nuts – adding them to a recipe, in whatever form you choose, gives a real boost of taste.
Best for the world
Naturally Good Food’s Brazil nuts actually come from Bolivia, which is now a larger supplier of these nuts than Brazil itself. Harvesting and processing the nuts is heavy, labour-intensive work, but Bolivian communities depend on them for their income. In some places, they’re the only crop for a community.
Brazil nuts will only fruit well within their own undisturbed, pristine ecosystem; demand for these nuts therefore helps to maintain the rainforest environment. The nuts have been described as the ‘only way to make money in this region’ that maintains, rather than destroys, the Amazonian environment.
Best for everyone
If you’re not snacking on them straight from the bag, then you might like to check out these three wholefood recipes from Naturally Good Food:
Best Brazil nut facts
- Brazil nuts, when ripe, can reach 80mph in their crashing descent from the trees, having the same force upon impact as a cannonball. Wear a hard hat.
- You can’t have any Brazil nuts at all if you don’t have agoutis. The outer casing of the fruit pod is so hard that only one known animal can crack it open: the large rodent agouti, with its sharp chiseling teeth.
- You also can’t have any Brazil nuts if you don’t have the orchid bee: the only bee that can manage to extract the pollen from the flower of the Brazil tree. For that bee to survive, you need a particular species of orchid that’s only found in the rainforest.
Brazil nuts bring us amazing health benefits – but their continued existence depends on us maintaining, rather than destroying, their rainforest environment. It’s good to know that good taste, good health and good environmental practice can go hand in hand, as we nibble happily on one of these splendid nuts!Amazon rainforest, Bolivia, Brasil nuts, Brazil nut butter, Brazil nut recipes, Brazil Nuts, broken Brazil nuts, bulk brazil nuts, chocolate covered Brazil nuts, Nuts, organic nuts, snack Brazil nuts
This post was written by Yzanne