Could You Have a Nutrient Deficiency? (+ 5 Common Micronutrient Deficiencies)

Could you have a nutrient deficiency?

While it's not something you likely ask yourself on a regular basis, the truth of the matter is that studies have shown at least 31 percent of Americans are deficient in at least one essential micronutrient. [1]

Additionally, many experts estimate the number is far greater—as much as an astonishing 90 percent!

But what does this mean for our health? And which nutrient deficiencies are the most common?

Let’s dive in and discuss common nutrient deficiencies along with ways you can make sure you're staying sufficient in them.


Nutrient deficiency - Dr. Pingel


The Danger of Having a Nutrient Deficiency

If having a nutrient deficiency is so common, what’s the harm? After all, many people seem to be going about their live just fine, right?

Not really—if you really think about it, our health as a nation has been steadily declining for a while now.

Rates of inflammatory chronic disease are on the rise, along with obesity, depression, anxiety, insomnia, fatigue … the list goes on.

Well, believe it or not, having a nutritional deficiency is linked to all of these conditions. Here’s how …

A couple of years ago, I explained how stress is a “nutrient thief” and “steals” your nutrients from your body.

In fact, I likened your body and nutrients to a manufacturing assembly line, with several individual parts arranged in a specific order to produce a final product. Let’s revisit that for a moment.

Think of the individual parts of the assembly line as nutrients and the final product as your body’s ability to function properly.

For example, vitamin B12 helps your body produce energy, and that’s a crucial part of your well-being. Without it, you’re going to feel fatigued.

Meanwhile, your body must have adequate amounts of both vitamins C and B6 to produce the neurotransmitter serotonin, a hormone related to your mood, appetite, memory, sleeping habits, and more.

Without adequate amounts of these vitamin, you’re going to be at increased risk of experiencing insomnia, depression, anxiety, and more. See the connection?

If you’re deficient in these nutrients, all of the important functions in your body will be impacted.

Here’s the hard proof: One study revealed that participants with low levels of vitamin B6 were more likely to experience symptoms of depression. Accordingly, the researchers hypothesized that vitamin B6 supplementation may help improve these symptoms. [2]

Now that you get the idea, let’s take a look at some of the most common nutrient deficiencies and what they mean for your health.


5 Common Nutrient Deficiencies

Here are five top nutrient deficiencies, how common they are, and how it impacts your health.

1. Magnesium

How common is it?

When it comes to magnesium sufficiency, we have a very real problem here in the U.S.

It’s currently estimated that about 60 percent of adults don’t consume the average dietary intake of magnesium, and 45 percent of Americans are estimated to have this nutrient deficiency.

How does it impact your health?

Magnesium is an extremely important mineral that has over 800 different essential roles within the body—meaning your body can’t function without it.

Magnesium is necessary for many bodily processes, such as regulating blood pressure, blood sugar control, and building proteins.

It’s also a co-factor in over 300 enzymes, making it essential for making those enzymes work properly. Basically, any process that requires energy requires magnesium.

While up to 60 percent of the magnesium in your body is found in your bones, there’s also some stored in your soft tissues and blood serum.

Magnesium deficiency symptoms are associated with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, osteoporosis, asthma, and neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, migraine headaches, and restless legs syndrome (RLS).  [34, 56]

2. Vitamin D

How common is it?

This is another quite common nutrient deficiency, with 46.1 percent of Americans being deficient in Vitamin D. [7]

How does it impact your health?

Vitamin D3 deficiency symptoms include muscle pain, fatigue, and depression. [8] Additional signs include experiencing regular illness (such as the common cold or flu), increasing and worsening autoimmune disease symptoms, osteopenia, and more.

It’s worth noting that researchers have been trying to draw clear and concrete associations between vitamin D levels and cortisol levels (the stress hormone), as well as to other endocrine disorders, such as PCOS, type 2 diabetes, autoimmune thyroid diseases (such as Hashimoto’s and Graves’), and Addison’s disease. [8]

3. Vitamin B12

How common is it?

Believe it or not, 40 percent of Americans are actually deficient in vitamin B12. [9]

How does it impact your health?

