Macadamia nuts are often called the “Queen of Nuts” because they are rich in monounsaturated fats that regulate appetite and promote a healthy gut. Despite the many benefits of macadamia nuts, they don’t always get a lot of attention in our diet.
These creamy, buttery nuts can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, including as a snack, baking bread, or as an ingredient in your favorite dishes. What makes them unique is their high fat content, most of which is heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Not only that, macadamia nuts also bring fiber, protein and essential minerals to your table. Take a closer look at the amazing health benefits of macadamia nuts and find out how to pick the freshest and add them to your recipes.
What are macadamia nuts?
Macadamia trees native to Australia produce macadamia nuts, which are now grown in various parts of the world including Hawaii, Asia, Africa and Latin America. They are also known as Queensland nuts, maroochy nuts, bople nuts, bush nuts, and in the United States as Hawaiian nuts. These creamy nuts have a buttery flavor and smooth texture.
Macadamia nuts can be eaten as is or used in recipes. Rich in fiber, essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fats. Despite their high fat content, they contain mostly heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, which can lower your risk of heart disease and diabetes.
macadamia nut nutritional value
Low in sugar and carbs, macadamia nuts are a great option to support heart health, manage diabetes, and provide healthy fats, fiber and antioxidants to aid digestion.
The nutritional content per 100g of raw macadamia nuts is:1):
- Calories: 718kcal
- Fat: 75.8 grams
- Protein: 7.91 grams
- Carbs: 13.8 grams
- Sugar: 4.57 grams
- Dietary fiber: 8.6 grams
In addition, macadamia nuts also contain the following nutrients:
- Thiamine: 1.2mg
- Niacin: 2.47mg
- Vitamin C: 1.2mg
- Calcium: 85mg
- Magnesium: 130mg
- Manganese: 4.13mg
- Iron: 3.69mg
- Phosphorus: 188mg
- Potassium: 368mg
Apart from these, it also contains most essential amino acids such as arginine, glutamic acid, leucine, aspartic acid and phenylalanine.
health Benefits of macadamia nuts
1. Improves Heart Health:
Macadamia nuts are heart-healthy because they are rich in monounsaturated fats, which can improve heart health and reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack (2). Studies show that a diet rich in macadamia nuts can lower cholesterol levels as much as the heart-healthy, low-fat diet recommended by the American Heart Association.3).
2. May improve blood sugar:
If you have diabetes, macadamia nuts may help. A Canadian study found that tree nuts, including macadamia nuts, may improve glycemic control in his type 2 diabetic patients (Four). The unique nutrients and bioactive compounds found in macadamia nuts work together to combat the effects of diabetes and improve blood sugar levels (Five).
3. May help with weight loss:
Surprisingly, macadamia nuts can help you lose weight despite being high in calories. It contains protein and dietary fiber, which reduces hunger and gives you a feeling of fullness. The palmitoleic fatty acid found in macadamia nuts also helps prevent unwanted weight gain (6).
4. May Improve Gut Health:
The fiber in macadamia nuts helps with gut and overall digestive health. Like most nuts, macadamia nuts contain soluble fiber that acts as a prebiotic, nourishing beneficial intestinal bacteria (7). These beneficial bacteria produce short-chain fatty acids that reduce inflammation and protect against intestinal disease (8).
5. May Improve Brain Health:
Eating macadamia nuts is good for brain health. They are associated with a reduced risk of neurological disease, and the oleic acid in nuts may help prevent stroke (9). Similarly, other nutrients such as copper, vitamin B1, manganese and magnesium also support healthy neurotransmitter production. The omega-9 fatty acids found in macadamia nuts improve mood, boost memory, and even help treat Alzheimer’s disease.Ten).
6. Nourishes the skin:
Macadamia nuts are rich in tocotrienols and squalene, powerful compounds that protect the skin from the harmful effects of sunlight (11). With macadamia nut oil, you can experience the benefits of essential fatty acids such as palmitoleic acid that prevent skin dehydration and promote healing and rejuvenation.12). Also, applying macadamia oil can help boost the health of your skin as you age.
7. Reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome is a collection of risk factors such as high blood pressure and obesity that lead to coronary heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. This can be mitigated by including macadamia nuts in a balanced diet. Studies have shown that these nuts can lower blood sugar levels, protect against type 2 diabetes, and even help prevent cardiovascular disease (Four), (6).
8. Full of Antioxidants:
Macadamia nuts are rich in antioxidants that fight harmful free radicals that can cause cell damage and increase the risk of diseases such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s and heart disease (13), (14). Their high flavonoid levels further contribute to lowering inflammation and cholesterol levels (13).
