Packed with antioxidants, heart-healthy fats, and brain-boosting goodness, macadamias are your ticket to a healthier, happier you!
Macadamia nuts are top-level when it comes to nut rankings, the real crème de la crème — packing heaps of benefits into those little beige bods.
Rich in vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants, including thiamin (vitamin B1), manganese and copper, they’ve been found to boost gut health, help protect against various diseases and even reduce weight gain.
The current health advice — almost universally agreed upon, which pretty much never happens — is to eat at least 30 different plants a week, which includes veg, fruit, seeds, grains, herbs and, you guessed it, nuts.
Six Reasons to add Macadamias to your diet
1. Packed with antioxidants Quick recap: Antioxidants neutralise free radicals (unstable atoms that damage cells in the body, leading to signs of ageing and illness, so not as fun as they sound), stabling them and preventing the damage to the cells caused by oxidation. In short, we want them — and raw macadamia nuts have them.
Macadamia nuts are also high in flavonoids, plant compounds with health-boosting antioxidant properties that lower cholesterol and fight inflammation — in fact, they nearly take top flavonoid spot of all tree nuts. hey even have a big dose of tocotrienols, a type of vitamin E with antioxidant properties that has been found to lower cholesterol and even protect against neurodegenerative disorders, brain disease and cancer.
2. Good for heart health
Studies have shown eating 8-42g (a serving is about 28g) of macadamia nuts daily can lower total and LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol up to 10%, similar to a heart-healthy, low fat diet. High in monounsaturated fat, the highly-hyped one that’s in olive oil and avocados, they reduce inflammation and improve heart health, lowering risk of stroke and fatal heart attacks.
3. Protect against metabolic syndrome
This is a group of conditions that can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, stroke and heart disease, with symptoms presenting as high blood pressure and sugar, low levels of HDL (‘good’) cholesterol, high triglycerides (fat in the blood) and excess belly fat. Studies have shown monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) — badass plant-based fats, which are in macadamia nuts — may protect from metabolic syndrome, lessen its effects, and even lower blood sugar and improve glycemic control in people with type 2 diabetes.
4. Good for brain health
Studies have shown tocotrienols can protect brain cells from glutamate, a chemical messenger or transmitter which plays a role in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. However more research needs to be done into whether macadamia nuts and other foods that contain it work in the same way as supplements.
5. Aid weight loss (and reduce weight gain)
Macadamia nuts are super-duper high in palmitoleic acid, a monounsaturated fat aka omega-7, which has been shown to reduce weight gain and fat cells. Also, packed with protein, good fats and fibre, they help feel satiated — full for longer, as well as avoiding sugar spikes.
6. Good for gut health
As well as being high in fibre, macadamia nuts work as a prebiotic — feeding your good gut bacteria. These then produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which protect against conditions like IBS, Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis and even diabetes by reducing inflammation.
Credit: Rebecca Gillan, Women’s Health Magazine
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