One of the most prized and delicious nuts on the market today, but are macadamia nuts healthy as many websites and nutritionists claim?
Macadamias are the product of the fruits from trees that are native to forests near Brisbane, Australia. They were discovered during the 1840s and 1850s during expeditions around unexplored areas along the eastern and northern coasts.
Botanists collected the hard green fruits of several species of Macadamia trees and registered them in the local botanical gardens. But the real treasure of the potential of the nuts within was not discovered for several decades.
During the initial stages of cultivation, the proper pollination and preservation of the trees required extensive experimentation and trial and error because of its sensitive and detailed needs. For example, after planting it takes 5 to 10 years of proper care for every species to bear fruit.
Because of this long and extensive preparation the trees, which thrive in tropical locations preferably at least 10 degrees from the equator, yield the most expensive nuts in the average supermarket.
For nearly half a century, Macadamia nuts were mostly harvested on islands in Hawaii and were the leading exporter worldwide. Not until the 1990s did plantations in Australia catch up and eventually overtake the title of the highest volume exporter.
Once the hard green fruits are ripe, at around 2 to 3 centimeters in diameter, the outer green husk is cut off. Inside is an exterior brown shell that is air dried for several days, then cracked open with a special tool, vice or hammer to reveal the kernel —the nut itself — and can then be either eaten directly, stored for later use, or roasted for 2 hours and then eaten.
Are macadamia nuts good for you?
The trees take a long time to harvest and are expensive, which begs the obvious question: Are macadamia nuts good for you to would justify the time and expenses to produce them? The answer is “Yes”, especially when they are combined with other nutritional foods.
The Medicinal-Foods.com product Chocolate Covered Macadamia Nuts are advertised as a Raw Vegan Superfood Snack because of the other high powered ingredients added to the coating of the nuts.
The trick is to add the superfoods to the cacao coating before melting onto the nuts. Cacao itself has been shown to be an excellent source of anti-oxidants, which eliminate free radicals and foreign harmful substances from our system.
The organic cacao is mixed with organic hemp protein, which is an excellent source of vitamins B, C, A and E as well as the 10 essential amino acids which help the body to repair muscle, regulate the nervous system and help brain function.
Other superfoods within the cacao mix of the Chocolate Covered Macadamia Nut snack are: blue-green algae (pure Spirulina powder), green algae (Chlorella), Mucuna powder, Maca root powder, and Ashwagandha powder (also known as “Indian ginsing”).
These powerful supplements added to the organic cacao have a wide range of health benefits. For example, Macuna enhances the immune system, helps regulate our serotonin neurotransmitters, and is an overall energy booster. And this is just one of the superfood ingredients.
There are some additional flavorings to the formula, all certified organic, vegan, and heavy metal free, such as raw evaporated cane juice, vanilla extract and Himalayan salt.
How healthy are macadamia nuts?
The core ingredient of this unique superfood snack are the nuts, and how healthy are macadamia nuts? First of all, they contain high recommended daily values of several important nutrients: 58% of daily value for manganese, 23% daily value of vitamin B, 11% daily value of copper, and 9% daily value of magnesium.
Rich in Antioxidants
The nutrient in the highest concentration in Macadamias is Manganese, which is a critical enzyme found in our cell’s mitochondria that protects against oxidative stress to the cell.
Macadamia nuts contain two important antioxidants that help fight off the growth of cancerous tumors and other harmful foreign substances in the body. The first are tocotrienols, which are a type of vitamin E that has shown to help prevent cancer. One study showed tocotrienol supplements protected neurons in the brain from glutamate toxicity, which is related to diseases that deteriorate the brain such as Alzheimer’s.
The second are flavonoids, which are a plant compound, also found in berries and seeds, that kill free radicals throughout the body.
In order for full antioxidant benefits it is best to eat these nuts raw after harvesting because a significant portion of the antioxidant properties can be lost during the roasting process.
These nuts are rich in fat content, and 80% of this fat are called monosaturated fats. These types of fats have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels which reduce risks for heart disease when eaten over the long term.
In addition, they have a fiber content of 2.4 grams per one ounce serving, higher than cashews and and walnuts. Having the proper amount of fiber in our system is important for combating heart disease. It is recommended to have a variety of fiber sources in our diets and Macadamias go well by themselves but are also common to add to salads, trail mixes, and yogurt and granola.
Another benefit from having high dietary fiber content is the benefits for our digestion. The immediate benefit of a fiber rich diet is avoiding constipation, indigestion and diarrhea.
The soluble fibers found in Macadamias also act as a probiotic, which feed the healthy bacteria in our small intestines which break down food and extract the nutrients. Thus, Macadamias help our digestive tract stay fluid and regular.
The high caloric content of Macadamias through the monosaturated fats and fiber makes them high in caloric content.
But these types of calories generated by the fats and fiber are more efficiently metabolized by the body and create the sensation of ‘fullness’. This combination is optimal for weight loss — low but filling calories that satisfy appetite for a longer period of time.
Besides being prized for their smooth, buttery taste, Macadamias are a healthy snack food that can be filling with smaller portions.
When mixed with powdered superfoods like the Chocolate Covered Macadamia Nuts from Medicinal-Foods.com the nutritional benefits improve significantly and make for a delicious treat at any time of day.