Known to help reset your circadian rhythm, vitamin B12 helps improve your sleep and normalize cortisol levels. It is also involved in blood cell and DNA production. So, when you’re experience a nutrient deficiency in vitamin B12, each of these areas will be impacted.

Also, it’s important to know that B vitamins have relationships with one another—specifically vitamin B6, B12, and B9 (or folate).

This means that if each of these levels aren’t properly balanced and sufficient, it can result in a myriad of health concerns, such as anemia, hypertension, infertility, hormone irregularities, fatigue, and much more.

4. Vitamin A

How common is it?

This nutrient deficiency is considered one of the most prevalent micronutrient deficiencies in the world.

It mainly impacts children in developing countries, affecting about 30 percent of children under age 5 around the globe. []

How does it impact your health?

Research has determined that adequate consumption of vitamin A is absolutely essential for maintaining a strong immune system.

Basically, a vitamin A deficiency blocks the normal regeneration of your mucosal barriers, which is known to impair your natural immunity to bacteria and viruses. [11]

Additionally, night blindness is one of the first signs of being deficient in vitamin A! [12] Plus, this nutrient deficiency is a major cause of preventable childhood blindness. []

5. Iron

How common is it?

Believe it or not, iron deficiency is the world’s most common nutritional deficiency, affecting 30 percent of women and children in the U.S. [14]

How does it impact your health?

This nutrient deficiency is known to cause extreme fatigue, weakness, pale skin, cold hands and feet, chest pain, and more.

If left untreated, you could develop heart problems (failure) and children can experience growth problems. [15]

4-Ingredient Homemade Vitamin D Gummies

Have you heard of homemade vitamin D gummies? If you’ve been following the news and/or recent scientific studies, you know that it’s more important than ever to take vitamin D.

But taking the same old vitamins can get a little dull and sometimes you want something a little more flair! So, I’ve created these sweet Homemade Vitamin D Gummies. And they’re so good, you’ll think you’re eating candy!

Ready in just 15 minutes, you can easily pop one and go. Plus, they’re delicious.

So, what’s in them? For my Homemade Vitamin D Gummies, I use only four ingredients. First, I like to use all-natural unsweetened 100% juice. You can use any flavor you like to adjust the taste to your personal preference.

Then, I incorporate some agave syrup to add a bit of natural sweetness along with some agar agar powder, which is a great vegan alternative to gelatin.

For the vitamin D, I use my Total Health Apothecary Total Vitamin D Liquid and put, on average, one to two drops into each gummy.

My liquid vitamin D offers 1,000 IU per single tiny droplet, so measure very carefully. I also recommend discussing the amount of vitamin D you need with your physician before making these Homemade Vitamin D Gummies or taking any vitamins for that matter.


The Benefits of Taking Vitamin D Gummies

So, now that you know how easy these are, let’s take a look at some of the benefits you can expect to get from taking vitamin D.

First, vitamin D contains significant antioxidant impact—improving cellular function and repairing DNA.

In addition, it’s been shown to help prevent the progression of numerous diseases or medical conditions, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, pregnancy complications, dementia, osteoporosis, autoimmune diseases, certain cancers, and systemic inflammatory diseases.

In fact, low vitamin D levels have been linked to each of the above-mentioned conditions. [1]

But there’s another benefit we need to review: One study found that over 80 percent of hospitalized COVID-19 patients had one thing in common: They were deficient in vitamin D! [2]

And a review noted that based on many new studies, vitamin D supplementation could reduce the risk of both flu and COVID-19 infections and even deaths! [3]

Finally, yet another study stated that in patients older than 40 years, researchers observed that those who were vitamin D sufficient were 51.5 percent less likely to die from COVID-19 compared to patients who were deficient. [4]

Given this research, it’s more critical than ever to get your vitamin D levels screened by your physician.

Current recommendations for vitamin D supplementation can range from 400 IU to 5,000 IU daily or weekly to higher doses such as 10,000 IU to 50,000 IU for a certain length of time.

Note that it is possible to take too much vitamin D; therefore, you should always work directly with your doctor to determine the exact dose for you and length of treatment.

Once you do that, consider making these vitamin D gummies, with which you can customize the dosage. So, let’s take a look at the recipe so you’re prepared!


