Macadamia nuts are considered the world’s finest nuts (1). Macadamia nuts are small buttery flavoured nuts cultivated from macadamia nut trees that are grown in tropical climates of Australia, Brazil, Indonesia, Kenya, New Zealand and South Africa. Although Australia is the largest producer of Macadamia nuts, nuts cultivated in Hawaii are the most acclaimed for their delicious taste. Their delicate flavour and crunchy texture makes them a delight to consume.
There are about seven species of Macadamia nut grown all over the world, but only two are edible and are cultivated in horticultural farms all over the world. These two species are Macadamia integrifolia which produces smooth shelled nuts and Macadamia tetraphylla nuts which produces rough shelled nuts.
Macadamias are a rich source of Vitamin A, iron, protein, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and folates. They also contain moderate amounts of zinc, copper, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium. Macadamia contains antioxidants like polyphenols, Amino acids, flavones and selenium. It is also a good source of carbohydrates like sucrose, fructose, glucose, maltose and some starch based carbohydrates.
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USDA Health Chart:
|Total lipid (fat)||g||75.77||101.53||21.48|
|Carbohydrate, by difference||g||13.82||18.52||3.92|
|Fiber, total dietary||g||8.6||11.5||2.4|
|Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid||mg||1.2||1.6||0.3|
|Vitamin A, RAE||µg||0||0||0|
|Vitamin A, IU||IU||0||0||0|
|Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)||mg||0.54||0.72||0.15|
|Vitamin D (D2 + D3)||µg||0.0||0.0||0.0|
|Fatty acids, total saturated||g||12.061||16.162||3.419|
|Fatty acids, total monounsaturated||g||58.877||78.895||16.692|
|Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated||g||1.502||2.013||0.426|
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Health benefits of Macadamia:
Eating nuts on a regular basis has a positive effect on the health. These sweet, creamy, crunchy, and luxurious nuts are more often than not thought of as high fat indulgence rather than health food. But Macadamia contains a range of nutritious and health promoting nutrients that make them an important part of our daily diet. A balanced diet containing macadamias promotes good health, longevity and a reduction in regenerative diseases.
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1. Heart disease:
Macadamia are 100% cholesterol free and are highly beneficial to reduce cholesterol level (2). These nuts are rich in healthy monounsaturated fats which are said to be cardio protective by reducing cholesterol level and help to clean the arteries. Macadamia also lowers the level of triglycerides, which is a kind of body fat and reduces the risk of coronary disease.
Another health benefit of macadamia comes from their high flavonoid content. Flavonoids, which are found naturally in these plants help to prevent cells from damage and protects from environmental toxins. These flavonoids convert into antioxidants in our body (3). These antioxidants search and destroy free radicals and protect our bodies from various diseases and certain types of cancer which includes breast, cervical, lung, prostrate and stomach cancer.
3. For weight loss:
People usually avoid eating macadamia thinking that it is laden with fats and cholesterol. However, the fat in macadamia is monounsaturated fats which promote weight loss (4). Macadamia nuts are rich in palmitoleic acid, and omega 7 fatty oil that provide building blocks for the enzymes and control the burning of fat and curb the appetite. Palmitoleic acid increases fat metabolism and reduces fat storage. Their fatty acids content makes them an extremely satisfying food and you will need only a handful to feel satisfied.
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Macadamias contain significant level of protein which is an essential component of our diet and forms muscles and connective tissues in our bodies (5). Proteins are a part of our blood and act positively on our health. They also help to maintain the health of hair, nails and skin.
5. Dietary fiber:
Macadamias contains around 7% of dietary fiber. Dietary fiber comprises of complex carbohydrates (6) and includes many types of soluble and insoluble fiber. Dietary fiber promotes satiety, provides roughage, aids digestion and assist in reducing constipation and several other disease related to it.
6. Bone health:
Phosphorus in macadamia plays a variety of roles including bone and teeth mineralization, metabolism, absorption and transportation of nutrients. Calcium also helps in the formation of teeth and bones (7). Manganese in macadamia helps the body to deposit new bone tissue, so that the skeleton stays strong as you age. Omega 3 prevents osteoporosis and reduces the severity of arthritis.
7. Promotes brain health:
Macadamia promotes health of the nervous system. Copper in macadamia helps to make neurotransmitters, the chemicals which our brain cell uses to send chemical signals (8).
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