Macadamia nuts are native to Australia and come from the family of Proteaceae. It is also known as Bush nut, Queensland nut, Hawaii nut, Maroochi nut and Bauple nut!
Of the four species, only three are commercially grown and consumed and only two can be consumed in raw form.
Macadamia nut is also encompassed in two coverings- the outermost is hard and thick and the inner one is a thin brown film which adheres to the nut itself.
Macadamia nuts that are not eaten raw are usually roasted and all the varieties are eaten in desserts as well as savory preparations.
In fact, chocolate and macadamia nuts make a classic and absolutely heavenly combination.
Their oil is also priced a lot due to the high amount of Omega 7 acid which is considered excellent for the skin.
The attractive tree that bears macadamia nuts is used for ornamental and decorative purposes as well.
Unlike most of the other nuts, macadamia is high on fats and low on proteins. But they have the highest percentage of monounsaturated fats that make it a very healthy nut.
Macadamia nuts have a very rich composition of minerals and trace metals and are particularly high in Iron (28%), Magnesium (37%) and Phosphorus (27%) where the percentages show the proportion of daily requirement of that particular mineral specified by RDA.
Of the carbohydrates, it contains 4.57 grams of Sugar and rest 8.6 grams dietary fiber.
It has only 16% of saturated fats and balance is made up of monounsaturated and less than 1% of polyunsaturated fats.
The raw nut has a high water content, but usually, it needs to be dried before they can be consumed which eventually brings down the moisture level of this nut.
Usually, people really vary of Macadamia because of the large fat content it has.
But after reading this section, you will find that macadamia nuts if properly incorporated in your diet, can prove to be beneficial for your health in many ways.
In the process of explaining the health benefits, we will also bust the myths around this wonderfully healthy and supremely tasty nut.
1. Instant Energy
Macadamia nuts have one of the highest calorie content without the unhealthy cholesterol.
As mentioned in the nutritional table, grams of these nuts can release up to 740 Kcal in the body. This makes it a great snack when hunger strikes between the meals.
For people who usually have physically hectic days, a lot of travel or follow a regular regimen of heavy exercises, this nut can provide high energy levels to sail you through your days without a single low moment.
Due to their high energy character, they are particularly healthy for young children. It is also gluten free so proves to be a boon for those who are allergic to this compound.
2. Raises Hemoglobin levels
Hemoglobin is a pigment in our blood which has the primary role of transporting oxygen to various parts of our body and is composed of Iron.
When a doctor say that there is a deficiency of blood, they essentially mean lack of hemoglobin called Anemia which is usually the direct result of a low amount of Iron in the diet or inability to absorb it.
The usual symptoms are persistent tiredness, pale complexion, drowsiness, headaches, blackouts and dizziness.
The high amount of Iron in macadamia nuts can help you in elevating the iron level in the body and alleviating its deficiency in the body.
Do note that consumption of Vitamin C rich food is also essential to expedite and facilitate the absorption of Iron in the body.
3. Suppresses Appetite
Appetite and an excess of it can spell doom for those who have weight problems and are trying hard to shed those extra kilos.
Nuts like macadamia can really come to their rescue by curbing the appetite significantly and by naturally safe means.
There are two properties of Macadamia that help it in arresting unhealthy appetite- Firstly, a high amount of fiber and secondly sugar content.
The high fiber content makes your stomach feel full with low portions of snacking and keeps it feeling full for a longer time. This way you do not eat a lot between the meals as well as during the meals. In fact adding these nuts to an accompaniment in meals, say a salad can really reduce your diet intake.(4, 5)
Natural sugars in Macadamia are low and much more healthy than the artificial sugars we consume. Once you have eaten macadamia, it will alleviate the unhealthy craving for sugar which is one of the top reasons of calorie and weight addition.
4. For the Bones
Bones are made up of Calcium but for maintaining their health, strength and density there are other minerals that play an important role.
Phosphorus and Magnesium are two other minerals that are essential for building better and healthier bones and both of them are abundantly present in macadamia nuts.
Phosphorus is the second most abundant mineral in the body and about 85% of it is found in the bones and teeth.
If you suffer from lack of Magnesium then most of the calcium derived from food sources will dissolve in your bloodstream and excreted out of your body through urine.
In this process, your kidney and bladder can also suffer from damage due to excessive calcium deposits in the pores of bladder tissue.
5. Anti-inflammatory Properties
Macadamia has a great composition of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, both are known for tissue repairs and anti-inflammatory effects.
