The Goodness and Benefits of Macadamia Nuts
You will go nuts when you read about the amazing benefits of these nuts!
The world knows them as Macadamia nuts. The goodness and benefits of these nuts are not as widespread as those of almonds and other nuts, and it is high time that you educate yourselves about these nature's wonders. These nuts not only help to keep your heart beating healthily all day long but have a lot of other credits to their score which is worth knowing.
Macadamia nuts pack a nutritious punch just like America's very beloved Californian almonds. They are packed with many essential vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, B, manganese, folate and iron, protein, antioxidants and healthy fats. These nuts are remarkable nutrients one should incorporate into their daily meals.
Macadamia nuts have fifteen amazing health benefits, but before that let us know in brief about their origin and history.
MACADAMIA NUTS WOOHOO! Just received these organic raw macadamia nuts still in their shells from a famer in Hawaii (via Wendy), apparently the last of this year’s crop. Natives of southeastern Queensland, Australia, these trees are scientifically called Macadamia integrifolia and belong to the Proteaceae family. The nuts here have been hulled (their green husk removed), and then dried, but they still need to be cracked to access the rich fatty creamy nutmeat. The nut is so fat rich = 72% fat with about 75 % of the fat as monounsaturated fat and the remaining amount saturated. I’ve been using a hammer and flat stone to crack them open on my kitchen floor, earning the nickname caveman. I do love eating them raw right out of the shell, but wonder: does anyone have a killer macadamia nut recipe they can share? If yes please post it! Also, any health info about the nut, please comment. Grateful to the nuts of the world!
Origin and History
These seedlings stepped foot in Hawaii for the first time in the late 1800s, but the macadamia industry carved a niche for itself in Australia only in 1970s.
The Macadamia tree is native to Australia. The fruits of this tree are Macadamia Nuts. They are also known as Queensland nuts - hailing from Queensland, bush nuts, bauple nuts, maroochi nuts and Hawaii Nuts. With so many names, it is obvious that the locals know the importance of this nut.
Macademia nuts are very woody and hard. Each nut has a pointed apex and has one or two nuts (seeds) inside. This hard seed coat in silhouetted in a green husk. As the nut matures, this husk splits.
The creamy white kernel inside is what we consume. It is made up of around 70 percent oil and 6 to 8 percent sugar. These kernels are roasted to get more consistent color and texture. In America, these nuts are widely known as Mauna Loa. Mauna Loa is, in fact, the biggest volcano on earth in Hawaii and this company was known as Mauna Loa and started the first plantations of this nut in Hawaii.
Many species of this nut are poisonous, and only two are edible. One is the rough-shelled macadamia scientifically known as M. tetraphylla, and the other is the smooth-shelled macadamia scientifically known as macadamia integrifolia.
This tree generally grows near river banks and streams in rainforests. Macadamia trees require a mild, frost-free climate with ample rain.
Macadamias contain Vitamin A, iron, protein, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and folates. They are also rich in minerals such as zinc, copper, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium. Essential anti-oxidants such as polyphenols, amino acids, flavones, and selenium are also present. The macadamia nuts also contain sucrose, fucrose, glucose, and maltose.
One ounce (28 grams) of raw (unroasted) macadamia nuts contains 201 calories. There is no cholesterol and very minimal amounts of sodium. One ounce of these nuts contains 21 grams of fat out of which only three grams are saturated fats.
All these nutrients present inside the nuts make them very healthy.
Before you head to your nearest deli to buy stock loads of these nuts, read on further to know how to store them.
As these nuts are available throughout the year, one need not worry on stocking them in huge quantities. You can buy from the sweetened, shelled, unshelled and salted varieties of the macadamia nuts available.
The best nuts to buy are those without any additives, i.e., sweeteners or salt. Select the ones which are smooth, compact and uniform in size. If buying open, check for any possible cracks or weird smell. A weird smell could indicate that the nuts have gone stale.
While storing them, choose a cool and dry place, such as an air-tight container in your pantry for months without them getting spoiled. If you have purchases kernels with shells, store them in an air-tight container inside your refrigerator. In damp temperatures, they can go rancid very quickly or develop mold and bacteria. So keep checking for any possible moisture from time to time. If you feel that the weather is damp, it is better to store them in your refrigerator.
For removing the hard shells, you get a macadamia nut cracker in the market which makes it quite easy to crack open the hard outer shells.
These nuts can be consumed raw or can be added to some tasty recipes to enhance the nutrition quotient. You can make puddings, cakes, muffins and other such recipes with macadamia nuts. Many chocolate recipes include macadamia nuts.
