Why should Brazil nuts actually be called Bolivia nuts?
Brazil nuts shelled
Thought we'd share some rather strange trivia about the Brazil nut. To begin with, it isn't actually a nut. It is the seed of a tree, native to South America, that grows up to 150 feet tall. The seeds grow in large, hard pods the size of grapefruits, with about 12 seeds to a pod.Aside from being high in protein, calcium, magnesium, thiamine and zinc, Brazil nuts are perhaps the best natural source for selenium, containing more than 1,000 percent of the U.S. recommended dietary allowances. Selenium has been shown to fight cancer, heart disease and even aging.
However, too much selenium can also be problematic and Brazil nuts are also high in fat (69%). In addition, Brazil nuts contain up to 1000 times more radium than the next most radioactive food
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But perhaps the most interesting trivia about the Brazil nut (called "castaña" in Bolivia, scientific name Bertholletia excelsa
) is that the world's largest producer of Brazil nuts is not Brazil, it's actually Bolivia.
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