Peeled macadamia nuts are very similar to hazelnuts, but in reality there is very little in common between both cultures. Macadamia is the most expensive nut in the world, common in Australia and Hawaii. Also, these trees are grown in South Africa, Brazil, Indonesia, New Zealand. As many have already understood, macadamia is a lover of a warm climate, and in our latitudes it is "found" only as a product in supermarkets.
What is macadamia
Macadamia is a fragrant nut with a rich taste, originally from Australia, where for the local population they are not just a source of many useful substances, but a sacred tree. In the natural environment, this culture grows near rivers, in tropical forests. Mature trees can grow up to 15 m in height. Maturity reaches 7 years of life. Around this time, they begin to bear fruit and continue to bear fruit for a hundred years.
People learned about the existence of this tree relatively recently. This plant from the Proteus family in the 1850s was discovered by the Australian researcher Ferdinand von Muller and named it in honor of his colleague John Macadam. In those days, scientists learned that macadamia grows in Australia, Indonesia and New Caledonia. Today, other varieties are known to exist, although far from all of them are pleasing with edible fruits. Only 2 varieties are considered beneficial for humans: Macadamia tetraphylla and Macadamia integrifolia. The first is distinguished by fruits covered with a rough rough shell. The second variety produces smooth-shelled nuts and is typically used for commercial purposes.
In the homeland of macadamia, where these nuts have been cultivated for more than 100 years, biologists have developed several cultivars. For indigenous Australians, macadamia has been an important part of the diet for all these years: it has served as a rich source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. At the end of the 19th century, this culture was introduced to the Hawaiian Islands, where the nuts successfully took root and give good harvests.
Under an extremely dense brown-green shell, small nuclei (up to 2 cm in diameter) of ivory color with a delicate creamy taste are hidden.
These nuts contain a lot of fat (65-75% of the total composition), and therefore the product must be kept in the refrigerator, otherwise the butter in the nuts will go rancid and macadamia will have an unpleasant aftertaste.
Macadamia is an incredibly rich source of energy. Only 100 g of nuts will provide more than 700 kcal. And this allows us to talk about macadamia as the most high-calorie nuts. In these small fruits, there was a place for a huge number of nutrients that are important for human health. Macadamia is proteins, fats, carbohydrates, various vitamins and minerals. Australia nut is an excellent source of calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, manganese. In addition, macadamia is a portion of vitamin E and group B vitamins necessary for humans. These nuts are rich in essential amino acids that the human body needs for healthy muscle development, connective tissue, blood plasma formation and other functions.
Fats in macadamia nuts are monounsaturated (84%), polyunsaturated (3.5%) and saturated (12.5%) fatty acids. Australian nuts are a low cholesterol product with a high concentration of monounsaturated fatty acids, which are so-called good fats and help maintain the balance of omega-6 and omega-3 substances in the body.
Compared to macadamia fruits, most other nuts contain a very high concentration of omega-6, an excess of which can cause various health problems. For example, if 100 g of walnuts contain 10.7 g of omega-6, in almonds - almost 4 g, in cashews - 2.2 g, then in macadamia this figure is only 0.36 g. And this is less than in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, which, incidentally, is considered to be a product with a low content of omega-6.
|Calorie content||718 kcal|
|Vitamin B1||1.19 mg|
|Vitamin B2||0.16 mg|
|Vitamin B3||2.47 mg|
|Vitamin B5||0.76 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.27 mg|
|Vitamin B9||11 mcg|
|Vitamin C||1.2 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.24 mg|
It is clear that a product with such a diverse chemical composition should be useful to humans. And macadamia is actually one of the most valuable products for humans.
Strengthens the heart
The right fats in nuts help keep your heart and blood vessels in good condition. A high concentration of monounsaturated fatty acids allows macadamia to lower cholesterol and triglycerides in the body, which subsequently serves as an excellent prevention of coronary heart disease, stroke. A high fiber content helps maintain a healthy blood lipid profile, preventing coronary artery disease.
Protects against free radicals
Macadamia contain flavonoids - substances with antioxidant abilities that protect cells from the effects of toxins and the "attacks" of free radicals. A study conducted by American scientists confirmed that people who have a nut diet are less likely to develop cardiac diseases or cancer.
In addition, do not forget that the chemical composition of Australian nuts includes phenolic acids, and they are known to be one of the best anti-cancer compounds.
Improves the digestive system
Macadamia contains soluble and insoluble dietary fiber, which accelerate the elimination of toxins from the body, and also stimulate the proper functioning of the digestive organs. In particular, these copper-rich nuts, against the background of sufficient iron intake, contribute to the proper course of enzymatic reactions.
Macadamia nuts contain phosphorus, manganese and magnesium in abundance. These are the elements on which the mineralization of bones and teeth depends, as well as the transportation of nutrients through the tissues. Perhaps everyone knows that calcium is essential for healthy growth of teeth and bones. But calcium alone is not enough for this process. And the older we get, the more we need manganese, which helps the body maintain the proper bone density. In addition, organisms of people with kidney dysfunction are poorly absorbed by calcium and manganese. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the daily diet consists of foods rich in these elements. And macadamia nuts will do the job well.
