Blog | Taste the Cancer-Fighting Power of Brazil Nuts - NFCR


Taste the Cancer-Fighting Power of Brazil Nuts

NFCR-sponsored researchers have been investigating the links between nutrition and cancer prevention for decades. The latest research from Dr. Helmut Sies focuses specifically on the role of selenium, a nutrient that may play a critical role in reducing the risk of certain cancers. So what can we eat to add selenium to our diets? Brazil nuts.

Brazil nuts contain the richest source of natural selenium. They also make a great pesto.  Add a dollop to some roasted broccoli, whole-grain pasta or salmon and voila! You now have a delicious, nutritious, cancer-fighting meal for dinner tonight. Try it…. And let us know what you think. Post your comments below.

Brazil-Nut Pesto
(from Food & Wine Magazine)


1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup Brazil nuts, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp chopped tarragon
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
5 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper


In a mini food processor, combine the parsley with the Brazil nuts, water, tarragon, garlic and lemon zest and pulse to a coarse paste. Add 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and the Parmesan and process to a slightly smooth paste.  Season with salt and pepper.


This pesto can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before using.


  1. REPLY
    Robyn says

    This recipe is amazing! We tossed it with Zoodles Best pesto I have ever made.

  2. REPLY
    Cancer today Nigeria says

    Please in Nigeria we can’t find brazil nut what can we do

    • REPLY
      Trig says

      While Brazil nuts are unique in their density of selenium, and to be recommended if you can get them, you can get selenium from lots of other foods. Fish, shellfish, nuts and seeds can be good sources. But there’s some selenium in milk and yoghurt, and in whole grains too. Many green vegetables contain selenium. If you eat a wide range of foods you probably don’t need to worry about not having Brazil nuts.

      • REPLY
        Camille Mitchell says

        Yes Selenium can be found in a variety of foods if the foods are grown in soil that hasn’t been depeleted of selenium. The area I live in is very low in selenium. therefore, it would be good to know if selenium had been added to the soil.

    • REPLY
      Tina Grafton says

      I order my Brazil nuts online and they are sent to me in the mail

  3. REPLY
    Martha Mason says

    Thank you…for this invaluable and Life saving nutritional information

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