If you’ve got a serious case of the munchies but still want to maintain that hard-earned physique, nuts have always been one of the top suggestions on a nutritionist’s list. Thanks to their slow-digesting fiber, muscle-building protein, and heart-friendly fats, nuts come with various health benefits which include anything from lowering cholesterol to helping you lose weight.
However, eating nuts and reaping their health benefits go way beyond peanuts and almonds. In fact, there’s a new kid in the (nut) block which adds something different to the mix and has to do with your testosterone. Today we’re talking about Brazil nuts. But, what could possibly be the connection between Brazil nuts and testosterone? Read on to find out.
Brazil Nuts – The Nutritional Breakdown
Brazil nuts contain a variety of nutrients, all of which bring something different to the table. But, perhaps the one that steals the show is selenium. Covering about 767% (!) of your daily selenium recommended intake in just one ounce, Brazil nuts are the perfect way to load on the mineral. Hefty doses of protein, fiber, healthy fats and various minerals (magnesium, copper, phosphorous, etc.) also hide in a pile of Brazil nuts, making it a nutritional goldmine all the way.
Brazil Nuts and Testosterone
Even though there are no studies to back up the connection between Brazil nuts and testosterone, the nutritional profile of this snack food leaves little room for doubt.
Selenium, Brazil Nuts, and Testosterone
Even if this is the first time you hear of this nutrient, selenium is a trace element that plays a significant role in several functions of the human body, including DNA synthesis, oxidative damage prevention, thyroid hormone metabolism and -of course- reproduction.
In fact, research shows that selenium can significantly increase serum testosterone in men, making it an all-natural potent testosterone booster. Now, what’s the richest source of selenium in the world? That’s right, Brazil nuts! Considering their high selenium content (check above), it’s no wonder that even a couple of these nuts are enough to skyrocket the production of testosterone in men.
But, that’s not the only way the selenium in Brazil nuts boosts your T levels. One recent study concludes that this nutrient significantly enhances a variety of semen parameters such as the quality, volume, and motility. If you don’t know this by now, the higher the quality of your sperm, the more testosterone your body produces.
Arginine, Brazil Nuts, and Testosterone
Selenium aside, Brazil nuts are also rich in another testosterone-friendly nutrient known as arginine. This so-called amino acid prevents anything from a common cold to hypertension and is also used to treat migraines and headaches.
But, perhaps the most popular health benefit of arginine has to do with increasing the flow of testosterone throughout the male body and, thus, enhancing their athletic performance. More specifically, arginine boosts nitric oxide production which dilates your veins and allows more blood (and more testosterone) to move from your testes to your muscles.
Antioxidants, Brazil Nuts and Testosterone
Oxidative stress is a term used to refer to the imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants within your body. In fact, high concentrations of free radicals (think of them as malicious molecules) result in several diseases such as diabetes, heart failure, even cancer. But, what oxidative stress has to do with testosterone?
According to research, testosterone features some serious pro-oxidant properties which are likely to cause oxidative stress, especially in men with high T levels. Luckily, foods high in antioxidants such as Brazil nuts neutralize the harmful effect of free radicals by eliminating them. What’s more, the antioxidants in Brazil nuts -in particular, vitamin E- trigger Leydig cells to produce more testosterone than usual.
Other Benefits of Brazil Nuts
Besides boosting testosterone naturally, Brazil nuts can also promote your overall health in various ways, from supporting thyroid function to improving cholesterol levels.
Stimulates Thyroid Hormone Production
Often neglected, the thyroid gland is one of your body’s most hard-working parts, regulating everything from your metabolism and temperature to the heartbeat. A malfunctioning thyroid is likely to result in multiple health issues such as weight gain, exhaustion, even depression.
Luckily, experts suggest that getting enough selenium supports the synthesis of thyroid hormones, helping you deal with this issue more efficiently. Being the #1 source of selenium in the world, Brazil nuts are your best shot at regulating the function of your underactive thyroid gland.
Decreases Cholesterol Levels
Compared to other nuts, Brazil nuts have significantly higher concentrations of nutrients. As a result, they are more likely to affect several body functions, and your lipid profile is no exception. In fact, even a single serving of Brazilian nuts is enough to improve your lipid profile, meaning they lower LDL (bad) and increase HDL (good) cholesterol.
Chronic inflammation is one of the most common side effects of poor nutrition. The good news is that it is 100% reversible and all it takes is some healthy food choices, starting with a serving of Brazil nuts. In fact, one study shows that Brazil nuts can significantly reduce inflammation without a single sign of kidney or liver toxicity.
Serving as an excellent natural testosterone booster, Brazil nuts are definitely one of the foods you should keep in your kitchen cabinet. And do you want a little tip to maximize their efficiency? Most of their selenium content hides in the skin, so why not opt for those with the most skin for maximum results? And, as always, moderation is key. You don’t need to go overboard to achieve your goals. Half a handful daily is more than enough to do the trick.