It’s a beautiful, mahogany-colored, oval nut with five times the antioxidant power of almonds. (1, 2) It boasts high quality protein (3, 4), and more fiber than any other nut. (5, 6) What delicious nut offers this extraordinary nutrition payoff? It’s one you’ve never heard of: Barùkas nuts!
Where have Barùkas nuts been all your life? They’ve been growing on Barùkas trees in the wilds of Brazil. Nope, not in the Amazon, but in an arid, wooded grassland covering about 20 percent of the country, called the “Cerrado”. (7) Cerrado natives call them “castanha de baru” (baru nut) and love them for their delicate, slightly smoky flavor and satisfying crunch. (8) But they’re virtually unknown outside of Brazil.
These wild nuts are also wildly good for you! To name a few (of their many) extraordinary nutrition perks:
- They’re an antioxidant gold mine. Antioxidants protect us from heart disease, cancer, dementia and other diseases by zapping destructive molecules in our bodies (2). Many nuts are antioxidant-rich, but Barùkas nuts boast the highest “ORAC” score, a measure of antioxidant activity. (1, 2) That’s thanks to antioxidants like vitamin E and polyphenols, including some of the same polyphenols that give green tea its superfood status. (9.)
- They’re good for the waistline. Although nuts are not a low calorie food, people who eat them regularly are thinner than folks who don’t. (10.) One reason: Compared to other foods, nuts are exceptionally (10.) For example, that means that 100 calories of Barùkas nuts will keep you feeling full longer than, say, 100 calories of popcorn, fruit, olive oil or most other foods. Why are nuts so satiating? Fiber and protein—Barùkas nuts are stellar sources of both. (3, 4, 5.)
- They’re fiber champs. Americans get only about half the dietary fiber they need (11). That’s a shame, because fiber-rich diets help keep you trim, keep you regular, improve blood sugar levels, and reduce your likelihood of developing cancer, heart disease and other conditions. (12) Once again, Barùkas nuts beat out any other nut in the fiber department!
Check into this new blog regularly, for more science-based nutrition information— not just about Barùkas, but also on healthy eating, healthy aging, and weight management. Plus, you’ll find easy, healthy, and very tasty recipes you won’t want to miss!
- IEH-Warren Analytical Laboratory ORAC analysis. 2017.
- S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service. 2010. Oxygen
Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of Selected Foods, Release 2. Nutrient
Data Laboratory Home Page: http://www.ars.usda.gov/nutrientdata/orac
- Fernandes, DC et al. Nutritional composition and protein value of the baru (Dipteryx alata ) almond from the Brazilian Savanna. J Sci Food Agric 2010; 90: 1650–1655
- Sousa, AGDO, et al. Nutritional quality and protein value of exotic almonds and nut from the Brazilian Savanna compared to peanut. Food Research International 44 (2011) 2319–2325
- IEH-Warren Analytical Laboratory Baru Nut Analysis. 11/21/2016.
- USDA Agricultural Research Service. USDA Food Composition Databases. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search/list Accessed 3/2/2018
- Cerrado, the Brazilian Savanna. http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/where_we_work/cerrado/ Accessed 3/2/2018
- Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity. Barù Nut. https://www.fondazioneslowfood.com/en/slow-food-presidia/baru-nut/ Accessed 3/2/2018
- Lemos MRB et al. The effect of roasting on the phenolic compounds and antioxidant potential of baru nuts [Dipteryx alata Vog.]. Food Research International 48 (2012) 592–597.
- Jackson CL and Hu FB. Long-term associations of nut consumption with body weight and obesity. Am J Clin Nutr 2014;100(suppl):408S–11S.
- National Center For Health Statistics. Recent Findings on Dietary Intake. NCHS Fact Sheet | March 2017 . https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/factsheets/factsheet_nutrition.pdf Accessed 3/3/2018.
- Dahl, WJ and Steward, ML. Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Health Implications of Dietary Fiber. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2015 Nov;115(11):1861-70. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2015.09.003.