Health Benefits Of Macadamia Nuts
Macadamia nuts are the fruits of the tree of the Genus Macadamia which belongs to the family Proteaceae. Though there are nine species of plants in this species only two, Macadamia integrifola and Macadamia tetraphylla, provide the macadamia nuts. The fruits from the rest of the species are either inedible or poisonous.
Macadamia integrifola produces smooth shelled nuts whille Macadamia tetraphylla produces nuts with a rough shell.
Macadamia nut is known by some other names like, Quuensland nut, maroochi nu, bush nut, queen of nuts and bauple nut.
The Macadamia tree is native to the rain forests of Queensland, Australia. though macadamia nuts produced in Hawaii made this nut popular worldwide.
Today however, apart from Australia and Hawaii, macadamia nut is produced in South Africa, California, Israel, Bolivia, New Zealand, Columbia, Malawi and some other South American countries.
However Australia is the largest producer of macadamia nuts worldwide, producing about 40% of the total production.
The shell of the macadamia nut is very tough and can only be broken by a metal vise or a hammer. The seed inside needs to be sufficiently dry to ensure its easy removal from the shell. whether the seed is sufficiently dry or not can be ascertained by shaking the seed which rattles if loose from the shell or by dropping the nut onto a hard floor from the hand height while standing, and then shaking it.
Some seeds however may not rattle even when dry due to their unique placement inside the shell. Each nut contain 1 or 2 seeds.
Macadamia nuts are buttery and sweet tasting. They can be eaten on their own, roasted, salted or sweetened, added to desserts, confectionery or added to sandwiches, salad dressings etc
Macadamia oil is produced from the seed and is much higher in mono unsaturated fatty acids than Extra virgin olive oil and also has a much higher smoke point. This makes it a better cooking oil as well as a better salad oil than olive oil.
Macadamia Nuts Nutrition Benefits
- Macadamia nuts are a rich source of energy with 100 grams providing 718 calories.
- They are a good source of dietary fiber as well providing 23% of the daily requirement of fiber in 100 grams.
- The nuts are an excellent source of mono unsaturated fatty acids, the oleic and palmitoleic acids.
- They are a good source of the phytosterol - beta-Sitosterol.
- Macadamia nuts have excellent levels of manganese and copper and high levels of the minerals iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, calcium and selenium.
- They are a very rich source of thiamine (100% DV in 100 grams) and a very good source of niacin, pyridoxine and riboflavin.
- They contain significant levels of protein (14% DV in 100 grams) and contain all the essential amino acids with most of them being at optimum levels.
- Macadamia nuts are a low Glycemic index food, have no trans fat, cholesterol or sodium.
- They are gluten free.
Macadamia Nuts nutrition Facts
Macadamia nuts (Macadamia integrifolia)
Nutritional value per 100 g
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
Percentage of RDA
Health Benefits Of Macadamia Nuts
- It is a functional food, provides health benefits over and above the basic nutrients it provides.
- Reduces oxidative stress, inflammations and formation of blood clots.
- Has brain boosting qualities.
- Lowers cholesterol, total cholesterol and triglycerides, lowers blood pressure and risk of heart disease.
- Lowers risk of certain types of cancers.
- Improves integrity of the digestive system, reduces constipation, irritable bowel syndrome and hemorrhoids.
- Ensures satiety, reduces hunger, prevents over eating and promotes weight loss. Palmitoleic acid speeds up fat metabolism thus reducing storage of fat.
- Promotes a feeling of well being.
- Helps in better regulation of blood sugar levels since it has a low Glycemic index.The protein, fiber and good fats also help in maintaining better blood sugar levels.
- The various minerals ensure good muscle tone and strength, reuction of muscle cramps, stress reduction, regulate the nervous system, keep the bones and tissues healthy and strong.
Though macadamia nuts are high in fats and calories there is no cause for alarm if they are eaten in moderation. They will have only beneficial effects on the health.
As a study done as a research project by The University of Hawaii reveals "these fats do not impact cholesterol". Those in this study which lasted a month ate large quantities of macadamia nuts but showed lowering of cholesterol levels and lower triglyceride levels.
Make macadamia nuts a part of your healthy diet and stay healthy.
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"Journal of Nutrition"; A Macadamia Nut-Rich Diet Reduces Total and LDL-Cholesterol in Mildly Hypercholesterolemic Men and Women; A. Griel, Y. Cao, D. Bagshaw, et. al.; 2008
The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies, supplements or starting a new health regime.
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© 2013 Rajan Singh Jolly
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