As is often the case, the hero of our conversation today is called a nut, not because it is in a biological sense, but because in appearance, taste, texture and smell, it is most like a nut. In fact, this is a grain, or a seed from a berthollet tree fruit. Brazil nut is not halved as its true brethren. And if you saw the fruit of the bertolletii live, you would most likely have decided that there is a coconut in front of you. But it is worth splitting it, and instead of white flesh, large oblong grains covered with peel will appear in front of you. What did not come up with mother nature!
By name it is not difficult to guess that the Brazil nut comes from the country of the same name. Although it grows throughout the valley of the Amazon: in Guiana, Venezuela, Bolivia and parts of Peru. This product is known from the time of the Indians; It has always been valued for its great taste and high nutritional value. Traditional medicine of the Aztecs actively used the fruits of bertolletii. They now play an important role in local cooking and healing.
Once on the European continent, Brazil nuts aroused great interest and universal love. This is an incredibly tasty delicacy, and modern scientists have managed to establish that it is also a useful food product. Anyone who cares about their health, wants to have a toned figure and beautiful skin will be interested in our today’s detailed story about the Brazil nut.
Brazil Nut Description
The tree of bertolletiya (in some sources – bertollecija) is named so in honor of the great French chemist Claude Berthollet. This tree looks truly monumental: 50-60 meters high, absolutely straight and smooth, up to three meters in girth, and the leaves with fruits are almost under the top. Bertholletia grows about five hundred years, and begins to bring the harvest only in the twelfth year of life. You understand that it is extremely difficult to collect nuts from such a giant, and this is not necessary: the ripe fruits themselves fall to the ground. That is why Spanish colonists, who first tasted sweet, nutritious Brazil nuts, called them “the gift of the Lord from heaven.”
The shell of the berthollet fruit, although thin, is very strong. If during the fall it did not split, you have to try to extract the delicacy. The monkeys are very successful in this – one of the main connoisseurs of the Brazil nut. They crack the fruits on sharp stones. By the way, it is the rich fauna of the Amazon that contributes to the natural spread of the berthollet. For example, the charming animals of agouti (something like guinea pigs) stock Brazil nuts for a rainy day, burying them in the ground. And then they forget where the treasure was hidden. Seeds germinate safely, giving life to new trees. How does this look like a story with our proteins and acorns, isn’t it?
To plant a Brazil nut in an artificial way is a difficult matter, as it is meaningless. In the jungle with one bertolletii for the year you can remove up to two hundred kilograms of flavored nuts! And in “captivity” these trees do not want to bear fruit well, either twelve or fifteen years after planting. Another mystery of nature! Today, Bolivia is the main supplier of Brazil nuts to the world market, but they have kept their name unchanged.
The benefits of the Brazil nut
What is so remarkable this large (5-6 cm in length) oily walnut, to taste similar to the cedar?
Its amazing vitamin and mineral composition. It contains:
Vitamins E, C and almost all of the group B;
10 essential trace elements;
18 valuable amino acids;
Polyunsaturated fatty acids;
Let us consider in detail how with the help of Brazil nuts it is possible to cover the daily needs of the human body in minerals and vitamins.
Let’s start with vitamins (calculations are per 100 grams of nuts):