Incredible Baru Nut Offers Both Nutritional & Environmental Benefits
Most people probably haven’t heard of the baru nut yet, but they will soon! Baru nuts are a healthier version of peanuts, a better environmental option than almonds, and have more nutrients per calories than most nuts. And they taste fantastic.
Baru nuts come from the baru tree (Dipteryx alata Vog.), a native species of the Brazilian Savanna, also called the Cerrado, a vast tropical savanna ecoregion covering more than 20 percent of Brazil.
The baru nut could provide a solution to a very BIG environmental crisis unfolding in Brazil.
People are aware the Amazon is being burned at an alarming rate, but the same thing is happening to the Cerrado.
The Cerrado is one of the most unprotected savannas in the world with less than 2% of its region protected in national parks and conservation areas.
Although it used to cover an area half the size of Europe, its native habitats and rich biodiversity are actually being destroyed faster than the Amazon due to unsustainable agricultural activities, particularly soy production, the burning of vegetation for charcoal, and cattle ranching.
Having an economy for harvesting and selling baru nuts gives small farmers and land owners a reason to keep baru trees and the vegetation around them intact instead of burning it down.
This will protect the natural vegetation of the Cerrado that is so important to the planet.
LOW WATER FOOTPRINT
Baru nuts also help the environment because they require a much lower water footprint (how much water it takes to grow a food and transport it) than almost all other nuts, seeds, and legumes on the planet.
Most nuts and seeds grow in areas that have been adapted for their growth. For example, California supplies 80 percent of the world’s almonds, but because California is semi-arid, these nuts demand a high amount of water and irrigation to be grown, 1.2 trillion gallons a year to be exact. In contrast, baru nuts are a 100% wild-collected nut and do not require irrigation. The only water the tree uses is rain water and moisture that naturally exists in the soil. The Cerrado’s soil contains the biggest water concentration in Brazil, and is responsible for giving water to most of the rivers there. It is just another reason the Cerrado must be protected. The soil is dry on top, but underneath it is full of water, which is why the baru tree has the same length up through its leaves as it has down through its deep roots into the soil, allowing the tree to gather water both ways.
The nutritional profile of roasted baru nuts is exciting as well, ranking it as a superfood.
Superfoods, such as the baru nut, have a greater nutritional profile beyond what is normally found in a food and seemingly promote greater health and wellness. They are nutritional powerhouses that provide a unique, dense mix of plant chemicals and nutrients including antioxidants, polyphenols, phytochemicals, omega-3, vitamins, and essential minerals.
Baru nuts have high antioxidants and more protein (86% relative nut protein ratio) than cashews (78%), peanuts (72%) and pequi almonds (54%). More importantly, it is easily digestible protein. On the protein digestibility corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS), which gives rankings from 0-1, Baru nut’s protein ranks at .91 meaning it provides protein that is easily available for the body to use.
Baru nuts have also been analyzed to contain fiber, good fats, and high levels of iron, zinc, and fiber.
Plus, baru nuts do not have the aflatoxins and mold issues commonly associated with peanut allergies. And baru nuts taste delicious!
That might be the most exciting part. While some superfoods are an, uh, “aquired” taste or simply worth eating for their health benefits and not for their flavor, the opposite is true for baru. It is absolutely delicious!
Like many raw nuts and seeds, baru nuts have anti-nutrients, including phytic acid, that are removed by roasting. Roasting also improves the flavor and unlocks additional nutrients for the body. Soaking have currently not been proven to have the same effect, so roasting is preferred. The roasted baru nut can be enjoyed whole or used to make flour and the raw baru nut can be made into oil. In Brazil you see it used in many forms by the indigenous cultures.
Baru nuts can create a positive economy for the people of Brazil, changing both their environmental and social well-being, and offer an environmentally friendly, tremendously nutritious food to people pursuing a healthy lifestyle in the United States. Check out baru nuts today!