Brazil Nut TikTok Trend Has Benefits

Brazil nuts are the latest trend TikTok users are consuming to improve their diet. The food has earned acclaim for providing various nutrients like vitamin E, magnesium, and selenium.

Videos with the hastag, #brazilnut, have garnered over 22.8 million videos on TikTok, proving to be a hit on the popular social media app. Unlike some viral health trends that prove to be fiction, Brazil nuts contain many added benefits.

They are native to the Bertholletia excelsia tree, one of the largest trees in the Amazon rainforest, and are known for being a prime source of selenium, a vital element that helps cognitive health, coordination, memory, and motor performance.

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Low levels of selenium increase the risk of certain heart diseases, male infertility, cognitive decline in older adults, and thyroid disease. Nutrition Expert at Protein Works, Kyle Crowley, explains to Healthnews how selenium levels impact thyroid health.

"Brazil nuts are great for thyroid health due to the amount of selenium they contain. Selenium helps with the production of thyroid hormones and also helps to protect the thyroid gland from damage," Crowley said. "Again, this is particularly important for women as thyroid hormones play an essential role in regulating a woman's reproductive system as well their menstrual cycle too."

A typical 28g single-size serving of Brazil nuts provides 4g of protein and 537µg of selenium. Like anything, it is important to consume these nuts in moderate portion sizes. Crowley notes just two nuts per day will provide an adequate amount of selenium. Large amounts of selenium in the blood can lead to health consequences.

However, whilst TikTok has increasingly become a great way to spread awareness of the nutritional benefits certain foods have, due to the short-form nature of the videos, they can easily be misinterpreted, and people may get carried away. The recommended intake of Brazil nuts is only one or two per day maximum. Exceeding this can lead to bad breath, diarrhea, fatigue, and more due to high levels of selenium. So like always, moderation is key to unlocking this trend's full benefits.

- Crowley

Brazil nuts are also great sources of vitamin E and magnesium. The body requires vitamin E to help the immune system fight bacteria and viruses. It also allows blood vessels to widen for blood clot prevention. Magnesium assists in muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and making protein, bone, and DNA.

@syncwithlinn Brazil nuts are rich in vitamins including selenium which is essential for proper thyroid / hormone function✨ #thyroidhealth #thyroidhealing #hypothyroidism #hyperthyroidism #hormonehealingfoods #brazilnuts #hormonebalancetips #brazilnutbenefits #soakyourbrazilnuts #hormonetips #thyroidfoods #greenscreen ♬ original sound - DANIELLE

"One of the main reasons why Brazil nuts may be particularly beneficial for women is because they are mineral and vitamin dense," Crowley explains. "Both magnesium and vitamin E have both been found to help reduce symptoms of menstrual cramps as well as relieve menopause symptoms like hot flushes and mood swings, making them a perfect addition to any woman's diet at all ages."

These nuts, however, are not domestically produced in the United States, which means they are difficult to find and costly. Crowley says other foods containing magnesium, zinc, and vitamin B can help thyroid health. Leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains are all strong sources of magnesium.

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Steps to a healthy diet

While these nuts may provide valuable sources of certain nutrients, they also contain their fair share of fats. Maintaining a balanced diet is a key step to a healthy lifestyle. The CDC recommends fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy options, lean meats, poultry, seafood, eggs, nuts, and whole-grain breads as healthy diet options.

Your diet may be different than others. Research shows the best diet may vary based on each individual’s metabolism. However, it is important to be aware of which foods you are consuming. For example, low-carb diets should feature healthy unsaturated fats found in sources like Brazil nuts versus the fats found in processed meats. Individuals partaking in low-fat diets should rely on high-fiber foods, including whole-grain bread and beans.

Removing junk food and sugar-sweetened beverages with few nutrients can help eliminate extra calories. Lean meats, low-fat calcium-rich foods, and healthy servings of fruits and vegetables provide much more nutritional value compared to comfort food alternatives.


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