Is Brazil nut a chestnut or a sunflower seed? The whole truth and myths about the wonderful chestnut from the Pari, how the real name of the Brazil nut is translated from Portuguese.
The benefits and harms of this nut: What is the use? And is it true that brazil nuts can be harmful? – Learn about everything from the article below!
How does a brazil nut grow?
Few people know about the Brazilian nut in Russia, and if they know, the information is not always full, I will try to bring everything first-hand, from Brazilian sources. Actually, from those who grow these wonderful chestnuts.
The trees on which Brazil nuts grow are quite impressive. Approximately 30 to 50 m in height, it is like a huge house. The thickness of the barrel from 1 to 4 m in diameter, so just can not hug! The trees have a large crown spreading. There are no knots and branches along the trunk itself, all the charm at the top is in the crown.
Chestnuts can live an average of 500 years. But not rare cases when chestnut (wood) lived for 1000 and 1600 years!
The nuts themselves do not grow directly on the tree. Wholes grow on the tree "bowler" so to speak, the size of a coconut, inside the pot ripen nuts, nicknamed in Brazil – chestnuts from the pair.
In July (winter), the leaves fall, by the spring new leaves appear and flowering occurs. And the tree blooms at once – 1 day! The life of flowers lasts only a day. Then comes the time of fruit ripening. The fruit is a wooden pot with nuts inside. Maturation lasts 12-15 months, in fact almost a year. This is largely due to the very thick shells of the fruit. And finally, in January-February, the fruits fall to the ground.
An average fruit with nuts inside can weigh up to 2 kg. The shell is similar in composition to wood, has a thickness of from 8 to 12 mm. Inside each fruit are from 8 to 24 nuts in the shell. Each nut is about the size of an orange slice.
In one of the ends of the fruit is often a small hole, through it various insects or animals can try to gnaw a hole and get nuts. Gruzun agouti and squirrels often extract the inshell nuts from the fruit, some are eaten, and some are buried in the ground for emergency, however, it can be said that the animals are using hidden means to germinate new chestnut trees. They hatch and then start new shoots.
I must say that these trees do not grow in any tropical forest, but only in the forests untouched by humans, where they feel at ease. Trees do not grow in swampy areas, but only on solid ground. And they can quite densely colonize any territory, or maybe 1 copy per hectare.
To get nuts, you need to start – get these "coconuts"and then file the top "coconut"and get nuts. And the nuts will not be available even at this stage. Since inside the pot (wooden), the nuts are in a wooden shell, each nut. The hardness of the shell is not inferior to the shell of walnuts. So it is necessary to cut, saw, break, in general, whatever you like to call it – but to save the nut from the shell. And only then can it finally be removed and eaten.
General opening work "seven locks" in the afternoon .. like in the fairy tale about the death of Kashchei, at the end of a needle, a needle in an egg, an egg in a duck, a duck on a tree, a tree in the middle of the ocean, etc. .. As long as you get it, you’re already washing yourself.
And here it is necessary to add on all the work, that not all Brazil grows these nuts, but only in several states, which means that they appear at least throughout the territory of Brazil – you need to get them from the state where they grow. Why am I telling all this – besides, the price for a plastic box of 150-200 grams is quite high in a store with peeled nuts. This is inside Brazil itself.
And about export-import it is interesting that the statistics is somewhat different. But poor Brazilian agricultural workers are usually the least paid for their hard work. The main margin goes for processing, intermediaries, suppliers, carriers, retail and wholesale resale, so that reaching the retail consumer, we have the fact that just as a delicacy or for health, an ordinary Brazilian will decide to just buy a package of Brazil nuts.
In Russia, I have not seen them until now, although it is possible that if you search well, then surely there are narrow-scale import deliveries with such a nut. As they say there is a product, and there is a merchant. Of course, Brazil nuts too. In addition, given the development of mutual trade relations between Russia and Brazil, for sure, there are already sites with the possibility of ordering nuts directly from Brazil, the Russian mediator assumes all matters, but of course, he will charge the markup. Perhaps for the sake of interest, it’s worth it, but not in large quantities.
On the origin of the Brazil nut
Its indigenous homeland of Brazil is the Amazonian forests. However, although they call these nuts Brazilian, the biggest supplier has long been not Brazil, but Bolivia. The reason for this phenomenon is the fact of cutting down the Brazilian rainforests, and at the same time chestnuts.