Roasted macadamia nuts add great crunch and flavor to any chocolate recipes. There are plenty of food products available in the market containing roasted macadamia nuts.
15 Health Benefits of Macadamia Nuts
Let us read about the various health benefits of Macadamia Nuts:
1. Promotes Heart Health
Macadamia nuts have monounsaturated fatty acids that render the platelets less sticky thereby reducing the possibility to form clots. This, in turn, prevents heart attack or a stroke.
According to a survey, it was concluded that those whose diets included a high quantity of these nuts had a decreased heart attack risk because the monounsaturated fats helped in improving the lipid blood profiles. Because of the high potassium content, macadamia nuts are believed to reduce blood pressure.
2. Optimizes Blood Sugar Levels
Nuts are generally believed to be useful for diabetic patients. These improve the glycemic control in type 2 diabetes patients. The monounsaturated fatty acids present help to reduce the bad cholesterol in the body.
3. Helps in Weight Loss
Although Macadamia nuts are high in calories, they are quite low in carbohydrates. These are also very rich in fiber. Having a few, say about eight nuts every day for breakfast will control your hunger pangs. These will improve your metabolism.
To gain weight too, macadamia nuts are delicious. They contribute to a healthy weight gain if eaten in the right proportions.
4. Improves Bone Health
Macadamia nuts are rich in magnesium, potassium, and calcium. These three minerals are the prime requisites to prevent the demineralization of the bones. As these nuts are low in sodium content, one can consume them without worrying about high blood pressure.
5. Optimizes Gut Bacteria
The soluble and insoluble fiber present in macadamia nuts helps to flush away the toxins from the body. These aid digestion too. The rich content of copper in these nuts boosts the enzymatic reactions aiding digestion.
6. Soothes Inflammation
Consuming macadamia nuts regularly helps to soothe inflammation. If inflammation is left untreated, it might lead to coronary heart disease. These nuts are rich in alpha-linolenic acid which are a type of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids which relieve inflammation and prevent arthritis.
7. Boosts Healthy Fats
Macadamia nuts help to boost HDL, which is good cholesterol and this help to reduce the levels of LDL, the bad cholesterol.
8. Improves Brain Health
These nuts contain oleic acid which is a healthy fat also found in olive oil. This acid helps to reduce the blood pressure thereby preventing stroke and promoting brain health.
The palmitoleic acid found in these nuts helps promote the myelin layer. Myelin is a fatty layer which protects the nerves cells in the brain. The other essential minerals and vitamins such as copper, manganese, magnesium and Vitamin B1 found in macadamia nuts help in the production of neurotransmitters.
These nuts also contain omega-9 which help to improve the mood of a person. These help in enhancing the memory thereby preventing neurological disorders.
9. Helps in Curing Anemia
The rich content of iron in these nuts helps treat anemia.
10. Boosts Energy
These nuts are loaded with complex carbohydrates which enhance the energy levels.
11. Improves Metabolism
The monosaturated fatty acids present in these nuts help to improve fat metabolism. If your metabolism is fast, you will not get affected by abdominal obesity or face bloating and gas.
12. Relieves Stress
Macadamia nuts and many other nuts help to soothe oxidative stress in people. The anti-oxidants present also help to relieve the stress levels. These anti-oxidants fight the free radicals leading to stress.
The good-quality protein found in these nuts also help to optimize the blood sugar levels and spike up the energy.
13. Improves Skin Health
The essential fatty acids help to promote the glow on the face. The macadamia nut oil has been used since ages to hydrate the skin on the face and promote skin healing. Applying the oil to the face renders a glow. The skin on the face has some amount of palmitoleic acid which reduces naturally with age. Application of this oil on the face replenishes the skin with the essential oil. The palmitoleic oil also helps in preventing or delaying skin aging.
14. Strengthens Hair
The palmitoleic acid is not only beneficial for skin health but is equally helpful for hair health. It strengthens the hair roots and renders shiny hair. It also treats the brittleness of the strands by penetrating the scalp and strengthening the hair follicles. This oil also helps to control frizz.
15. Fights Diseases
Macadamia nuts contain flavonoids which protect the cell from the toxins in the environment thereby preventing cell damage. The antioxidants present in these nuts help to fight diseases like cancer.
The nutrition content in macadamia nuts is quite high. A great snacking item, store loads of macadamia nuts in your pantry today! A great option to quell your snacking cravings, macadamia nuts can easily replace cookies and chips.
Add a daily dose of Macadamia nuts to your diet and see the results for healthier living.