When it comes to nuts, peanuts and almonds take the spotlight. They’re healthy, delicious, and easy to eat. But what about macadamia nuts? They might not be as popular, but they’re packed with nutritional benefits.
Macadamia nuts work well in baked goods and trail mixes. They also double as healthy “croutons” on a salad or pasta. And, like other nuts, the butter or milk version can be added to a smoothie.
Here’s a glimpse of what macadamia nuts have to offer1:
|Nutrients in a Cupful of Raw Macadamia Nuts|
|Dietary fiber||11.5 gm|
|Vitamin E||0.7 mg|
|Vitamin C||1.6 mg|
Take some time to learn about the following 7 health benefits of macadamia nuts. They might just inspire you to reconsider their value.
1. Lowers Heart Disease Risk
Like many other nuts, macadamias will benefit your heart. They’ve been shown to reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol, therefore decreasing your heart disease risk. This will also lower your chances of developing type 2 diabetes.
All thanks to the healthy fats. At 58.9 g of monounsaturated fats per 100 grams, macadamias have more healthy fats than any other nut.2 They’re also low in saturated fat which can raise your blood cholesterol. Together, these two traits make macadamia nuts highly recommended for a heart-healthy diet.
2. Contains Antioxidants
Flavonoids: Antioxidants are usually associated with fruits and veggies. But macadamia nuts also have some because of its rich flavonoid content. These compounds have a strong antioxidant capacity, helping your body fight free radicals.3 This will help ward off diseases like cancer, inflammation, and other chronic conditions.
Vitamin E: Macadamia nuts also have a small amount of vitamin E, a potent antioxidant. One cup has 0.72 mg. However, adults need 15 mg a day, so you should still try to get vitamin E from other sources. Examples include wheat germ oil, sunflower seeds, and spinach. Other tree nuts like almonds and peanuts are also high in vitamin E.4
3. Helps In Weight Loss
If you’re trying to lose weight, don’t shy away from macadamia nuts. Even though ½ cup has 481 calories, keep in mind that those calories are full of nutrients. You’ll also get a hefty helping of healthy fat, too. Remember, there are almost 60 grams of monounsaturated fatty acids in 100 grams. Plus, these good fats can also prevent oxidative stress. This will offer extra protection as your body faces adversities like infections and diseases.5
4. Supports Digestive Health
Fiber is essential for a healthy digestive system. It’ll keep your bowel movements regular while preventing constipation. However, many Americans don’t get enough fiber. The recommended intake for adults is 20 to 30 grams, but most people only get 15.6 Surprisingly, macadamia nuts are good for boosting your fiber intake.
Each ½ cup serving contains 5 to 6 grams. Other fiber-rich sources include fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains. However, be sure to add fiber to your diet slowly. Consuming too much too soon can cause bloating and gas.
5. Improves Brain Function
Your brain depends on thiamin, also known as vitamin B1. This nutrient is in charge of transforming carbohydrate into energy that will fuel the body’s cells. Specifically, your brain uses much of this energy to function properly.
Macadamia nuts are a rich source of thiamin. In just one cup, you’ll get 1.6 grams. That’s more than the recommendation of 1.1 and 1.2 grams for women and men, respectively. Pregnant women need 1.4 grams a day.7 So if you want these brain health benefits, eat more macadamia nuts.
6. Beautifies The Skin
It’s the fatty acids in macadamia nuts, particularly macadamia nut oil, that render it beneficial for our skin. Macadamia nuts contain the phytosteryl macademiate that is an emollient, that is, it softens and soothes the skin.8 They also contain palmitoleic, linoleic, and oleic acids that delay skin aging, moisturize the skin, and repair broken skin.
7. Strengthens Bones And Teeth
Macadamia nuts are a rich source of phosphorous, manganese, and magnesium – just what is needed for a stronger skeletal system. This can make macadamia nuts a useful tool in preventing bone disease and certain dental problems. They also show potential in the prevention of rheumatoid arthritis.9
Word Of Caution
Nut allergies are the most common food allergies across all cohorts. So, if you have a nut allergy, it’s best you steer clear of these as well.
Mix and match your nuts to maximize your health benefits. Walnuts, pecans, and hazelnuts are also great for the body. Keep your nut consumption diverse for best results.
|↑1||National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑2||Ros, Emilio. “Health benefits of nut consumption.” Nutrients 2, no. 7 (2010): 652-682.|
|↑3||Dailey, Adriana, and Quan V. Vuong. “Optimization of aqueous extraction conditions for recovery of phenolic content and antioxidant properties from macadamia (Macadamia tetraphylla) skin waste.” Antioxidants 4, no. 4 (2015): 699-718.|
|↑4||Vitamin E. National Institutes of Health.|
|↑5||Hunsche, Caroline, Oskarina Hernandez, Alina Gheorghe, Ligia Esperanza Díaz, Ascensión Marcos, and Mónica De la Fuente. “Immune dysfunction and increased oxidative stress state in diet-induced obese mice are reverted by nutritional supplementation with monounsaturated and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids.” European Journal of Nutrition (2017): 1-13.|
|↑6||Fiber. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.|
|↑7||Thiamin. U.S. National Library of Medicine.|
|↑8||Michalun, M. Varinia, and Joseph C. DiNardo. Skin Care and Cosmetic Ingredients Dictionary. Cengage Learning, 2014.|
|↑9||Cock, I. E., V. Winnett, J. Sirdaarta, and B. Matthews. “The potential of selected Australian medicinal plants with anti-Proteus activity for the treatment and prevention of rheumatoid arthritis.” Pharmacognosy magazine 11, no. Suppl 1 (2015): S190.|