The prostate gland is small in size yet plays a crucial role in your reproductive health.
This gland produces a type of fluid that combines with sperm.
The seminal fluid provides nourishment for sperm and also assists in the transportation of this substance.
As you age, your risk for prostate-related problems increases.
Brazil nuts are currently a trending topic when looking at prostate health.
In this post, we look at the benefits of Brazil nuts for your prostate.
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What Are Brazil Nuts?
Brazil nuts are a type of tree nut. These trees are native to the South American region – or, to be more specific, Brazil. In addition to Brazil, the nuts are also considered native to two other areas – Peru and Bolivia.
The nuts are known for their texture, which many describe as buttery. Many people prefer to eat Brazil nuts raw, but they also come in other options, such as blanched or roasted.
The nuts are considered to be very energy-dense and often described as powerhouses when it comes to nutrition. They are good for the thyroid gland and may even help to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Having a one-ounce serving of Brazil nuts provides the body with 187 calories. The nuts contain protein, healthy fats, and are also rich in carbohydrates. In addition to these, Brazil nuts are also known for their fiber and selenium content.
Other nutrients in Brazil nuts include:
- Thiamine (vitamin B1)
Benefits Of Brazil Nuts For Your Prostate
To understand why Brazil nuts are great for men and, in particular, the prostate gland, we need to look at the nutrients in the food.
Protects the prostate
The first factor to consider is the selenium content in the nut. A single Brazil nut already gives you your daily recommended intake for this mineral.
Selenium is a very important mineral involved in cellular growth, metabolism, and many other functions in the body. Several studies have also shown that selenium plays a role in prostate health.
In one particular study, researchers found that a higher intake of selenium is associated with a lower incidence of prostate cancer. This is primarily linked to the antioxidant activity produced by selenium.
Another study looked at over 36,000 cases of prostate cancer, compared to more than 100,000 controls. This study indicated that selenium has a protective effect on the prostate gland. The researchers also conclude that selenium may be an option for implementing preventative measures in men with a risk for prostate cancer.
Anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant
In addition to selenium, it should be noted that Brazil nuts seem to yield an anti-inflammatory effect in the body. Selenium is only one of the antioxidant nutrients found in nuts.
Brazil nuts also contain vitamin E, ellagic acid, gallic acid, and other phenols. Studies show that these antioxidants may help to increase glutathione peroxidase in the body. This is a type of enzyme that is known to protect the body against the effects of oxidative stress.
This type of physiological stress is caused by compounds called free radicals. When free radicals enter the body and cause oxidative stress, it leads to the development of inflammation. Thus, the protective effect also helps to reduce levels of inflammation in the body.
There is one study that focused specifically on the anti-inflammatory effects of Brazil nuts. In this study, individuals were provided with up to 10 Brazil nuts daily. Researchers found that levels of inflammatory markers significantly reduced with the consumption of nuts.
The specific markers noted in the study were TNF-alpha (tumor necrosis factor-alpha) and interleukin-6, also known as IL-6. The anti-inflammatory effect needs to be considered when looking at how Brazil nuts would affect prostate health.
Forms Of Brazil Nuts
One of the great things about Brazil nuts is that the nut can be processed into different forms. This gives you more versatility when deciding how you want to experience the benefits of Brazil nuts yourself. The most popular way to consume Brazil nuts would be in their whole form.
Many people decide to pack a couple of Brazil nuts and snack on them while working. The high fiber content of the nuts helps you feel full after snacking, which is also great for people who struggle with cravings.
Apart from whole nuts, you can also find Brazil nuts in the form of butter and milk. Many people enjoy Brazil nut milk. Additionally, there is also the option of an oil made from Brazil nuts. These oils add a nutty flavor to your food and give you access to the wide range of nutrients found in the nuts.
How To Get Brazil Nuts In Your Diet
While some nuts should not be consumed raw, this is not the case with Brazil nuts. This makes it much easier to get your daily dose of these nuts. With this in mind, the easiest way to add Brazil nuts to your diet is to simply snack on them. Aim to eat about one ounce of Brazil nut – as this is considered a single serving.
Alternatively, there are other ways in which Brazil nuts can be added to your diet. One option is to cook with Brazil nut oil. The oil is versatile and can even be added to your favorite salads. Some recipes also use Brazil nuts. In these cases, you will usually chop the nut into smaller pieces. You can also use Brazil nuts as a nutty addition to salads that you prepare.
Are There Any Risks?
Brazil nuts are incredibly healthy but, there are some risks involved. First of all, consider whether you have an allergy to tree nuts. If this is the case, then you should Brazil nuts completely.
Signs of an allergic reaction when eating nuts include:
- A runny nose
- Swelling in your throat
- Difficulty breathing
- A tingling sensation in your mouth
- Cramps in the abdomen
- Nausea and vomiting
- A tight feeling in the throat
- Swollen lips
- Rashes on the skin
Those who do not have a tree nut allergy should practice moderation when eating Brazil nuts. The nut is incredibly high in selenium. In fact, many consider Brazil nuts to be one of the top dietary sources of this mineral.
While selenium plays a critical role in your body, too much of the mineral can be harmful. This can result in a condition known as selenium toxicity. When your body gets too much selenium, you may experience vomiting and nausea, hair loss, and irritability.
Some people experience a bad odor in their mouths. Discoloration of the nails is possible, as well as hair loss. It is also possible to develop a fever. In cases where a significantly high amount of selenium is ingested, the complications can be more severe.
Brazil nuts are rich in powerful antioxidants, along with healthy fats and numerous nutrients. These compounds produce an anti-inflammatory effect in your body, which is beneficial for the prostate gland.
In addition to the benefits of Brazil nuts for your prostate, it is important to recognize the additional effects that the nut has on the body. It is also easy to include these nuts in your daily diet.