The Macadamia tree is indigenous to the rain forests of Australia, it is a tall, evergreen member of the protea family, with firm shiny leaves. In Spring, flowers cover the trees, varying in colour from white to pink and even bronze. In due course these sweet smelling blossoms turn into long clusters of green fruit (husks).
De-husking the nut exposes perfectly round, shiny brown nuts. The particularly hard woody shells on the nuts defy normal nutcrackers, and require special equipment to extract the ivory-coloured kernels.
The kernel is very versatile considered to be the world's finest. Their texture and flavour make them the most versatile of nuts and, they are exceptionally healthy. The Macadamia is probably the fastest growing tree crop industry in South Africa. Over 90% of the production [12% of production] is exported annually.
no one can deny the delicious appeal of macadamia nuts. (1) macadamia nutrition packs a potent punch.
Macadamia nuts are amazing little nutrient-filled powerhouses that come from the macadamia tree. They contain some important essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin A, iron, B vitamins, Manganese and folate, as well as protein, healthy fats and antioxidants. These remarkable nutrients are what give these incredible nuts their plentiful benefits.
1. Good for the Heart
Macadamia nuts contain healthy fats that can help keep the arteries in good heart-health condition. Because they’re rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, they help reduce cholesterol levels and lower triglycerides, a type of body fat. When we lower body fat, we can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
In a study conducted by the Pennsylvania State University Department of Nutritional Sciences and published in the Journal of Nutrition, some subjects were randomly given macadamia nuts and compared to those who were fed a standard American diet. Over the course of the the study, those who consumed macadamia nuts saw reduced cholesterol levels and overall healthier heart markers. Because macadamia nuts are a rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids, they help reduce the risks of lipid/lipoprotein cardiovascular disease risk factors. (2)
2. Fight Disease
The macadamia contains flavonoids that help to prevent cell damage by protecting cells from environmental toxins. Once these phenomenal flavonoids are in the body, they convert into antioxidants, which is where the power comes into play. Antioxidants have this great job of finding the free radicals in our bodies and destroying them. This is how we protect our bodies from disease.
Study observations Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging “suggest nut consumption is inversely associated with the incidence of cardiovascular disease and cancer.” In addition to being nutrient-dense, the numerous phytonutrients they contain provide positive health benefits. The phenolic acids, flavonoids and stilbenes help provide useful antioxidants that can fight diseases like cancer. (3) That’s why nuts — including macadamia — are some of the best cancer-fighting foods you can consume.
3. Aid in Weight Loss
The good fat content can actually help curb your appetite. Not only that, but macadamias contain palmitoleic acid. Palmitoleic acid has the ability to increase fat metabolism, which in turn reduces fat storage. Macadamias contain a nice balance of nutrients and fats, helping you feel satisfied with only a few of them.
In addition, macadamia nuts contain beneficial dietary fibers that can help you achieve satiety and contain complex carbohydrates like lignans, hemicellulose, amylopectins, mucilage, gums and insoluble cellulose that assist with digestive problems while reducing those nagging hunger pangs. There’s even evidence that nuts like macadamia may have positive effects on preventing metabolic syndrome, though more research is needed to validate this belief. (4)
4. Support the Gut
Containing both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber, the macadamia helps you feel full while removing toxins from the body and assisting in good digestion. As a copper-rich food, the macadamia nut helps with the efficient utilization of iron and aids in proper enzymatic reactions. (5)