4-Ingredient Homemade Vitamin D Gummies

Time: 15 minutes

Makes: about 15 gummies


Vitamin d gummies - Dr. Pingel



½ cup unsweetened 100% juice

1 tablespoon agave syrup

1 ¼ teaspoons agar agar powder

1 bottle Total Health Apothecary Total Vitamin D Liquid



1. In a small pot over medium heat, combine the juice and agave syrup. Bring to a boil.

2. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the agar agar powder and stir to combine. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, or until just thickened.

Vitamin d gummies - Dr. Pingel

3. Place a silicone mold on a small baking sheet or plate. Divide the juice mixture between the molds.

4. Place 1-2 drops of Total Vitamin D Liquid in each mold and quickly swirl with a toothpick or small spoon to combine.

Vitamin d gummies - Dr. Pingel

5. Transfer the baking sheet with the molds to the refrigerator. Cool for 10 minutes, or until set.

6. Remove the gummies from silicone molds. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Vitamin d gummies - Dr. Pingel

The 5 Surprising Health Benefits of Vitamin E 

Looking for something to benefit almost every aspect of your health? From your hair and skin to your eyes and heart health, the health benefits of vitamin E are so far-reaching that you’ll wonder why you haven’t been prioritizing it all along!

So, keep reading to learn all about this incredible nutrient and start taking advantage of its many benefits today!


All About Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning it’s mainly metabolized in your liver. Because fat-soluble nutrients are harder for your body to break down, they have a higher risk of causing toxicity in your body.

As a result, it’s important to know how much your individual body needs. Now, because vitamin E can only be obtained through your diet, it’s a vital nutrient to consume on a regular basis. The current RDA is 15 mg, but make sure to discuss your ideal amount with your physician.

So, what makes vitamin E such an important and health-promoting nutrient? Well, first, it’s known to be a rather powerful antioxidant—meaning it helps to protect your cells from further damage due to oxidative stress. [1, 2]

As you may recall, oxidative stress has been linked to the development of many diseases, including some cancers (especially colon), Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, fatty liver disease, atherosclerosis, and more. [3, 4]

Now that you know a little more about why this vitamin is so important and what’s behind its powerful effects, let’s take a closer look at some of the top health benefits of vitamin E.

5 Health Benefits of Vitamin E

Here are a few of the top health benefits of vitamin E. Take a look and see which ones surprise you.

1. Helps prevent hair loss

Scientists have long suspected that one of the incredible health benefits of vitamin E is its ability to help prevent hair loss. And a 2013 study confirmed the two are linked.

Researchers discovered that both serum and tissue levels of vitamin E were lower in patients with alopecia areata (otherwise known as patchy hair loss) than in healthy groups with no hair loss. [5]

Additionally, studies have shown a link between oxidative stress and the presence of alopecia, with alopecia sufferers often having lower antioxidant levels in their scalp.

Accordingly, researchers followed 21 volunteers as they received 100 mg daily of a vitamin E-containing supplement or a placebo.

After eight months, the researchers found that in terms of new hair growth, the vitamin E group experienced a 34.5 percent increase while the placebo group saw a decrease in amount of hair by 0.1 percent. [6]

2. Decreases heart disease risk by up to 40%

One of the most promising health benefits of vitamin E is its apparent effect on heart health.

Numerous studies have shown that the more vitamin E you consume, the lower your risk of heart disease.

In fact, one study followed just over 87,000 female nurses between the ages of 34 and 59 and assessed their consumption of many nutrients, including vitamin E.

The researchers found that those who consumed the most vitamin E were up to 40 percent less likely to have heart disease than those who consumed the least. This consumption was primarily in the form of supplements. [7]

Meanwhile, another study on more than 5,000 adults also revealed that higher consumption of vitamin E was linked to a lower risk of dying from heart disease. [8]

3. Helps lower risk of cataracts

Amazingly, another one of the incredible health benefits of vitamin E is its impact on eye health—specifically by helping to lower your risk of developing cataracts.

According to a 2015 meta-analysis, vitamin E consumption (through food and/or supplements) was significantly associated with decreased risk of age-related cataracts. [9]

Specifically, dietary consumption resulted in a 73-percent decrease in risk while dietary and supplemental consumption resulted in an 86-percent decrease in risk. Furthermore, the risk dropped with an intake of 7 mg of vitamin E per day.