Inside Brazil, nuts are called differently, but most often as "chestnut-out-pair". This is because the state of Para was once a part of the Amazon and Amazonian forests. Since then much water has flowed under the bridge. Today, the most active producer of Brazil nuts is the small state of Acre, on the very outskirts of western Brazil, one can say on its "ponytail".
Acre is not a very developed state. In economic terms, everything is pretty primitive. The state economy rests primarily on agriculture and agriculture. That is, on a natural host.
In addition to Acre, nuts grow also in the Brazilian states: Rondônia, Maranhão, Amapa, Amazonas, Mato Grosso and Para. The chestnuts themselves (trees) grow scattered throughout the forests of these states, and most often near water bodies and large rivers.
Today, trees with Brazil nuts are listed in the International Red Book, as its species is at risk of extinction due to deforestation, filling the territories with pastures and other plantings.
About the delicious.
Let’s get to the point, or to "body" nutlet Brazilian chestnut, walnut, very high in calories. One of the leaders in fat content (healthy fat content – monounsaturated fat) and selenium (a special element of health!). First things first.
Nutty protein and fat are herbal, very useful and quickly saturated. Brazil nut helps with sports for muscle growth and proper physical recovery of the body during exercise.
Selenium is the most active element of nuts, our ally in the fight against free radicals (the main pests of our youth!), And also prevents the development of cancer.
The nut is also rich in magnesium and thiamine. In general, we can say that Brazil nut is a plant antioxidant. Oil squeezed out of nuts is widely used in cosmetic products, natural recipes for the skin, both for moisturizing and nourishing, and in the fight against wrinkles.
On the territory of Brazil, Brazil nuts are consumed in pure form, they often fry it, it gets a delicate nutty flavor. It is also crushed to nut crumb, or even to flour, breading and further already used in various culinary appointments. For example, for desserts, cakes, sweet cakes, ice cream. Can also be used as a breading for salty snacks, meat and so on.
Brazilian Chestnut Benefits or 6 virtues for your health. 1) reduces bad cholesterol. 2) fights radicals, the main pests of our skin. Because it is rich in vitamin E. 3) helps in the fight against hypothyroidism, as selenium is an assistant to people with thyroid problems. 4) selenium also enhances immunity, along with vitamin E. 5) prevents osteoporosis, as it is rich in calcium and magnesium. Helps our bones stay strong. 6) helps the active work of the brain, prevents the degeneration of brain cells. Interferes with the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
How to eat and not get better?
It is important to remember that the Brazil nut is an extremely useful healthy food, but it is rich in fats, that is, high-calorie. It is better to eat it in the morning, you can at breakfast or lunch. Better in its raw form, since it roasts it loses a lot in favor (polyunsaturated fats break up when roasted).
1 nutlet is already 26,24 calories. As much as 90% Brazilian walnut consists of healthy vegetable fat, which I wrote about above, and the remaining 10% of the composition is divided in half by carbohydrates and protein.
And now the most interesting thing – 100 grams of nuts (1 cup) is 1049 calories (90% of which are fat.) This is close to the daily calorie norm of a person losing weight, so caution is very important in the amount of consumption.
Here, of course, the main word will be moderation! Because if you watch your weight and health, then a nut can be an alternative to other sources of beneficial body fat. Saturation occurs fairly quickly, it is important to wait 10-15 minutes, and the feeling of satiety should appear.
From my experience with brazil nuts
From my experience on Brazil nuts, I recall how once, at one of the Christmas holidays in Brazil, the boss at my job gave all the employees a Christmas basket with different products, sort of like a must-have gift for every self-respecting employer in Brazil. The basket contained both ordinary sweets, chocolates, jelly cookies, and more useful products like lentils, peanuts, and packaging with some unknown to me at that time. "wood".
When I finished with the whole basket, this one undiscovered bundle was left, and I still thought what it was and how it is, because it looked like wooden slices of what was not clear. I still did not know then that Brazil nuts are sold, including unpeeled in the shell, to be kept longer. And in the shell – packaging is cheaper. Thus, the day came – when there was no food at home, but I wanted to eat, and I decided to find out what was in this package. Opened and realized that except for nuts, another thought did not come. At that time I rented a separate house and, of course, I didn’t hold any tools like a hammer or pliers.
