Macadamia nuts are native to New South Wales and Queensland, Australia and belong to the plant family Proteaceae. In the early 1970s, macadamia nuts became popular in Australia, where they were produced and sold commercially. In the late 1800s, macadamia nuts were introduced to Hawaii, which is one of the world’s leading producers. Macadamia nuts are often sold dipped in chocolate or used in baked goods, but making the most of macadamia nuts without gaining weight is possible. You don’t need to add them to sugary recipes to enjoy them!
Macadamia Nuts Nutrition
Macadamia nuts contain essential nutrients such as vitamin A, B vitamins, iron, manganese, protein, and powerful antioxidants, like polyphenols. They are also rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, which makes them an excellent source of healthy fats. Macadamia nuts contain zinc, copper, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium, and are a good source of complex carbohydrates.
Benefits of Macadamia Nuts
Macadamia nuts can offer several health benefits, especially to people who have diabetes or are at risk of developing it. The antioxidants found in macadamia nuts can also help to prevent several diseases.
Promote Heart Health
The healthy fats contained in macadamia nuts reduce bad cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart disease. A study conducted by Pennsylvania State University researchers demonstrated the effects of macadamia nuts on diet. Researchers put one group of subjects on a macadamia nut-rich diet and fed the other group a typical American diet. Results showed that macadamia nuts reduce bad cholesterol levels thanks to the activity of healthy fatty acids.
May Help to Treat Diabetes
A variety of nuts can help lower the risk of diabetes. A meta-analysis of randomized controlled dietary trials found that tree nuts such as macadamia nuts reduced blood sugar levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Another study conducted in Spain on the beneficial effects of nuts found that the macronutrients, micronutrients, and other bioactive compounds in macadamia nuts may explain their beneficial effects on type 2 diabetes.
Macadamia nuts contain flavonoids, which protect cells from free radicals. These antioxidants destroy toxins and inhibit the formation of oxidative stress. A study on the phytochemical composition of nuts suggests that nut consumption is inversely associated with the risk of heart disease and cancer.
Phenols found in macadamia nuts include phenolic acids and flavonoids, which have antioxidant properties. Nut phytochemicals are linked with activities that inhibit the progression of chronic diseases. This is the reason why macadamia nuts are powerful allies in the fight against cancer.
Support Weight Loss
The healthy fats and palmitoleic acid in macadamia nuts contribute to reducing appetite and increasing fat metabolism. Macadamia nuts also contain fiber, which increases the sensation of satiety.
A prospective study on nut consumption and obesity risk in women found that women who ate nuts twice a week had less weight gain than did women who did not eat nuts. Researchers followed up over the course of eight years, and long-term results reveal that higher nut consumption may be linked to a lower risk of weight gain and obesity.
Enhance Brain Health
Nutrients found in macadamia nuts, such as B vitamins and magnesium, support the activity of neurotransmitters. Macadamia nuts also contain oleic acid and omega-9, which promote healthy brain function and improve memory.
A study conducted in Korea on the memory-enhancing effect of erucic acid (a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid), found that erucic acid may have a beneficial impact on memory deficits. These findings suggest that erucic acid could be used as a therapeutic agent for Alzheimer’s disease.
May Inhibit Inflammation
Inflammation can lead to a variety of diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Macadamia nuts may help to fight inflammation. A team of researchers in Australia investigated the potential of selected plants, including macadamia, for the treatment and prevention of rheumatoid arthritis. Results suggested that macadamia could inhibit the growth of bacteria linked to the disease.
Macadamia nuts contain omega-3s and omega-6s, but compared to other nuts, they do not contain as many omega 6s. Keep in mind that a high intake of omega-6 can trigger the body to produce pro-inflammatory chemicals. By eating a few macadamia nuts each week, you can add vitamins and minerals to your diet without risking inflammatory reactions.
Promote Bone Health
Macadamia nuts are rich in manganese and calcium, which promote bone health by supporting the formation and mineralization of bones and teeth. It is important to know that kidney disease affects the absorption of calcium and manganese, and may lead to bone disease. Macadamia nuts ensure that your bones remain strong and your kidneys healthy.
Support the Digestive System
The fiber found in macadamia nuts can support the digestive system by reducing constipation. A team of researchers in Singapore investigated the effects of fiber intake on the bowel. Patients who stopped or reduced dietary fiber had significant improvement in the symptoms associated with constipation. Results suggest that nut consumption promotes gut health and helps to reduce gastrointestinal disorders, constipation, and its associated symptoms.
How to Use Macadamia Nuts
Macadamia nuts are an excellent addition to a variety of dishes thanks to their sweet flavor and crunchy texture. Macadamia nuts can be used whole or chopped depending on the dish. You can add macadamia nut pieces to cookies and baked goods, and grind them into a fine powder to prepare pesto or a crust for Mahi Mahi. You can also make macadamia nut butter as a replacement for peanut butter because the two have similar nutritional values. They both contain monounsaturated fats but zero saturated fats. Besides, macadamia nut butter contains a variety of vitamins and minerals.