Selenium is another mineral that is being slated as the next big thing in the arena of anti-oxidants. All the three of them with Vitamin E make for a strong anti-inflammatory agent out of Macadamia nuts.
They expedite the process of faster healing and tissue repair in the body. Omega fatty acids also play an important role of reducing pain almost as effectively as medicinal pain killers. (10)
If you are suffering from arthritis then they must form a part of your diet as they reduce inflammation and arrest the severity of arthritis. The antioxidant effect of selenium and Vitamin E further optimizes the joint function and controls the infections and resulting inflammation.(11, 12)
6. Complete Skin and Hair Care
Macadamia oil is considered to be an elixir for the youthful health of your skin and mane. If you can not get hold of the oil, then including macadamia nuts in your diet on a regular basis can provide some of the benefits for your skin and hair.
Macadamia oil is rich in Vitamin E which is an antioxidant and also expedites the skin repair. It facilitates the production of new cells that replace the old and worn out layers of skin.
A lot of hair loss can be owed to our unhealthy eating habits and generally low standards of health and weakness in the body.
Vitamin E tackles both the internal as well as external issues that hamper your hair growth.
As a powerful anti-oxidant it cleans out the toxins and blood impurities encouraging hair growth. The oil moisturizes hair and reduces its breakage thus containing hair loss effectively.
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7. Fiber for Gastrointestinal health
Macadamia nuts boast of a high fiber content which is absolutely necessary and important for your digestion and digestive system.
There is two type of fiber in our diet- soluble and insoluble.
Soluble fibers get absorbed in the body and balance absorbs water to make your stools soft.
The insoluble fibers pass right through the stomach and into intestines adding bulk and volume to stools. Softer and bulkier stools owing to dietary fiber make them easy to pass through the gastrointestinal system. (15, 16, 17)
This keeps bowel movement regular and healthy. This function of fiber protects from constipation and results in alleviating chronic constipation induced piles. Pile is a medical condition where blood vessels around anus swell and is extremely painful also causing bleeding in some cases. By eating fiber rich, this condition can be avoided. (18)
8. For Controlling Blood Sugar
Macadamia is known for its positive effects on glucose level in blood. People suffering from diabetes or those in whose family line this disorder exists must consume food items like macadamia nuts that have a low glycemic index.
Macadamia nuts in their raw form register a very low glycemic index of 10! This means that consumption of these nuts does not lead to a spike in blood sugar levels.
The fats in Macadamia lower the resistance from insulin and lead to better absorption of sugar and its synthesis. This is one more reason why they are high energy nuts.
They break down the glucose or sugar content expeditiously resulting in high energy and low glucose in the blood.
9. Electrolyte balance
Our brain rules all the systems of our body and makes it function in an unbelievable coordination. But how exactly does it accomplish this?
There are electrically charged particle in our body that transmit the brain signals from the brain to various parts of the body and back.
These electrically charged ions travel in the electrolyte which is a composition of important minerals like Potassium, sodium and magnesium.
An optimum balance of electrolytes is essential considering it regulates hormone secretion along with acting as neuro- transmitters for our body.
Macadamia with its rich content of minerals balances and restores the electrolyte levels in the body. This results in bettering the nerve function and optimum levels of hormonal release in the body.(19, 20)
10. Protects your Heart
Macadamia has no cholesterol, but it is a powerhouse of unsaturated fats.
With one of the healthiest densities of unsaturated fats, Macadamia can bring down the level of low-density lipoproteins (LDL) in the blood. ( 21)
LDL is also called “bad” Cholesterol because it gradually creates depositions along the inner line of an artery resulting in plaque which not only blocks the blood supply but also makes the arteries inflexible. The erratic blood flow leads to fluctuating blood pressure.
Other than maintaining the health of arteries and blood pressure, the potassium in Macadamia nuts regulates the muscle function and alleviates arrhythmia.
Arrhythmia is a condition in which heart beats irregularly and if not controlled in time can have serious heart complications.
Side Effects of Macadamia
Macadamia nuts are high in fiber but the process of drying which makes them suitable for consumption shaves off a lot of water content from them.
This makes it a low water, high fiber food which if taken in excessive quantities can cause constipation and diarrhea. Eat them in moderation and drink a lot of water before and after snacking on them.
Though it does not contain Gluten which is usually the reason for allergic reaction in some people, Macadamia nuts do pack other minerals and compounds that may cause intolerance and allergy.
If you have a history of allergy due to nuts and are still not sure what exactly causes it, then taking a sage approach is recommended. Talk to your physician and look at the best way of trying out this nut without putting yourself in danger of an allergic reaction.
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