Are Macadamia Nuts Healthy? Health Benefits & Nutrition Value 2023
Are macadamia nuts healthy? Thankfully, these buttery, creamy tree nuts contain lots of nutrition, including healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and other plant compounds.
These tree nuts come from the macadamia tree and have been studied for their potential health benefits, such as cardiovascular health, weight maintenance, blood sugar control, and gut health.
Read on to learn the top benefits of eating macadamia nuts.
Are Macadamia Nuts Good For You?
Even though macadamia nuts tend to be higher in fat and calories than other tree nuts, all those fats are healthy monounsaturated fatty acids with heart-healthy benefits.
Very few foods are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids. They are super healthy because of their ability to lower LDL, i.e., “bad,” cholesterol and increase high-density lipoprotein, or HDL “good,” cholesterol in your body. This change of lowering LDL and raising HDL in the body reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Additionally, monounsaturated fatty acids provide nutrients that help your body’s cells be healthy and develop. Oils rich in monounsaturated fat also contain vitamin E. Vitamin E is usually low in a typical American diet. Vitamin E acts as a powerful antioxidant.
With all these health benefits, macadamia nuts are a great nutritious choice. However, they are high in calories; therefore, do not over-consume macadamia nuts. Eating too many can derail your health and weight loss efforts.
Macadamia Nuts Raw for 10-12 nuts. Nutritional information provided by the United States Department of Agriculture
- Calories: 200.
- Fat: 21 grams.
- Protein: 2 grams.
- Carbs: 4 grams.
- Sugar: 1 gram.
- Fiber: 3 grams.
- Potassium: 104 milligrams.
- Magnesium: 37 milligrams.
- Iron: 1 milligram.
- Phosphorus: 53 milligrams.
7 Impressive Health Benefits Of Macadamia Nuts
As mentioned above, not only are macadamia nuts good for you but there are multiple health benefits of macadamia nut consumption. Read on to learn more about the top 7 benefits of eating these nuts.
As previously discussed, macadamia nuts contain monounsaturated fats. Mono and polyunsaturated fats help to keep your arteries healthy. Unsaturated fats also reduce your risk factor for developing coronary artery disease as it helps to lower bad cholesterol, raise good cholesterol, and reduce triglycerides. If triglycerides, LDL, and total cholesterol levels are high, this is often a sign that you are at a higher risk for heart disease and stroke.
In a study published by the Journal of Nutrition, participants’ cholesterol levels were observed after consuming one serving of macadamia nuts daily for five weeks. At the end of the study, when compared to control group, the macadamia group had lower cholesterol levels and improved heart health markers when compared with the control group. A more recent 2021 updated review agreed.
So, how many macadamia nuts per day are too many? According to the American Heart Association, it is best to stick with the official serving size of 10-12 nuts daily to keep from overdoing it on calories and fat. This amount will maximize the benefits of macadamia nuts without the downside of overdoing it.
Another benefit of unsaturated fats is that they keep you satiated for longer than other macronutrients. Protein is also quite satiating, and macadamia nuts contain both macronutrients. Thus, adding these nuts to your healthy diet might decrease cravings and mean fewer snacks.
Additionally, macadamia nuts provide your body with an acid called palmitoleic acid. Palmitoleic acid is known for boosting your body’s ability to burn fat and stop weight gain.
Lastly, macadamia nuts contain dietary fiber that also aids in satiety. Fiber is also known to help maintain healthy blood glucose levels, which can ward off sugar cravings caused by dips in blood sugar.
Flavonoids are abundant in the macadamia nut and act as antioxidants. Antioxidants are necessary to prevent damage to our cells from free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that are products of metabolism that, if they become too plentiful, will result in the development of diseases such as cancer and diabetes.
In a research study from the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, scientists stated that eating nuts correlate with a decreased risk of developing heart disease and cancer. Therefore, nuts can lower your chances of these diseases due to the multitude of nutrients in them.
Nuts are some of the most beneficial foods for fighting cancer. They are loaded with abundant plant compounds and antioxidants that fight cancer-causing free radicals.
Macadamia nuts contain lots of dietary fiber, both insoluble and soluble fiber. Fiber helps with:
- bowel movement regularity.
- maintaining a healthy microbiome of the intestinal system.
- lowering cholesterol.
- blood sugar control.
- weight maintenance.
Fostering beneficial gut bacteria is a huge aspect of bowel and gut health. If unhealthy bacteria become plentiful, it can result in:
- poor control of blood sugar.
