Does Soaking Brazil Nuts Remove Selenium? The Truth Unveiled

Are you a fan of Brazil nuts?

These meaty and uniquely flavored nuts are not only delicious but also packed with essential nutrients like protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats.

However, some people believe that soaking Brazil nuts before eating them can improve their digestibility and remove phytic acid, which can rob us of some minerals.

But what about selenium, the mineral that Brazil nuts are famous for? Does soaking remove it too?

In this article, we’ll explore the science behind soaking Brazil nuts and whether it affects their selenium content.

So, grab a handful of Brazil nuts and let’s dive in!

Does Soaking Brazil Nuts Remove Selenium

Selenium is an important mineral that plays a crucial role in our health. Brazil nuts are known to be one of the richest dietary sources of selenium, with just one large nut containing 140 micrograms or 254% of the recommended daily intake.

However, some people believe that soaking Brazil nuts before eating them can remove selenium along with phytic acid. Phytic acid is an anti-nutrient that can bind to minerals like iron, zinc, and calcium, making them less available for absorption by the body.

While soaking can indeed remove some phytic acid, it does not remove selenium. Selenium is a stable mineral that is not affected by soaking or any other form of food preparation.

In fact, research has shown that even after soaking and dehydrating, Brazil nuts retain their selenium content. So, if you’re eating Brazil nuts for their selenium, there’s no need to worry about losing this important mineral through soaking.

The Nutritional Benefits Of Brazil Nuts

Brazil nuts are not only a rich source of selenium, but they also contain other beneficial nutrients and minerals. These nuts are 18% protein, 13% carbohydrates, and 69% fat, with their fat breakdown being roughly 25% saturated, 41% mono-unsaturated, and 34% polyunsaturated.

In addition to selenium, Brazil nuts are also a good source of magnesium. Magnesium is an essential mineral needed for calcium absorption as well as aiding relaxation. A study of obese adolescents found that eating eight Brazil nuts per day not only increased levels of the antioxidant selenium but also reduced LDL cholesterol.

Moreover, the selenium in Brazil nuts can help keep your thyroid in proper working order and in overall good health. The thyroid gland has more selenium content per gram of tissue than any other organ in your body. Selenium is a key component of the molecules that are necessary for your body to be able to create and use thyroid hormones.

Eating Brazil nuts may benefit your health in several ways, including regulating your thyroid gland, reducing inflammation, and supporting your heart, brain, and immune system. Soaking and dehydrating Brazil nuts can lower phytic acid levels, allowing for more of their minerals to be absorbed and making the nuts easier to digest. However, it does not remove selenium, which remains stable throughout the process.

Soaking Brazil Nuts: Pros And Cons

While soaking Brazil nuts does not remove selenium, there are still some pros and cons to consider when deciding whether or not to soak them.


– Soaking can help to remove phytic acid, which can improve mineral absorption in the body.

– Soaking can help to soften the nuts, making them easier to chew and digest.

– Soaking can also improve the flavor of the nuts by reducing any bitterness.


– Soaking can also remove some of the beneficial nutrients found in Brazil nuts, such as vitamin E and some of the antioxidants.

– Soaking can also increase the risk of bacterial growth if not done properly, which can lead to foodborne illness.

What Is Selenium And Why Is It Important?

Selenium is a trace mineral that is essential to our health. It acts as a powerful antioxidant, protecting our cells from damage caused by free radicals. It also plays a key role in supporting thyroid health, regulating the immune system, and reducing joint inflammation.

One of the most important functions of selenium is its role in the production of active thyroid hormones. The thyroid gland has more selenium content per gram of tissue than any other organ in the body, and selenium is a key component of the molecules that are necessary for the creation and use of thyroid hormones. Research has shown that there is a link between thyroid metabolism and selenium deficiency, and that selenium supplementation can improve thyroid hormone levels in people with reduced levels of the hormone T3.

Selenium also has anti-cancer properties, particularly in reducing the risk of breast and prostate cancer. It has been shown to reduce DNA damage, inhibit tumor growth, and induce cell death in cancer cells.

Other Ways To Increase Selenium Absorption

While soaking Brazil nuts may not affect their selenium content, there are other ways to increase selenium absorption and ensure that your body is getting the most out of this important mineral.

One way is to pair Brazil nuts with foods that are high in vitamin C. Vitamin C can enhance the absorption of selenium, so eating Brazil nuts with fruits like oranges or kiwis can help increase your body’s uptake of this mineral.

Another way to boost selenium absorption is to consume Brazil nuts alongside foods that are high in healthy fats. Selenium is a fat-soluble mineral, meaning it needs to be consumed with fat in order to be properly absorbed by the body. Eating Brazil nuts with foods like avocado or olive oil can help ensure that your body is able to absorb the selenium they contain.

Finally, it’s important to note that while Brazil nuts are a great source of selenium, they should not be relied on as the sole source of this mineral in your diet. Eating a variety of selenium-rich foods, like seafood, eggs, and organ meats, can help ensure that you’re meeting your daily recommended intake of this important nutrient.

Conclusion: To Soak Or Not To Soak?

In conclusion, soaking Brazil nuts may not be necessary for preserving their selenium content. While soaking can remove some phytic acid, it does not affect the stability of selenium. Therefore, if you enjoy the texture and taste of raw Brazil nuts, there is no need to soak them before consuming. However, if you prefer the texture of soaked nuts or have difficulty digesting raw nuts, soaking may be a good option for you. Ultimately, the decision to soak or not to soak comes down to personal preference and digestive needs. Regardless of your choice, incorporating Brazil nuts into your diet can provide numerous health benefits due to their high selenium and magnesium content.

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