Affects the central nervous system
Copper, Vitamin B1, Magnesium and Manganese found in Australian nuts contribute to the proper functioning of the brain. In particular, these substances are necessary for the adequate transmission of impulses from the brain to other cells of the body. This product is rich in oleic acid, which is useful for maintaining brain health, as well as palmitoleic acid, which is important for protecting brain cells. In addition, do not forget about the equally important for the brain omega-9 and erucic acid, which is credited with the ability to improve cognitive functions. And these substances have also been found in nuts.
Contributes to weight loss
Well, so what with the fact that macadamia nuts contain a considerable amount of fat. This fact does not prevent them from being a product that promotes weight loss. Firstly, the presence of healthy fats in food makes it more satisfying, which means that hunger will not return quickly. In addition, fiber, which is more than enough in nuts, will help to maintain the fullness of the stomach even longer. Secondly, in the composition of the product were found substances that contribute to the acceleration of metabolism, and subsequently normalization of weight. We are talking about B vitamins, useful for proper metabolism. In addition, a study in mice showed that macadamia reduces fat cell hypertrophy, which helps treat obesity.
Other useful properties
Studies indicate that macadamia fruits may be beneficial for people with:
- rheumatoid arthritis;
- disorders of the nervous system;
- increased cholesterol.
Also nuts are useful for:
- improve brain function;
- increase stamina;
- strengthening immunity;
- improving muscle function;
- bone strengthening;
- accelerating blood microcirculation;
- removing toxins from the body.
Use in cosmetology
Macadamia has found its place in the field of cosmetology. There, for example, peanut butter is used successfully, which has beneficial effects on the skin and hair.
Macadamia oil is an excellent hair care product. Interestingly, the oil of these nuts is not at all fatty, and this allows you to apply the nutrient to the washed hair, not being afraid to spoil their appearance. This oil is quickly absorbed into the scalp and dry hair. To make the curls more obedient and shiny, just rub between the palms a few drops of macadamia oil and "comb" them with your fingers.
The composition of this oil contains palmitoleic monounsaturated fatty acid, which contributes to the production of sebum, which is necessary to nourish the hair follicles. Therefore, Australian walnut oil is considered one of the most useful for very dry or damaged hair. Regular massage of the scalp using macadamia oil, accelerates the growth of shiny silky hair. Another way to nourish hair and skin with the beneficial substances contained in walnut oil is to add a little product to the shampoo.
This oil is extremely beneficial for dry and problematic skin. Regular use of the product softens, moisturizes, improves skin color and prevents the appearance of fine wrinkles. By the way, this nut contains several components that have the ability to slow down skin aging. Therefore, it is useful to use this product for the care of aging skin, and palmitoleic acid, which is part of the oil, keeps the skin supple and young.
It is a mistake to believe that this product is suitable only for dry skin. Since this oil is extremely light and non-oily in structure, oily skin also responds well to it. But this is not the only benefit for the skin. Macadamia oil accelerates cell regeneration, including improving the healing of burns of the 2nd degree.
It is enough to rub macadamia nut oil into the cuticle at least once a week to make the nails stronger, healthier and more beautiful. In addition, such oil rubbing will prevent dryness and damage to the cuticle.
Feasible side effects
Macadamia nuts are undoubtedly a very tasty and healthy product. But also this product contains a lot of phosphorus, which should not be abused by people with impaired renal function. In addition, nuts belong to allergens, and this is also important to remember. And dog lovers should know that an Australian nut is dangerous for their pets, as it causes very severe poisoning in animals, accompanied by weakness.
Nuts can be eaten raw, roasted and baked. The most delicious are small nuts roasted to a golden color. They, like other types of nuts, are suitable for desserts and baking. Food lovers say that light roasting best reveals the unique taste of macadamia. Heat treatment enhances the delicate sweet taste and nutty aroma. And in order to fully experience all the taste notes of the Australian walnut, it is advised to use it with coffee or sherry.
A little toasted chopped nuts perfectly complement desserts, salads, cereals and seafood. They are also suitable for making muffins, cakes, cookies.
Australian nuts are a great alternative to peanuts and almonds, especially in the form of butter. A macadamia product contains many more proteins and other nutritional components, while it lacks cholesterol and trans fats. Oil from these nuts is a favorite among many cooks. Firstly, it is much healthier than olive or canola, and can be exposed to high temperatures without losing its unique taste, aroma and useful properties. This oil goes well with seafood, vegetables and meat.
Macadamia on our lands is exotic. But importers made sure that this nut appeared on the shelves of supermarkets. Of course, the price of a delicacy is sometimes amazing. But its incredible taste and a huge number of useful properties are worth it to at least occasionally treat yourself to even a small mountain Australian nuts.