What Are Macadamia Nuts? 5 Things You May Not Know

5 Things You May Not Know About Macadamia Nuts

What Are Macadamia Nuts And Where Do They Come From?

Macadamia Nuts (macadamia integrifolia) come from a group of trees indigenous to Australia. They are high in fat and low in protein, and have the highest amount of monounsaturated fats of any known seed.

They contain a wide variety of critical nutrients including high amounts of magnesium, manganese, vitamin B1, and healthy monounsaturated fats, and  are among some of the most delicious and sought after nuts in the world. They are now being grown in California, Hawaii, and other areas such as South Africa and Central America.

Macadamia’s grow as a leathery, green husk that splits open as the nut matures. They are harvested when they fall from the tree, which is when the husk is removed and the nuts are dried. The husks are composted for mulch or for fertilizer and spread around the same trees, ensuring their ongoing growth, and thus completing the circle of life.

5 Things You May Not Know About Macadamia Nuts

Health Benefits

Relatively low in carbs and protein (containing two percent per one-ounce serving), Macadamias are high in oleic acid and omega-9 monounsaturated fatty acid -only three grams are saturated fat.

One serving size: One oz. (28 grams) has 203 Calories and-

  • 22g Fat
  • 4g Carbohydrates
  • 1g Sugar
  • 2.4g Fiber
  • 2g Protein
  • 1g Sodium

As mentioned earlier, macadamia nuts contain high amounts of vitamin B1 and magnesium, but did you know that  just one serving gives you 58 percent of needed manganese, and 23 percent of the recommended daily value of thiamin, as well as antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

5 Things You May Not Know About Macadamia Nuts

  1. They help to lower systolic blood pressure.
  2. They reduce the factors for metabolic syndrome.
  3. Including healthful amounts of nuts to your diet can help you to maintain your ideal weight over time, decreasing waist circumference and overall abdominal obesity.
  4. They help to reduce high blood pressure and high fasting glucose.
  5. Clinical studies demonstrated that the fatty acid profile of these nuts beneficially affect serum lipids/lipoproteins, resulting in a lowered risk of cardiovascular disease. They also contain the amino acid l-arginine, which offers multiple vascular benefits to people with coronary heart disease.

* Additionally, in the cosmetic industry the oil is used to make soaps, shampoos, and sunscreens.

Final Thoughts – Good Fats (HDL) vs Bad Fats (LDL)

Not all saturated fatty acids are the same. So it’s important to note that it’s the type of fat that matters, not the amount.

Here is a quote from the American Heart Association:

“LDL cholesterol is considered the ‘bad’ cholesterol because it contributes to plaque, a thick, hard deposit that can clog arteries and make them less flexible. This condition is known as atherosclerosis. If a (blood) clot forms and blocks a narrowed artery, heart attack or stroke can result. Another condition called peripheral artery disease can develop when plaque buildup narrows an artery supplying blood to the legs.

HDL cholesterol is considered ‘good’ cholesterol because it helps remove LDL cholesterol from the arteries. Experts believe HDL acts as a scavenger, carrying LDL cholesterol away from the arteries and back to the liver, where it is broken down and passed from the body. One-fourth to one-third of blood cholesterol is carried by HDL. A healthy level of HDL cholesterol may also protect against heart attack and stroke, while low levels of HDL cholesterol have been shown to increase the risk of heart disease.”

 

Your body needs saturated fatty acids and not all are the same, eliminating them from your diet could cause serious health issues. Remember it’s the type of fat not the amount, that makes a difference! So stay away from trans-fats which are formed when vegetable oil hardens, a process called hydrogenation.

Healthy Saturated Fats include-

  • butter
  • cheese
  • whole milk
  • ice cream
  • fatty meats
  • coconut oil
  • palm kernel oil

Unhealthy Saturated Fats include-

  • Commercially-baked pastries, cookies, doughnuts, muffins, cakes, pizza dough
  • Packaged snack foods (crackers, microwave popcorn, chips)
  • Margarine
  • Vegetable shortening
  • Fried foods (French fries, fried chicken, chicken nuggets, breaded fish)
  • Candy bars

 

*Special note to animal owners

Macadamias are toxic to dogs. Occurring within 12 hours of ingestion macadamia toxicosis manifests as weakness, vomiting, loss of coordination and paralysis in the hind limbs, causing an inability of the animal to stand. Symptoms may also include muscle tremors, joint pain, severe abdominal pain and hyperthermia. Get to your vet for treatment. 

 

PS: I hope you enjoyed reading this article, and please don’t hesitate to share it with friends and family. Join the conversation and let me know of your experiences with macadamia nuts – share your stories below and join me on other interesting articles at healingbodyandmind.org

 

To your good health,

Tom

images courtesy of pixabay.com and commons.wikimedia.org


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