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Did you know that Australian indigenous tribes ate macadamia nuts thousands of years before the European settlement?
What Do We Know about Macadamia Nuts?
An English botanist and explorer, Allan Cunningham, was the first scientist from Europe to discover macadamia nuts in 1828. German-Austrian botanist Ferdinand von Mueller gave the name macadamia after Dr. John Macadam in 1857. After these events, macadamia nuts became very popular in Europe, and from there spread to other continents.
Macadamia, a genus of four species, is native to Australia and New South Wales, but one can also find them in Brazil, South Africa, Kenya, Indonesia, Hawaii, and New Zealand.
These sweet and delicious nuts grow on small to large evergreen trees that reach maturity after seven years and then began to produce fruits.
How Beneficial are Macadamia Nuts?
- These refreshing macadamias are loaded with valuable minerals
- Excellent source of calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, selenium, and zinc (100 g of nuts provide 3.6 µg of selenium)
- Nuts are great for metabolic functions due to the B-complex vitamins (100 g of nuts provide 15% of niacin, 21% of pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), 100% of thiamin, and 12% of riboflavin)
- Nuts have small amounts of vitamin A and vitamin E
- Macadamias have no cholesterol
- Macadamias are gluten-free
- These nuts have a significant amount of dietary fiber (100 g of macadamia provides 23% of daily –recommended levels)
- They are very popular energy food (100 g of nuts provide about 718 calories)
- Nuts are a rich source of mono-unsaturated fatty acids such as oleic acid and palmitoleic acids
Due to dietary fiber, macadamias help treat slow digestion, constipation, hemorrhoids, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. They help stabilize blood sugar and reduce the risk of colon cancer.
Even though they are the fattiest of all nuts, this fat is the characteristic that makes them so healthy and beneficial.
Macadamia nuts are used in healthy diets as well. Although they had a bad reputation due to the fat contents, these fats are monounsaturated fats (up to 86 percent), which means they are good for the organism. These fats influence metabolism. Differently, they speed up fat metabolism and reduce the body’s ability to store fat.
Macadamia Nut Oil – How Popular Is It?
Macadamia oil, a unique and appealing in taste, in a word, it is smart fuel for our organism. Macadamia nuts are loaded with valuable nutrients, therefore the oil pressed from them is highly recommended for both cooking and health.
Some suggest that macadamia nut oil is even healthier than olive oil. Due to the monounsaturated fat, macadamia nut oil is the best oil for the heart.
It is compressed of 80 to 85 percent of these compounds. Apart from these fats, oil is rich with vitamin E, Omega – 3, Omega – 6, and oleic, linoleic, linolenic and palmitoleic acids. All of them are responsible for lowering LDL cholesterol, and for maintaining the level of HDH cholesterol, which is, on the other hand, beneficial for reducing the risk of heart stroke and other heart-related diseases.
Palmitoleic acid is excellent for our skin and hair, and since it is decreasing with aging, it is necessary to maintain the level of it.
Great Oil for Hair, Skin, and Nails
Macadamia nut oil has many benefits for our body and it has been used in the cosmetic industry for quite a while. It has great antioxidant character due to many minerals and vitamins, and since it is high in fat content, it is a necessary additive in many skincare and hair products.
One of the most popular characteristics of this oil is its regenerative properties. It can replace the original oil in damaged skin, therefore to give the skin a softer and younger look.
Acids, especially palmitoleic acid, help regain the elasticity of the skin, while the antioxidant compounds give the oil ability to be a perfect moisturizer.
Due to vitamin E, oil can heal small wounds and prevent sunburn.
People with dry and damaged skin should use macadamia oil every day. The oil is light, and not greasy. Thus it is also great for face skin. When used regularly, this oil can regain the softness and glow of the skin. When fighting with wrinkles, macadamia nut oil is your best friend.
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, oil can soothe skin irritations. The skin quickly absorbs it, and it can be used for all skin types. Those with sensitive skin should particularly use macadamia nut oil.
Hair and Nails
For hair health, macadamia nut oil is great because it is easily absorbed by hair and scalp.
When used regularly, it decreases dandruff, and it increases silkiness and shine of the hair. It can be used alone, and it is usually used as a conditioner.
These days more and more people use macadamia nut oil for nail treatment. For those who have problems with cuticles around edges of nail beds, this oil is a perfect remedy. A small amount of this oil can soften the cuticles and you will be able to remove them quickly.
Even if you do not have these problems, macadamia nut oil can help to maintain the skin softness, thus prevent cuticles from even occurring.
For nail treatment, a warm small amount of macadamia nut oil in a microwave for 10 to 15 seconds. Place one hand in the oil and stay that way for about 5 minutes. Remove the hand and massage the nail beds. After this treatment, even your nails will become stronger. You can repeat this treatment once a week.
Macadamia Nut Oil for Cooking
Macadamia nut oil is excellent for cooking due to its flavor, and high smoke point (approximately 452 degrees F). With such a high point, you can use it to fry or sauté food at a higher temperature before the oil burns. Even with this high point, the oil does not lose its flavor and nutrients.
It has a long shelf life (2 years) and it does not require a refrigerator to keep it from going rancid.
Macadamia nuts or oil is safe for most people. However, nuts can cause an allergy, or constipation and diarrhea when taken in large amounts.
Either for health or cooking, macadamia nut oil is necessary for every home. Enjoy the macadamia nuts with this delicious recipe.
Buyers, R. (1984). The Marvelous Macadamia Nut. Irena Chalmers Cookbooks.
Edward-Wright, T., (2008). Nuts Are Healthy Fruit. Lulu.com
Lyle, S., (2006). Fruit & Nuts: A Comprehensive Guide to the Cultivation, Uses and Health Benefits of Over 300 Food-producing Plants. Timber Press.
Rosengarten, F. (2004). The Book of Edible Nuts. Dover Publications.
Sadler, P., (2008). The Magic of Mother Nature’s Healing Foods. KnowledgeWorks.
Images credit: 123RF Stock Photo
Last article update: 8/13/2019