Brazil Nuts: Protection During the Pandemic

Selenium May be Another Key to Understanding Resistance to Covid-19.

By Dr. Robin Rose

With the COVID-19 cases exploding inside their borders, Brazilians would do well to eat their nation’s namesake nuts. Brazil nuts contain selenium. Selenium is a mineral that is integral to fighting disease.

Selenium is a vital mineral with potent antioxidant properties, preventing damage from free radicals that may contribute to heart disease and cancer. Selenium has anti-inflammatory effects contributing to optimizing brain function, regulating thyroid function, metabolism, testosterone production, and a healthy immune system. Selenium supplementation may have a protective effect against mercury, arsenic, cadmium, and other toxic heavy metals.

What’s even more fascinating is the recent link identified between dietary selenium intake and outcomes of COVID-19 disease. It has been shown that populations in China have both the lowest and highest selenium status in the world, due to geographical differences in the soil. This, in turn, affects how much of the trace element gets into food. Researchers in China found that people living in areas with high levels of selenium were more likely to recover from the virus.

Although The Institute of Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board set a recommended dietary allowance of 55 µg selenium/day for adults, higher levels of selenium intake in the range of 200-300 µg/day are believed to be effective in the prevention of certain types of cancer such as lung,colon, and prostate. The tolerable upper intake level of selenium is 400 µg/day.

It is always best to source vitamins and minerals from our food. Selenium is no exception. Brazil nuts are a nutrient-dense food that provides us with many health benefits, including an easy way to get the amount of selenium we need. According to the USDA, one Brazil nut contains 96 ugs of selenium. In addition to being the richest dietary source of selenium, Brazil nuts are also packed with healthy fats, protein, fiber and contain rich amounts of other key nutrients like vitamins D and E, copper, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and zinc.

When buying Brazil nuts be sure to purchase Organic Raw Brazil Nuts. If they are not organic CERTIFIED, they are treated with toxic chemicals to prevent rotting. Instead of using chemicals, they undergo a rigorous process of inspection, steam-cleaning, and drying. In terms of storage, we recommend keeping them in the refrigerator or freezer to extend shelf life and prevent rancidity.

If you have a nut allergy or don’t like Brazil Nuts, another food source rich in selenium are pasture-raised eggs, one egg contains approximately 25% of our daily selenium needs. Other sources high in selenium include spinach, mushrooms, navy beans, organic tofu, wild salmon, halibut, and shellfish such as oysters and shrimp.