In general, I had to invent how to open them, because not a single object in the house could break a thick shell of nuts. Can you guess what I began to open them? I do not want to admit teeth. What else. She did not regret her enamel and began to try them as a hungry squirrel "on the tooth". Somehow I overcame a nut 3. Because I was so terribly exhausted, they really had a shell "what is necessary!" Do not open just like that.
Moreover, even when it was succeeded to break it, it was not completely broken off and the nut was taken to be a real punishment, the famine passed after the end of the third nut was picked, there was no longer any strength nor desire to do it again. But since they "oily"then this was enough to pay off hunger. This is my experience. I do not advise anyone to do this, if you have fragile teeth, you can lose your teeth.
How many nuts a day should I eat?
Brazil’s nutritionists recommend a daily rate of 1 to 2 nuts per day, with a balanced diet. This is enough to get all the important trace elements and the correct daily dose of selenium and not to bust with calories. It is important to remember that selenium in excess can cause harm, and in the worst case, even cause coma. That is, if you eat, for example, an overdose of 9-10 nuts, you can get from indigestion to poisoning. In addition, signs of overdose with nuts can be irritability, muscle weakness, body aches.
Keep nuts need in
It is necessary to admit that while I was writing this article, this happened more than one day. Since at first I collected information, then collected material in a heap and also recalled my experiences in this topic, it was of interest to try Brazil nuts again, only in a civilized way this time, there was also a desire to benefit my health and all of my family too.
Several times I looked for nuts in supermarkets, such as "Magnet" and others. But not found. One of these days I went home past a fruit and vegetable shop and saw these nuts in a glass case packaged in separate bags. Very surprised, such an unexpected find. Having considered everything, I took 1 pack. In our city, the price for 1 kg of Brazil nuts is 550 rubles. Packaging 310 grams cost 171 rubles. Do not think that 310 grams is so small, in fact, although the nuts are large, but light enough, so a bag of 300 grams is a large amount (and the number of pieces (nuts) should be enough for a month, and maybe longer.)
Strangely enough, they were not kept by the seller in the fridge, which frightened me. I was afraid to buy them and they are rancid for example. Agreed that we will try several pieces at home, and if they are rancid, the seller will return the money.
I brought it home, opened it and just sniffed it to begin with. The smell of vegetable, nut, slightly gives vegetable nut oil. They are not processed in appearance, just nuts without shells, clean and unroasted. Ate 2 nuts in half with a child, and I must say that the taste is good, natural, non-stinky, can be compared roughly with unroasted cashews.
Bottom line: I was pleased with the purchase. The main thing – measure, 1 per day and enough. ))) I advise everyone to search in my own city and be sure to try. As far as I know, all Brazil nuts go really from Brazil, at the very least from Bolivia, which is next to it.
So we found out that the Brazil nut in its moderate quantity is a continuous benefit for our body, health and well-being of the physical and mental. But!
So that good does not turn into evil, remember that only 1-2 nuts do a good deed, if you use more than 4-5 per day, then after a certain period, week, month, etc., you can get a negative effect, since selenium (antioxidant) tends to accumulate in the body and if the dose is greater than that needed by the body, then you can harm yourself.
To summarize, the Brazil nut helps: 1) in diseases of the thyroid gland, namely hypothyroidism. Improves the picture, due to selenium. 2) fights skin aging; 3) fights aging of the brain and brain cells. 4) protects against cancer 5) oil moisturizes the skin 6) prevents Alzheimer’s disease 7) helps to keep in excellent physical shape with a healthy lifestyle controls pressure 9) cleans blood vessels 10) reduces harmful cholesterol 11) relieves stress from PMS in women 12) strengthens bones, teeth and nails
and most importantly: no more than 1-2 pieces per day, then everything will be super cool! Store nuts only in the refrigerator. You can add to desserts, sweet, you can in salads, it is best if you eat it raw, without roasting!
Brazilian gourmets do everything they can with a nut: granola bars with a brazil nut, whole grain bread with a nut, cakes and pastries, and biscuits with a nut. Ice cream, pies.
At this let me finish. If the article turned out to be interesting and useful for you, like it!
Author: Papilina Natalya, 2014. Copying is prohibited by copyright.