Grown mostly in Australia, Macadamia nuts are the most expensive nuts you will ever come across. These are tree nuts grown on the Macadamia tree and are full of healthy benefits.
Apart from Australia, they are also grown in Brazil, Costa Rica, and Hawaii. These tree nuts have a butter-like flavor and a creamy texture.
Looks Mean A Lot… What Do Macadamia Nuts Look Like?
These nuts grow at least 5 years after the plantation of the tree. They have a round shape and light color. Their shells are extremely hard to crack open and are thus sold without the shell which is cracked open by machinery.
How Do Macadamia Nuts Taste?
As we mentioned above, Macadamia nuts have a buttery flavor and creamy texture, sure enough, they are used in desserts! Roasted or salted Macadamia nuts just like other dry fruits bring out a different taste of a delicacy.
1. Rich Nutritional Value
Macadamia nuts are highly nutritious, they contain healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.
According to the US Department of Agriculture, every 100g of macadamia nuts has calories amounting to 718 kcal. In the same 100g, there is-
· 1.36 g of water
· 13.8 g of carbohydrates
· 7.91g of protein
· 75.8 of total fats
· 8.6g of fiber
· 85mg of calcium
· And 3.69mg of iron
Now if this is not healthy and nutritious, we wouldn’t know what is!
2. Trying To Lose Weight? Macadamia Nuts Could Help You!
The calorie count we mentioned above might scare you away but worry not, despite being loaded with all those calories macadamia nuts can help you lose weight.
This could be because of the protein and fiber content in these nuts. These nutrients are known to reduce hunger. High fibrous content also helps in improved bowel movement. Besides the fats in macadamia nuts take longer to digest which, again, reduces hunger.
Other than these nuts, macadamia oil is also very healthy. The two prove to be a rich source of palmitoleic acid which is a type of monounsaturated fat (omega 7) known to prevent weight gain.
3. Better Heart Health
Macadamia nuts, and tree nuts in general, help in promoting an improvement in heart health. Healthy monounsaturated fats help in reducing bad cholesterol levels.
These fats not only reduce bad cholesterol levels but also lower the risk of fatal heart attacks, heart failure, and stroke. Overall, they promote better heart health.
4. Full of Antioxidants
Antioxidants are beneficial to our health as they reduce the risk of developing several diseases including heart diseases and cancer. Antioxidants play a major role in preventing or delaying cell damage usually caused by free radicals.
5. They Prevent Cancer
The antioxidants present in macadamia nuts may ward off free radicals in the body. They also have some plant compounds serving the same purpose.
Also, they contain a type of vitamin E known as tocotrienols which have anticancer properties. It can help fight or kill cancer cells.
6. Protect The Brain
Tocotrienols also have brain-protecting abilities other than anticancer abilities. They are known to protect the brain from the effects of glutamate which may lead to the development of Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
7. May Reduce Your Risk of Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome is a set of conditions that act as risk factors for diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.
Conditions such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, low levels of HDL, cholesterol, high triglycerides, and excess belly fat are included in metabolic syndromes.
A diet that includes macadamia nuts may lower the risk of developing metabolic syndrome and can also reduce its effects in people who already have it. For instance, it is known to reduce blood sugar levels, control blood pressure levels, reduce bad cholesterol, and deal with body fat.
8. Can Also Improve Digestion and Gut Health
Since macadamia nuts are rich in dietary fiber, they help in enhancing digestion and aid in better bowel movement. This soluble fiber also supplies beneficial bacteria to your stomach.
The presence of this soluble fiber and good bacteria helps in reducing inflammation and prevents ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, etc.
This being said, everything has its own dos and don’ts, pros and cons. While consuming macadamia nuts is most fruitful for leading a healthy life, they do have certain limitations.
Those Aren’t Always Healthy, But Why So?
1. Tree Nut Allergy
Some people are allergic to tree nuts, and this doesn’t only include macadamia nuts but also peanuts, almonds, and walnuts. These allergies can even be life-threatening.
Nut allergies can take play even if the person comes in contact with trace amounts of these. Thus, allergic people should steer clear away from macadamia nuts and even people who live with such people should try and avoid them.
2. They Are Not as Healthy When Roasted
Just like cashews, almonds, and other nuts, macadamia nuts can also be eaten raw or roasted. A lot of people prefer roasted nuts over raw nuts since it enhances the flavor. However, what we must note is that dry roasted macadamia nuts, especially when roasted at higher temperatures can cause them to lose some of their nutritional value.
It is believed that it is best to consume them raw. One could just have them raw macadamia nuts or soak them in water for some time before consuming or in case you really want them roasted then maybe you could go for roasting them at lower temperatures. These ways help them retain as much nutritional value as possible.
3. They Are High in Calories
The number of calories in 100g of macadamia nuts can be equal to half or even more than half of an average individual’s daily calorie intake. People should eat them with a count. You can also prevent yourself from overeating by substituting some of your dietary patterns for example, you could use macadamia nuts as salad toppings!
4. Some Could Contain Excessive Oil, Sugar, or Salt
You can buy macadamia nuts from any departmental store. However, while making the purchase you should make it a habit to check the ingredients. Some of them may contain excessive oil, sugar, or salt which would not make them a very healthy choice.
You might be wondering if there is some way to include macadamia nuts in your diet without having to eat them raw. Well, worry not because here we have some healthy ingredients and delicious recipes for you!
Macadamia Nut Ingredients
As we mentioned above, macadamia nuts offer a rich flavor thus they can be used in desserts and cooking otherwise too.
Macadamia nut flour is an alternative flour option for baking that is gluten-free and low in carbs.
