Brazil Nuts: the too-good-to-be-true superfood with astonishing nutritional values. It is important to always know your dosage when it comes to food consumption, especially foods that are rich in minerals and vitamins. Too much of any nutrient can cause “brazil nuts overdose” and negative side-effects.
You probably know about all the amazing health benefits of Brazil nuts because of its’ rich Selenium content and Omega-3 fatty acids. The fiber in Brazil nuts is also very beneficial. However, you should keep in mind to eat these in moderate amounts to avoid any health risks.
And now you wonder: How many Brazil nuts should I eat per day?
Daily Recommended Intake / Brazil Nuts Overdose
According to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements , the daily recommended intake for Selenium is the following:
|Birth to 6 months||15 mcg||15 mcg|
|7–12 months||20 mcg||20 mcg|
|1–3 years||20 mcg||20 mcg|
|4–8 years||30 mcg||30 mcg|
|9–13 years||40 mcg||40 mcg|
|14–18 years||55 mcg||55 mcg||60 mcg||70 mcg|
|19–50 years||55 mcg||55 mcg||60 mcg||70 mcg|
|51+ years||55 mcg||55 mcg|
One Brazil nut provides 95.9 mcg selenium, which is greater than the recommended daily allowance of selenium per day.
According to The Nutritionchic, the Selenium expert Professor Christine Thomson suggests, People should be cautious to control themselves to no more than a few Brazil nuts on a daily basis. Selenium could build up to toxic levels in body tissues. 
Additionally, as the nuts can include the reasonably large amount of the elements barium and thorium, people should stay away from consuming too many as these can be harmful as well.
Foods that contain high doses of a specific nutrient, usually cause negative health effects in high doses. Therefore, we should always make sure that our diet is balanced and that we rotate foods on a regular basis.
How Many Brazil Nuts Can I Eat? / Brazil Nuts Overdose
Acceptable Upper Intake Levels of selenium for adults (and children 14 and up) is 400mcg. 
Some individuals are able to consume up to 800mcg and remain healthy. This dosage, however, becomes more and more harmful with the longterm ingestion.
This essentially means that you’re allowed to consume up to 400mcg of Selenium before you experience Selenium Poisoning. This, however, doesn’t mean that you should!
One brazil nut contains 95.9 mcg selenium. Dividing it with the Upper Intake Level of 400mcg, we get that the maximum number of Brazil nuts we can eat is 4.
The above calculation tells if we eat 4 brazil nuts we can stay by the acceptable upper intake level of selenium. But the question is not how many we can eat, it’s how many we should eat.
We should stick with the Daily Recommended Allowance of 55mcg, which means that eating 1 Brazil nut is enough for a day. Eating just one portion of this superfood can have an enormously positive effect on our body and health.
Radioactivity? / Brazil Nuts Overdose
It’s not a myth. Brazil nuts are one of the most radioactive foods out there!
Their radium levels can be up to 1,000 times higher than what you will find in other foods. This is not caused by pollution or elevated levels of radium in the soil, but rather the very elaborate root system of the Brazil nut tree. With such a large and extensive network, the roots filter water and nutrients from more soil than your average tree. 
That means they’re taking in more of many things. More minerals – such as selenium – and others naturally found in the earth, including radium.
You have to keep in mind that the amount of Radium in the Brazil nut is not that dangerous. The EPA regulates food radiation levels like these, so you should have a wide margin of error for safe snacking.
What is Selenosis? / Brazil Nuts Overdose
Selenosis is a term used to describe Selenium overdose. Like every mineral and vitamin, there’s a specific amount we’re allowed to take before we experience side-effects. The actual harmful ranges have been noticed at dosages of more than 1,500 mcg. Dosages of more than 3,000 mcg can cause direct DNA damage. High levels of selenium toxicity can be either acute or chronic. They both have very similar effects and symptoms.
Some symptoms are more severe than others, but all represent a disruption in wellness. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, here are some of the ways selenium toxicity can cause problems.
Some of the early signs of Selenium Toxicity are endocrine hormone disturbances- particularly thyroid issues. Interestingly, thyroid problems are also a Sign of Selenium Deficiency as well. Implementing brazil nuts in your diet can help with hormonal disbalance, but make sure you don’t eat too much.
Hair loss or brittleness
Hair and nail loss or brittleness is the most common and most noticeable sign of chronically high selenium intakes. You’ll be able to see some of the effects of selenosis just by looking in a mirror. Selenium causes your hair and nails to become brittle, causing excessive hair breakage and cracked nails. You might notice your hair thinning or develop white blotches on your nails.
Selenium toxicity negatively affects your nervous system. You might feel abnormally fatigued and irritable. Selenosis also causes peripheral neuropathy – damage to the nerves found throughout your body. This nerve damage prevents the nerve endings in your tissues from communicating properly with your spinal cord and brain.
People with peripheral neuropathy can develop numbness, or abnormal burning or tingling sensations in their extremities. Muscle weakness is very common. The safe consumption of Brazil nuts is essential for muscle strength, as your muscle tissues need the nutrients for safer and more efficient healing. Too much can have the opposite effect.
Another symptom of peripheral neuropathy is trouble sleeping. Insomnia and restlessness are not an unusual side-effect. Bad sleep is tightly linked to increased levels of stress and anxiety, which can be avoided by a safe consumption of Brazil Nuts. The right dosage of Selenium can actually help with anxiety and depression.
The first major sign you’ll notice due to acute selenium overdose is nausea and stomach pains, often leading to diarrhea and vomiting. Reported in over 75% of those observed suffering from selenium toxicity.
Garlic-like odor in the breath
Another very common symptom is a strong garlic-like odor in the breath. Accompanied by the yellowing of teeth and a metallic taste in the mouth, these symptoms are the key to noticing the poisoning from Brazil nuts.
Untreated Selenosis / Brazil Nuts Overdose
Untreated Brazil Nut overdose can have even more serious consequences. If you experience any of these symptoms immediately contact your doctor or dietary physician. Untreated Selenosis can cause heart attacks, liver and kidney failure, difficulty breathing and much more.
Learn more about Selenium and its’ effects