4. Shown to reduce cognitive decline by 36%

Perhaps one of the most exciting health benefits of vitamin E is the promise it’s shown in reducing cognitive decline in the elderly population.

In one study, researchers followed 2,889 community residents from age 65 to 102 to assess whether antioxidant-rich nutrients, including vitamin E, vitamin C, and carotene, were associated with reduced cognitive decline with age.

Interestingly, the researchers found that there was a 36-percent reduction in the rate of cognitive decline I those with the highest vitamin E intake compared to those with the lowest intake. [10]

Meanwhile, there was little association between vitamin C and/or carotene intake and reduced cognitive decline.

As a result, the researchers concluded that vitamin E intake from either food or supplements is definitely associated with reduced cognitive decline with age.

5. Fights eczema, skin cancer, wrinkles, and more

Finally, the incredible health benefits of vitamin E also extend to your skin!

According to a 2015 study, consumption of vitamin E significantly improved the itchiness that accompanies eczema.

Specifically, people who consumed 400 IU of vitamin E each day reported an astounding 85-percent improvement in itching. They also reported a 67-percent improvement in extent of lesions. [11]

Meanwhile, additional studies have found that vitamin E offers chemoprotective effects against skin cancer, fights wrinkles, and even reduces UV-induced aging to skin. [12, 13]


Health benefits of vitamin e - Dr. Pingel


Key Takeaways

The World’s Healthiest Rice? 3 Volcano Rice Benefits You Should Know!

Today I’d like to introduce you to a new food: volcano rice. Haven’t heard of it? Don’t worry—a lot of people haven’t. But, thanks to the way it’s harvested, volcano rice benefits your health in numerous ways other rice simply can’t.

So, let’s learn more about what makes this rice so healthy and how to prepare it. (Hint: It’s just as easy as cooking white rice—but it’s so much better for you!)


What is Volcano Rice?

Volcano rice is West Java brown rice that’s grown in Indonesia in volcanic soil. And it’s the soil that provides the powerful volcano rice benefits you’re going to love.

When we think of volcanoes, we typically have visions of them erupting and watching videos of lava rivers. But you may be surprised to learn that volcanic soil is a very nutrient-rich soil that’s packed with antioxidants, lots of essential minerals, and flavor.


Volcano rice benefits - Dr. Pingel


Volcano rice benefits are largely due to its high amounts of magnesium, manganese, and zinc. [1] In fact, one-half cup of volcano rice contains 120.9 mg of magnesium and 1.8 mg of zinc.

That same one-half cup also contains an amazing 9.1 g of protein, meaning it helps to support satiety as well as providing some much-needed nutritional value! [2]

Although volcano rice is planted and harvested slightly differently than brown and white rice, the cooking process is the same. That means you can substitute volcano rice anytime you plan to serve an ancient grain.

Volcano rice can be found at most health food stores, but if you have trouble locating it, you can also find it online.

Now that you know what volcano rice is, where to get it, and how to cook it, let’s talk about the top volcano rice benefits. After all, it’s important to know what you’re doing for your body with each bite of your food.


3 Volcano Rice Benefits

Here are a few of the top volcano rice benefits you should know about.

1. Supports magnesium sufficiency

One of the most important volcano rice benefits for your health is the fact that it supports magnesium sufficiency due to its high magnesium content.

Why is that important? Well, it’s estimated that 60 percent of Americans are deficient in this essential mineral.

And that’s a problem because magnesium deficiency is linked to developing high blood pressure, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, asthma, migraines, and more! [3456]

How does it impact all of these areas? Well, magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in your body, and it’s responsible for a lot of your daily bodily functions.

It keeps your heart beating steady, maintains regular muscle contraction, breaks down your food into glucose for energy, and assures you are firing nerves appropriately.

Magnesium also produces cellular energy for your body to build tissues as well as breakdown and eliminate toxins.

There are ongoing studies on the many benefits of magnesium, with some researchers finding that consuming this mineral can even serve as a complementary therapy for depression and other mental health disorders! [7]

2. Supports immune health

Eating volcano rice benefits your health by providing zinc to your body.