9. Potential anti-cancer properties:
Although research on this subject is limited, anecdotal evidence suggests that macadamia nuts may help control and prevent cancer. The flavonoids and tocotrienols in these nuts have been shown in scientific studies to be potentially cancer-fighting (15). As a precaution, it’s best to consult your doctor before incorporating macadamia nuts into your diet to reduce your cancer risk.
10. May Help Inflammation:
Macadamia nuts can be powerful allies against inflammation associated with heart disease. Studies have suggested that macadamia nut oil has anti-inflammatory properties, and even macadamia nut oil has shown promise in treating inflammation in mice (16). These nuts are rich in alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid that fights inflammation and helps prevent arthritis (17). Additionally, the manganese content is beneficial for bone health.
How to choose and store macadamia nuts?
The macadamia nut’s benefits, year-round availability, convenience, and deliciousness contribute to its popularity. Whether raw or roasted, salted or not, you can easily find different types of macadamia nuts at the grocery store or online. This will further increase the willingness to buy.
How to choose fresh macadamia nuts
- exterior: Look for smooth, creamy golden brown nuts. Avoid those that are discolored, wrinkled, cracked, or darkened.
- weight: Fresh macadamias should feel heavy and dense. Avoid rickety nuts as they may be stale or dry.
- scent: Fresh macadamias have a sweet, buttery flavor. If it smells bad or smells bad, it’s rotten.
- Avoid Additives: Choose macadamia nuts without additives such as salt or sweeteners. One ounce of unsalted raw macadamia nuts makes a convenient snack.
The benefits of macadamia nuts are immense. However, if you are allergic to nuts, consult your doctor before trying nuts. Also, be careful of overdosing, as overdosing can lead to gas, diarrhea, bloating, and other stomach problems.
When storing macadamia nuts, it is important to protect and keep them fresh. Have an airtight container to store your precious nuts to prevent moisture and air from spoiling their delicate flavors. A cool, dark place in your pantry or cupboard is the best place to stash them.
Don’t forget to check for mold and bacterial growth from time to time. Also, avoid exposing it to direct sunlight or heat as it will spoil faster. For a touch of luxury, use a vacuum-sealed bag for maximum freshness.
How to Use Macadamia Nuts – Recipes
Macadamia nuts are the chameleons of the nut world and can be added to almost any diet. Macadamia nuts can be enjoyed whole, ground, raw, roasted, or in creamy nut butters. It also adds a fun twist to the recipe.
If you want the healthiest option, choose raw macadamia nuts. However, if you’re in a hurry, it’s best to use the dry roast. Avoid the oil-roasted version as it contains unnecessary fat.
Here are some creative ways to incorporate the benefits of macadamia nuts into your cooking.
- You can sprinkle crushed macadamia nuts in soups and hot dishes, or use them in place of croutons in salads.
- Substitute macadamia nut flour for almond flour in the recipe.
- Add chopped macadamia nuts to enhance your granola bowl or oatmeal.
- Get creative with pesto and hummus, using macadamia nuts as the star ingredient.
- Try macadamia butter for a delicious alternative to peanut butter. Spread it on crackers, bread, fruit slices, or mix it into yogurt.
- Enjoy baked goods such as bread and cookies that feature macadamia nuts.
macadamia nut & white chocolate cookie
For the ultimate sweet, buttery, chewy treat, look no further than these delightful macadamia and white chocolate chip cookies. It’s a winning combo that leaves a pleasant sensation on your palate. Here are some easy recipes to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Duration: 25-30 minutes
- 1 cup softened butter
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 jars of chopped macadamia nuts
- 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup white baking chips
- In a large bowl, cream softened butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
- Then add the eggs and vanilla extract to the creamy mixture and mix for at least 5 minutes.
- Mix all purpose flour, baking soda, and salt. Add this dry mix to the creamy mixture and mix everything together.
- Finally, add chopped macadamia nuts and chocolate chips. Mix them into the cookie dough and make sure they are well distributed.
- Cover this cookie dough and chill in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. This step helps enhance flavor and texture.
When ready to bake, follow these final steps:
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Place spoonfuls of chilled cookie dough on baking sheet, about 2 inches apart.
- Place these cookie sheets in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cookies are a delicious golden brown.
- Once baked to perfection, allow the cookies to cool before serving.
The health benefits of macadamia nuts make them a nutritional treasure trove. These buttery flavors are packed with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, fiber and minerals that are essential to our overall health. These are generally safe and palatable for most people, including pregnant and breastfeeding women and children. However, like any other food, it can occasionally cause problems. Allergies to macadamia nuts are rare, but can occur. So, whether you eat it as a snack or use it in your favorite dishes, watch out for adverse reactions.
Also read: 15 Surprising Health Benefits of Walnuts