Costco Brazil Nuts - Healthy, But Can Be Toxic?
Kirkland Signature Brazil Nuts at Costco
The 1.5-pound bag contains only whole organic brazil nuts, which are harvested from the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, Bolivia, and Peru. The Costco brazil nuts are certified gluten-free.
Have You Tried Costco's Brazil Nuts?
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What are Brazil Nuts?
The Brazil Nut is an edible nut that grows deep within the Amazon rainforest on trees that can reach 160-200 feet tall and can live to be more than 500 years old. Some Brazil Nut trees even live up to 1000 years old!
Brazil Nuts are known for their health benefits, and in particular, their selenium. Selenium is essential to various enzymes and proteins that help make DNA and protect cells.
Brazil Nuts are extremely versatile as a food as they can be eaten whole as a nutritious snack or chopped up and added to salads or baked goods.
Costco Cost Comparison
How Much Do Costco Brazil Nuts Cost?
The 1.5-pound bag of Kirkland Signature Brazil Nuts sells for $12.99 at Costco or $8.66 per pound.
I won’t pretend to be up to date on Brazil Nut prices, but compared to more traditional nuts such as almonds, walnuts, and cashews, this is a pretty standard price for nuts.
Costco Vs. The Competition
I did some research online to compare Costco’s price as I’m not familiar with what Brazil Nuts go for, and as expected, Costco offers some great value.
The most reviewed brands on Amazon charge anywhere from $14.95 a pound upwards. Some Brazils nuts sell for as high as $20 per pound. I can’t make any quality comparisons, but most options seem similar as they are organic whole brazil nuts with no added ingredients.
In this case, I’ll take Costco’s brazil nuts at $8.66 per pound or nearly half the price of other brands.
Kirkland Signature Brazil Nuts - Taste Test
The first thing I noticed with Costco’s brazil is just how big they are. They are much larger than most standard nuts you would find.
I would say they are about 1 inch long and half an inch wide. They are very smooth, ivory in color, and have brown patchy edible skin.
These Costco brazil nuts are unsalted, which is great as you can get the true natural taste of the nut.
I found the brazil nut to have a very mild nutty and earthy taste and were a little on the drier end. In taste, I would consider them to be similar to a macadamia nut.
This is my first time eating a Brazil Nut, and it didn’t necessarily wow me, which is ok. Nuts are a great snack, but not something that I will eat solely for the taste.
I picked up this bag of Costco Brazil Nuts because I heard such great things about their health benefits, and I’m willing to sacrifice some taste, flavor, and enjoyment for nutrition.
Costco Brazil Nuts Calories and Health Benefits
Brazil Nuts are interesting to me, as they are healthy for you, but they also have some downsides if you consume too many of them.
First, let’s talk about the reasons to eat Brazil Nuts. Brazil Nuts are incredibly nutritious and are one of the richest sources of the mineral selenium. I won’t go in-depth on the health benefits of selenium, but according to Healthline.com, selenium:
- Acts as an antioxidant.
- May reduce the risk of cancers
- May protect against heart disease
- Helps prevent mental decline
- Important for Thyroid health
- Boosts immune system
- May help reduce asthma symptoms
Brazil Nuts and Selenium Toxicity
There are a ton of great reasons to add selenium to your diet, and most people can benefit from eating just one Brazil Nut a day. The issue is that Brazil Nuts are so rich in selenium that even eating more than just a few can lead to selenium toxicity.
The daily recommended intake of selenium is 55 μg, and each brazil nut contains 68-91 μg of selenium. Consuming just one brazil nut a day will give you all the recommended amount of selenium and then some.
There is no problem with consuming one brazil nut and taking in ~91 μg of selenium per day. The issue is that some studies say that the tolerable selenium intake limit is about 400 μg daily, and consuming 1200 μg of selenium daily runs the risk of selenium toxicity.
The Brazil nuts are easy to eat, but I really wouldn’t eat more than 1 or 2 a day as the risk-reward is just not there.
How Many Calories in Costco Brazil Nuts?
One serving of Kirkland Signature Brazil Nuts will be 9 whole nuts or 30 grams (1 ounce). Each serving will have 210 calories coming from 20 grams of fat, 4 grams of carbohydrates, and 4 grams of protein.
This is a standard nutritional profile compared to most nuts, but the issue is with the high amount of selenium. According to studies, it seems that eating more than just a couple of brazil nuts a day could lead to adverse health benefits and even selenium toxicity.
The nutritional label does say 9 whole nuts for one serving, but I would play it safe and just eat a few per day.
Costco Food Database User Reviews
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Greg Larkin is the founder and managing editor of Costco Food Database, the premiere site for honest takes on all things Costco food. A self-proclaimed Costco super-fan since childhood, Greg turned his obsession in a mission to properly rate and review all of Costco’s delicious buys. When he’s not busy navigating Costco aisles, you can find Greg smoking Kirkland Signature meats, meal prepping, or perfecting his homemade jerky recipes.