As you may recall, zinc is a trace mineral that your body needs in order to function properly. It not only supports cellular repair and eye health, but it’s also been known to help resolve diarrhea and even support fertility.

But perhaps the most well-known benefit of zinc is its incredible impact on your immune system. Numerous studies have shown that zinc supports the immune system and can even help to shorten the duration and severity of cold symptoms!

In fact, a 2011 study revealed that zinc consumption reduced the duration of a cold by up to 42 percent. [8]

Moreover, the authors of a 2017 scientific review on zinc, stated that it “can be considered as a gatekeeper of the immune system.” [9]

Now, it’s important to note that you won’t get all the zinc you need each day simply from eating volcano rice. That said, the recommended daily allowance (RDA) ranges anywhere from 8 to 11 mg, though that amount can vary depending on your current health state and history.

By incorporating zinc-rich foods into your diet on a regular basis, you’ll reap the many health benefits of this powerful mineral.

3. Supports proper brain function

I know you’re likely wondering how eating volcano rice benefits your brain. Allow me to explain ….

The third mineral you’ll find in high amounts in volcano rice is manganese. In fact, one-half cup of volcano rice delivers 100 percent of the RDA of manganese! [10]

Here’s why that matters: Your body requires adequate amounts of manganese for proper brain function. So, without enough manganese, your brain simply can’t function at its optimal levels. Scary, right?

Manganese has been shown to bind to certain neurotransmitters, which is known to improve brain function. And studies have shown that a deficiency can increase your risk of epileptic seizures, brain dysfunction, and even neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease! [11]

Because manganese is a trace mineral like zinc, you don’t need much of it. In fact, the RDA is 1.8 mg for adult women is 1.8 mg and 2.3 mg for men. So, you can eat your volcano rice with the confidence that you’ve likely met your manganese requirements for the day!


Key Takeaways

What You Need to Know About Tofu (+ 5 Tofu Health Benefits)

While it tends to get a bad rap due to its soy base, there are actually many tofu health benefits you may not be aware of. From fighting undesirable menopause symptoms to boosting your memory, tofu actually packs a lot of power for your health.

Let’s take a few minutes and discuss what tofu is and all of the health benefits it offers. Then, we’ll review a few easy recipes that feature tofu—including my all-time favorite tofu recipe that I just know you'll love!


All About Tofu

If you’ve ever considered adopting a vegetarian or vegan diet, you’ve likely heard of tofu. And with good reason: Simply put, tofu is a great plant-based source of protein.

Skeptical? I get it—as I mentioned above, tofu gets a bad rap because it’s made from soy. In fact, tofu is made from soymilk curds, which are pressed into the blocks we’re familiar with.

And while tofu comes in varying textures, its flavor profile is typically pretty neutral. As a result, tofu can be incorporated into many different dishes—from salads to wraps to curry more!

Unfortunately, there have been many news stories regarding the detrimental health effects of soy. In fact, people often cite that tofu has too much impact on your estrogen levels.

But, with any situation, the entire health picture must be considered. And whether or not you’re eating whole versus processed soy is a big part of that picture.

If you eat a diet rich in whole plant-based foods (including whole soy) and low in processed, inflammatory foods, soy likely won’t cause an unwanted estrogenic impact. And, in that case, non-GMO, organic tofu can actually offer many health benefits.

Why? Well, you may be surprised to learn is that tofu actually contains all nine essential amino acids your body needs. It’s also rich in iron, calcium, and several other vitamins and minerals.

Additionally, tofu is a great plant-based meat alternative due to its high protein count. In fact, 100 grams of tofu contains an astounding 10.13 grams of protein. [1] That’s about the same as one and a half eggs. [2]

Personally, I like to add tofu to dishes on days I need a little extra protein in my diet. I’ll share a few of my favorite recipes below, but let’s first take a closer look at the top tofu health benefits you should be aware of.

5 Tofu Health Benefits

Here are five of the top tofu health benefits you should know about.

1. May help relieve menopause symptoms

One of the first tofu health benefits you should know about is its impact on menopause symptoms. It’s actually one of the more studied benefits of soy consumption.