- gut issues such as diarrhea or constipation.
- food sensitivities.
- gas and bloating.
- irritable bowel disorder.
Most people need to consume more fiber daily. For example, women need approximately 25 grams of fiber daily, while men need more, at 35 grams, daily. Macadamia nuts will provide you with three grams per 1.5-ounce serving.
Our bones need several different nutrients to be healthy and strong. Macadamia nuts provide you with three crucial bone nutrients: magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus. These nutrients are essential for the mineralization of bones and the absorption of proper nutrients.
Calcium, also in macadamia nuts, is typically the nutrient you think of when it comes to bone health. This is because calcium helps with the formation of bones, but manganese aids in depositing new bone tissue, which is necessary to keep the bones strong and healthy as you age.
Magnesium helps to release hormones that help with bone formation and aid in helping the integrity of the skeletal system. Phosphorus works alongside calcium to form healthy bones.
Along with copper and thiamine, macadamia nuts contain omega-9 fatty acids. These are a type of acid strongly correlated with improved cognition, mood, and memory.
An exciting animal study that was published in Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior showed that taking an omega-9 fatty acid supplement might be helpful in the fight against brain diseases and disorders like Alzheimer’s disease.
Omega-9 fatty acids are also being studied for their potential roles in anti-inflammation and cancer management.
Chronic inflammation due to various factors is a growing concern in our country. If left untreated, chronic inflammation can cause a host of issues due to damage to healthy tissues and cells. This constant damage to healthy tissues can result in life-threatening diseases such as cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
A study published in 2014 showed that mice given macadamia nut oil supplementation attenuated inflammation compared to their control counterparts. Studies are minimal, but the preliminary studies and low side effects of macadamia nut oil are promising.
Potential Side Effects
Even though there are multiple health benefits of macadamia nuts, there are a few side effects and downsides to being aware of. Read the list below before regularly eating macadamia nuts.
Phosphorus is found in macadamia nuts and is a significant mineral essential for bone health and other bodily functions. However, if you have kidney disease or other kidney issues, consult your medical professional, doctor, or registered dietitian before including them in your diet. Physicians often restrict phosphorus in those with kidney disease.
Tree nuts are one of the most common food allergies in the United States. Therefore, you should not try eating macadamia nuts if you have a tree nut allergy or allergy to other nuts or nut butter. Also, if you are eating macadamia nuts and experience any allergic reactive symptoms such as lip, tongue, or throat swelling, rashes or hives, or nausea and vomiting, call a healthcare provider immediately.
High In Calories And Fat
Even though macadamia nuts are full of nutrients and healthy fats, they can still derail your weight loss goals if you eat too many. Per the American Heart Association, you should keep your macadamia nut consumption to one serving, i.e., 1.5 ounces, daily to get the maximum health benefits from eating nuts.
Check The Label
Be mindful when you are choosing your macadamia nuts. Unfortunately, several commercial brands now include added salt, preservatives, and synthetic oils, which can decrease their health benefits. And they are pretty pricey, so you want to choose nuts with simple ingredients that will help your overall health.
Many people wonder, are macadamia nuts keto? These nuts are high in unsaturated fats and low in carbohydrates, so they are an excellent snack and food to consume if you follow a ketogenic diet.
Ways To Eat Macadamia Nuts
There is a multitude of ways in which you can include macadamia nuts into your everyday healthy diet. One of the easiest and most widely used is eating raw macadamia nuts as a snack. Some people also enjoy making homemade dry-roasted macadamia nuts in the oven. However, they can also be a great addition to other foods:
- Incorporated into a trail mix.
- Sprinkled on top of a salad.
- Mixed into vegetables.
- Combined with popcorn.
- Baked into loaves of bread, muffins, scones, etc.
Numerous recipes incorporate macadamia nuts into main dishes and other foods. To try a new recipe with macadamia nuts, search for macadamia nut recipes on the Internet.
The Bottom Line
Macadamia nuts are very good for your health as they contain some excellent nutrients, including magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and fiber, as well as healthy monounsaturated fats and protein. As long as you don’t overdo it and stick to one serving of them daily, these nuts can help strengthen your heart, gut, and bones, and even reduce chronic inflammation by fighting free radicals.
To add them to your diet today, try eating them alone as a healthy snack, or include them in your salads, main dishes, or baked goods. They are a great source of fat and protein that will leave you fully satiated.
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