Macadamia nut milk can be prepared easily at home by blending soaked nuts. This is dairy-free milk that can even be consumed by those who are allergic to dairy products. Macadamia milk is a healthy option that can be used in baking or for direct consumption.
Macadamia nut oil is available in the markets made just like other nut oils, i.e., by cold pressing macadamia nuts. It is a healthy oil that can be used for baking, sauteing, and frying.
Macadamia nut butter. Just like peanuts, butter can also be made out of macadamia nuts. This is healthier than peanut butter and even more so if coconut and/or honey are added to it.
Macadamia Nut Recipes
We mentioned baked goodies and desserts made from macadamia nuts but what are they?
· Macadamia nut and coconut waffles– you could top your waffles off with coconut and macadamia nuts. Waffles could even be baked with these as the key ingredients.
· Almond cookies… walnut cookies…. Then why not macadamia cookies?! You could bake soft, creamy, and chewy cookies using macadamia nuts and could even put in chocolate as an ingredient!
· There couldn’t be any dessert better than ice cream in the summer, and macadamia nuts don’t leave it behind either.
· Macadamia nut hummus. It may not sound so good, but it is definitely worth a try.
· You can even mix them up with some granola and coconut oil to make a healthy snack.
· Make a pie out of coconut, pineapple, and macadamia nuts, and bring Hawaii to your home. These pies are best served with a cup of coffee.
· Macadamia nuts blend their flavor well with white chocolate. You can make the best of this combo and bake yourselves some macarons.
Nut consumption is especially healthy, and for health-conscious people, there are several other tree nuts as well.
Almonds are one of the world’s most common tree nuts. They are known to have a plethora of benefits especially when soaked. They are full of nutrients, fats, minerals, and vitamins. Thus, they help prevent cancer, strengthen bones, improve cardiovascular health, and aid in weight loss.
Soaked almonds are extremely healthy and beneficial for the brain. An advised diet of 10 soaked almonds daily can help sharpen your brain and improve your memory.
Almonds also contain vitamin E and antioxidants, which just like macadamia nuts, help in warding off free radicals that could have formed in the body as a response to environmental and other stress. They also control cholesterol and blood sugar levels and help in maintaining healthy blood pressure, and in turn, all these factors lead to improved heart health.
Calcium, manganese, zinc, protein, and vitamin K present in almonds contribute to bone health. Come on now who doesn’t want healthy and long-living bones?
Walnuts look like two brains put together. They grow in round shells on the walnut tree, when sold in commercial packaging, their shells are more often than not cracked open and the walnut that comes inside is broken into two parts, each of which looks like a miniature of the brain.
Well, just like their brain-like crinkly appearance would suggest, they are extremely healthy for the brain. Polyunsaturated fats also known as omega 3, vitamin E, and ellagic acid found in walnuts help in dealing with stress thus promoting brain health. Their benefits in regard to the brain not being limited to this also help in enhancing memory and brain functioning of different types.
Omega 3 also helps in keeping people in lighter moods. Non-depressed people who ate walnuts were observed to have better moods.
Since walnuts are rich in fiber they can also aid with weight loss, improved digestive health, and better stool movement. Besides, they also help produce good bacteria in the stomach which also helps with better gut health.
A diet inclusive of walnuts also helps protect the heart. They can improve cholesterol levels which help in reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. They can also decrease inflammation which prevents cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes other than heart disease.
It is a known fact that healthy eating helps in healthy aging. Walnuts are full of essential nutrients like minerals, vitamins, fiber, fats, and plant compounds which promote better physical health and body longevity.
Another unique benefit can be noted in the effects walnuts have on male reproductive health. The typical American diet could lead to reduced functioning by sperm, on the contrary walnuts can help improve male fertility.
They are kidney-shaped seeds of the cashew tree with a creamy texture. Truly raw cashews are not safe for consumption; however, processing makes them extremely healthy. The raw cashews available in markets are these processed cashews only. Other than them, roasted (and salted) cashews can be a delightful snack.
Just like other nuts, cashews are rich in nutrients and plant compounds which make them good for our health. Cashews can help with weight loss and heart health and are especially good for patients with type 2 diabetes as they contain fiber and control blood sugar levels.
Pecan is a pinkish-brown nut that appears kind of similar to walnut. Pecan is a tree nut loaded with healthy nutrients. One of its specialties is that it can help against degenerative diseases and cardiometabolic diseases.
They could have possible benefits for diseases related to the nervous system. They can help fight against Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease; however, we can’t say this for a fact at the moment as there isn’t significant scientific evidence to back the same.
Pistachios are another common tree nut that you can often see served in a bowl of dry fruits. They are edible seeds of the pistachio tree which come in a shell that can usually be cracked open by hand. They are healthy and fun to eat at the same time especially since they may even have an added salty flavor.
Just like other tree nuts they are packed with nutrients and have plenty of health benefits linked with weight loss, cardiovascular health, and gut health. Pistachios are tree nuts with the lowest calorie count, yet they are high in protein which has uncountable benefits for the human body and health.
Pistachios can be playfully involved in so many recipes which make them fun to consume. There are ice creams and cakes made out of pistachios. They can even be crushed and used as toppings for salads, pizzas, and anything of your choice! And not to forget, they can be indulged in any baked dessert.
In all, consuming tree nuts is very healthy and at the same time tastes pretty good. One should try his or her best to include at least some of them in his or her regular diet. And of course, this inclusion in dietary practices is not limited to eating them raw, you could use oil made from these nuts, add them to your bakery, use them as toppings, or maybe just roast them to eat as a snack when you are bored!