Some of the most prominent symptoms of menopause are hot flashes, insomnia, fatigue, and muscle and joint stiffness. [3]

Interestingly, studies have shown that soy consumption can go a long way in helping to relieve those symptoms, largely due to the fact that soy contains phytoestrogens (hormones in plants that function as estrogen in the body).

In fact, many studies have reported that taking 30 mg of soy isoflavones each day was found to reduce hot flashes by up to 50 percent! [4]

Meanwhile, a 2018 study revealed that taking a high-dose of soy lecithin each day not only increased energy but also lowered blood pressure in middle-aged women who previously reported experiencing fatigue. [5]

2. Supports heart health

You may be surprised to learn that one of the tofu health benefits to get excited about is that it can help to fight cardiovascular disease.

First, consuming soy in place of more heart-damaging saturated fats, such as red meat, protect your heart by reducing the amount of those foods in your diet. Second, soy has its own heart health benefits.

According to a 2019 meta-analysis of 46 studies, consuming soy consistently lowered total cholesterol as well as low‐density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. [6]

Because high cholesterol levels are known to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, researchers shared that it was reasonable to conclude that soy helps to promote heart health.

3. Boosts memory and overall cognitive function

Amazingly, tofu health benefits also extend to supporting brain health. In fact, numerous studies have shown that eating soy is linked to improved cognitive function in women over age 65. [7]

Additionally, a 2010 animal study revealed that consuming soy could not only improve memory but also reverse memory deficits. The researchers went so far as to say that soybean consumption has the potential to aid in the management of Alzheimer’s disease. [8]

Meanwhile, another study on 28 young women revealed that soy supplementation during menses helped to improve the participants working memory as well as verbal memory. [9]

4. May help lower risk of breast cancer

When it comes to tofu health benefits, one of the more exciting is the fact that it’s been shown to potentially help lower the risk of breast cancer when combined with a whole food, plant focused diet.

One review confirmed that higher consumption of soy-based foods (more than 20 mg of isoflavones per day) was associated with a lower risk of breast cancer. Meanwhile, the lowest consumption carried a higher risk. [10]

Interestingly, another study published in 2010 revealed that among women with breast cancer, those who ate more soy-based foods had a significantly decreased risk of both death and recurrence of cancer. [11]

5. Helps lower risk of type 2 diabetes

Finally, one of the major tofu health benefits worth reviewing is the fact that it’s been shown to help lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. And with the rise of diabetes in our country, this is one benefit to get excited about!

According to a 2018 meta-analysis, soy intake significantly reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes—by up to 77 percent! Additionally, consuming soy isoflavones was found to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by an astounding 88 percent! [12]


Tofu health benefits - Dr. Pingel


As you can see, tofu health benefits are vast and plentiful. But if you don’t regularly eat this protein-packed food, you may not know where to start. Keep reading for some of my favorite tofu recipes.

The Top Tofu-Based Recipes You Should Try

If you’re interested in eating more tofu and looking for a place to start, try my vegan shish kebabs. They contain tofu along with a variety of nutrient-packed vegetables and an incredibly tasty marinade you’re sure to love!

Meanwhile, this Thai Red Curry Tofu Recipe is quick, easy, and oh so flavorful! It’s perfect for a night when you’re feeling like serving something a little special but don’t have a ton of time to spend in the kitchen.

And, finally, these Spicy Garlic Tofu Bites are absolutely incredible. I like to serve them with broccoli over brown rice and topped with sesame seeds. Just make sure to cut back on the sriracha if you don’t like super spicy food!


Key Takeaways

5 Health Benefits of Brazil Nuts

If you’ve been following along the past several months, you know that I’ve been profiling the nutritional power of several foods. And, today, you’re going to be blown away by the health benefits of Brazil nuts.

If you’re not familiar with this nutritional powerhouse, you’re in for a treat! Not only are they delicious, but the many health benefits of Brazil nuts are due to the fact that they’re packed with nutrients.

Let’s learn a bit more about these powerful nuts and what all they can do to help you reach your health goals!


All About Brazil Nuts

Brazil nuts come from trees located in the Amazon. With a smooth taste that’s enjoyed both raw or cooked in foods, Brazil nuts are one of the richest food sources of selenium. A single ounce of Brazil nuts (about six to eight nuts) contain 544 mcg per serving.

