Brazil Nuts

Brazil nut is the seed of the fruit of Brazil nut tree (Bertholletia excelsa), a South American tree in the family Lecythidacea. The Brazil nut fruit is a large capsule, 10-15 cm in diameter, resembling a coconut endocarp and weighs up to 2 kilograms. The fruit has a hard, woody shell 8-12 mm thick, with 8-24 triangular seeds( Brazil nut) packed like the segments of an orange. The fruit takes about 14 months to mature after pollination of the flowers. In botanical definition, Brazil nut is not a nut but a seed.

Despite the name Brazil nut, the most significant exporter of Brazil nuts is not Brazil but Bolivia, where they are called almendras. Brazil nut contains 18% protein, 13% carbohydrates, and 69% fat, with a breakdown of 25% saturated fat, 41 monounsaturated and 34 % polyunsaturated. The saturated fat in Brazil nut is the highest among all nuts, even higher than Macadamia nuts which contains mostly monounsaturated fat. Brazil nut is a good source of magnesium, thiamine, selenium, and also phytic acid (preventing the absorption of some nutrients).

Brazil nuts can be used in cooking and also make into oil, as a lubricant in clocks and in the cosmetic industry.

Brazil nutsBrazil nuts
Author: Lior Golgher (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0-unported)

Brazil nutsBrazil nuts
Author: Deathworm (public domain)

Shelled Brazil nutsShelled Brazil nuts
Author: Quadell (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic)

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