Brazil nuts are a potent source of selenium, which is thought to fight inflammation and help counter the free radicals that attack the joints. In a Belgian study, women with rheumatoid arthritis who increased their selenium intake for four months experienced significant improvement in joint movement and strength compared with a control group.
Additionally, in a study from The Thurston Arthritis Research Center at the University of North Carolina, those with higher levels of selenium in their toenails were 40 percent less likely to have osteoarthritis in their knees. Study author Joanne M. Jordan, MD, MP H, comments: “Our preliminary results suggest that we might be able to prevent or delay osteoarthritis of the knees and possibly other joints in some people if they are not getting enough selenium. That’s important because the condition, which makes walking painful, is the leading cause of activity limitation among adults in developed countries.” Keep in mind, selenium can be toxic in large amounts, so doctors advise against consuming more than 100 micrograms per day The amount found in just one Brazil nut provides about 96 micrograms—137 percent of your daily value for selenium.
Other selenium sources include cod, shrimp, tuna, shiitake mushrooms and whole grains.