Believe it or not, that’s almost 10 times the minimum amount the average adult needs each day! And, as a result, many scientists are now considering Brazil nuts to be a viable alternative to selenium supplements. [1, 2]

In addition to selenium, Brazil nuts are rich in magnesium, copper, and zinc. As you may recall, magnesium is an essential mineral because it’s required for more than 800 different essential roles within your body. Meanwhile, zinc is critical for optimal immune health.

Brazil nuts also provide a lot of protein, which helps to support your metabolism and muscle building.

So, now that you know a little more about this powerful nut, let’s take a closer look at some of the specific health benefits of Brazil nuts.

5 Health Benefits of Brazil Nuts

Eating just six to eight Brazil nuts a day can support fertility, immune function, thyroid function, and even fight inflammation! Intrigued? Keep reading to learn more about the incredible health benefits of brazil nuts.


Health benefits of Brazil nuts - Dr. Pingel


1. Supports immune health

When it comes to the health benefits of Brazil nuts, one major benefit worth mentioning is how they support the immune system. And this is all thanks to their high selenium content.

Studies have shown that selenium supports the immune system’s barriers, which are responsible for fighting infections and keeping them from entering the body. Meanwhile a selenium deficiency impairs their function. [3]

Additionally, having a selenium deficiency has been linked to a higher risk of contracting viral illnesses, such as colds and the flu.

And, speaking of respiratory effects, studies have also shown that being deficient in selenium results in greater lung problems in those with the flu. [4]

2. Boosts fertility

Another one of the health benefits of Brazil nuts is their ability to boost fertility. Once again, this is due to the high amounts of selenium found in these beneficial nuts.

Many studies have noted a link between selenium and increased likelihood of infertility, miscarriage, preeclampsia, preterm labor, gestational diabetes, and more. [5]

Additionally, a 2015 study revealed that healthy ovarian follicles have higher levels of selenium than unhealthy follicles. [6]

Meanwhile, another study revealed that supplementing with both selenium and vitamin E not only improved overall semen quality but also sperm motility, specifically. [7]

3. Supports thyroid health

If you’re currently dealing with a thyroid disorder, you’re going to want to pay attention to this piece of good news: One of the major health benefits of Brazil nuts is that they support thyroid health.

Interestingly, studies have revealed that low selenium levels significantly increase the risk of developing thyroid diseases, such as hypothyroidism, thyroiditis, Hashimoto’s, and an enlarged thyroid. [8]

Given this information, it shouldn’t be too surprising to learn that consuming adequate amounts of selenium will benefit your thyroid health. After all, in comparison to your other organs, your thyroid gland contains the highest amount of selenium per gram of tissue. [9]

The selenium in Brazil nuts supports your thyroid health in a few ways. First, studies have shown that supplementing with selenium can reduce thyroid antibody levels, improve thyroid ultrasound features, and even improve quality of life in people with autoimmune thyroiditis. [10]

Second, a 2011 study revealed that selenium also lowers the risk of thyroid enlargement. [11] Taking these two revealing studies into consideration, it’s clear that consuming Brazil nuts on a regular basis supports thyroid function and health.

4. Contains anti-inflammatory properties

As we’ve discussed many times, most (if not all) of our modern epidemics can be traced back to chronic inflammation. Fortunately, one of the incredible health benefits of Brazil nuts is that they contain anti-inflammatory properties.

According to a randomized crossover study on 10 health people, eating either 20 or 50 grams of Brazil nuts in one sitting caused a significant decrease in several inflammatory markers. But that’s not all!

The researchers also found that the one-time consumption of Brazil nuts significantly increased levels of interleukin-10, a powerful anti-inflammatory cytokine! [12]

This means Brazil nuts can help your body fight off inflammation in multiple ways. How fantastic is that?

5. Supports brain health

Finally, one of the important health benefits of Brazil nuts is that they support brain health.

Specifically, researchers have found that patients with Alzheimer’s disease have lower levels of selenium than those who don’t have the disease. [13]

Additionally, large studies have found that people with lower plasma selenium levels were more likely to experience cognitive decline as they age. [14]

These results are likely due to the fact that selenium is an antioxidant that helps protect the brain from oxidative stress. [15]


Key Takeaways