Brazil Nuts - a natural and tasty selenium source
Brazil nuts are a very handy source of selenium, a mineral that most New Zealanders don't get enough of. New Zealand's soil contains low levels of selenium, this means that all produce grown in NZ soil tends to have low selenium levels raising some concerns about our selenium status, as selenium is essential for our good health.
There is good evidence to suggest that ensuring we get the recommended dietary intake level every day (60 mcg for women, 70 mcg for men) or a little bit more, can help to reduce the risk of chronic disease and enhance our immune system. Selenium is an important part of various compounds involved in antioxidant defences within our body cells, our metabolism, immune function and reproduction.
A 2008 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that eating just two brazil nuts a day – containing around 100 micrograms of selenium – was as effective at optimising selenium status as selenium containing dietary supplements.
So enjoying just two brazil nuts a day, as part of a morning or afternoon snack, is a great way to ensure you're getting enough selenium, and these nuts also contain good unsaturated fats, fibre and many other nutrients that are good for our health. The important thing is not to overdo things - just TWO brazil nuts per day. If you eat more than that it's possible that selenium could accumulate in your body, and that's not good, plus the nuts also contain metals such as barium and radium and we don't need or want lots of those in our body.
Add just two brazil nuts to your daily food intake and relax, safe in the knowledge that you've got your selenium intake sorted without the need for an expensive dietary supplement - brilliant and tasty!
You will find these at your local fruit shop, health shop or supermarket.