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Brazil nuts and associated health benefits: A review.

Yang, J. 2009. Brazil nuts and associated health benefits: A review. LWT – Food Science and Technology.42:1573–1580.

Epidemiological studies have shown an inverse relationship between nut intakes and chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and cancers. The composition of lipids, minerals, and phytochemicals, and their associated health functions in Brazil nuts are critically reviewed. The nuts have high nutritive food value containing 60–70% oil and 17% protein. Brazil nuts contain abundant dietary antioxidants, especially selenium (Se). One single Brazil nut provides 160% of the US Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of selenium – perhaps the best source of Se from plant-based foods. Brazil nuts possess phenolics and flavonoids in both free and bound forms and are rich in tocopherol, phytosterols, and squalene. These compounds’ possible beneficial effects are due to their antioxidant and antiproliferative activities, which are linked to a reduced risk for developing atherosclerosis and cance