Brazil Nuts - Radioactive Yet Cancer Fighting?
Brazil nuts come from the Brazil nut tree which are among the largest trees in the Amazon Rainforest. The trees can grow to be 100 to 150 feet tall and live to be 1,000 years old. When the nuts fall from the trees, they are gathered up and shipped around the world for consumption and to use for their oils. Bolivia is the largest expediter of the nuts.
Radioactivity : Because of the extensive root system of the Brazil nut tree, the roots soak up the naturally occurring radium on the soil. Small amounts of this radium are deposited into the meat of the nut. Although the amounts are small, the nut still contains 1000 times more radium than other foods do.
After using a mortar and pestle to create Brazil nut butter from 3 nuts, Ray Johnson, who was chief of radiation surveillance at the Environmental Protection Agency in the 1970’s and 1980’s aimed his Geiger counter at the butter to find that it registered 33% hotter in radioactivity than the natural level of the room.
Research regarding the safety of the nuts in regards to radiation is scarce. However, in 1968 the Health Physics journal published a report on the nuts high radioactivity, stating: “it is to be expected that individuals who regularly eat Brazil nuts for many years will eventually build up elevated radium body burdens.”
Selenium - Cancer Fighter? : Several studies have shown a link between selenium deficiency and cancer. It is believed that selenium either acts as an antioxidant or improves the immune system. For more info on the possible cancer fighting aspect of selenium click here .
Brazil Nuts - A Selenium Super Food : Brazil nuts may contain as much as 544 micrograms of selenium per ounce. So consuming one ounce of Brazil nuts would provide you will 780% of your recommended dietary allowance.
Selenosis Risk : Too much selenium in the bloodstream can result in a condition called selenosis Symptoms of selenosis include gastrointestinal upsets, hair loss, white blotchy nails, garlic breath odor, fatigue, irritability, and mild nerve damage. The Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences has set a tolerable upper intake level (UL) for selenium at 400 micrograms per day for adults to prevent the risk of developing selenosis.
Want to try Brazil nuts? I found these on amazon, and they look pretty tasty, plus they are not glowing in the picture:
Have you ever had Brazil nuts? If not, would you eat them knowing they are radioactive?
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