Many people avoid nuts because of their high fat content. What they don’t know is that there are a lot of nuts out there which are more nutritious than they expect. Take macadamia nuts, for example, which have a range of health benefits essentially giving them a nutrient powerhouse status. They contain the vitamins and minerals necessary to keep us healthy, helping boost heart health, gut health, metabolism and bone health. They can even help reduce the risk of cancer. Keep reading to learn more.
Macadamia Nuts: What Are They?
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Macadamia nuts are the fruit of the macadamia tree, native to the rainforests of Northeastern Australia. Today, they can be found in several regions of Australia, the Middle Americas, the Hawaiian Islands, South Africa and Brazil.
Part of the family of plants called Proteaceae, macadamia trees reach up to 40 feet (15 metres) tall, producing fruit around 7 years after plantation. Its leaves are elliptical, arranged in whorls of three to six, while its flowers are about 10 inches long and slender. Macadamia nuts are extremely woody and hard, with a pointed apex and one or two seeds.
Ferdinand von Mueller, a German-Australian botanist, coined the name ‘macadamia’ in 1857. The name was in honour of John Macadam, the Scottish-Australian politician, chemist and medical teacher.
Nutritional Facts of Macadamia Nuts
What’s good about this nut is that it contains the most important and essential vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C, B Vitamins, protein, folate, iron, manganese, healthy fats and antioxidants. Another good thing is that they are very low in sodium and cholesterol.
The table below outlines the nutrient content of 1 cup (132 g) of macadamia nuts:
|Principle||Amount||% Daily Value|
|Dietary Fiber||10.6 grams||42%|
|Total Fat||100 grams||155%|
|Vitamin C||0.9 milligrams||2%|
|Vitamin E||0.8 milligrams||4%|
|Vitamin B6||0.5 milligrams||24%|
|Pantothenic Acid||0.8 grams||8%|
Uses of Macadamia Nuts
This nut is easy to incorporate into a diet. You can roast them slightly or eat them plain, making them a midday snack or making a packet of them for when you’re on the go. When buying macadamia nuts, remember to buy the plain, unsalted ones instead of the oil-roasted ones, which are unhealthier.
Macadamia nuts have a sweet and crunchy taste and nutty aroma, which is why they easily blend with sweet delicacies. Crushed and roasted nuts can be sprinkled over sweets, salads, desserts and cereals, or they can be used for preparing cakes, muffins and biscuits.
Health Benefits of Macadamia Nuts
Macadamia nuts give you the vitamins and minerals which ensure your health is flourishing. Here are some of their best health benefits:
- Improves bone health. This nut is a good source of magnesium, potassium and calcium, which help prevent bone demineralization. It has also phosphorus, which further promotes the mineralization of bones and teeth.
- Helps keep the gut healthy. This nut contains both soluble and insoluble fibers, which flush toxins out of our body and aid digestion. It also is rich in copper, which supports enzymatic reactions needed to improve digestive health.
- Helps make heart healthy. Macadamia nuts are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, making it less likely for platelets to form a clot in the blood vessels. This prevents strokes or heart attacks. This is one of the best health benefits of macadamia nuts.
- Lowers the risk of cancer. This nut has a naturally high flavonoid content, which helps prevent damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are the main cause of cancer.
- Promotes an effective metabolism. Macadamia nuts contain many B-complex vitamins, which contribute to the metabolism. It also has niacin, riboflavin and thiamin, all of which also boost metabolic rates and help our body produce energy.