9 Health Benefits of Macadamia Nuts Plus Recipes, Cautions, and More! – SuperFat - Amazing Nut Butters

9 Health Benefits of Macadamia Nuts Plus Nutritional Information, Recipes, Cautions, and More!

Jump to a Section:
Nutritional Info Background Info Metabolic Syndrome
Inflammation Stronger Bones Gut Health
Fat Burning Healthy Skin Source of Fiber
Source of Protein Fight Hunger Recipes
Selection, Purchase, Roasting & Storage Cautions

Some of the questions we'll answer:

  • Are macadamia nuts healthy?
  • Are macadamia nuts keto?
  • How much protein in macadamia nuts?
  • How many carbs in macadamias?
  • What recipes can I put macadamia nuts into?
  • How can I get macadamia nuts in my daily diet?
Estimated Reading Time: 10 minutes (2,000 words)

Written By: Amanda Druhan
Published: Oct. 1, 2018
Updated: Dec. 11, 2019

The macadamia nut is a fantastic natural food that supplies a whole host of benefits for our bodies. Unlike many other foods that are good for us, macadamias also taste great. They are extremely versatile and can be used in everything from salads to main dishes, snacks to desserts.

In this article, we'll answer the question: are macadamia nuts healthy? The short answer is yes, they have many health benefits! We'll identify the benefits of macadamia nuts, along with a couple of macadamia nut cautions. We'll start off with the nutritional analysis of 100 grams of nuts.

Macadamia Nuts SuperFat

Macadamia Nut Nutrition Facts

Macadamia nuts are rich in nutrients (as we'll highlight in sections below) and offer many health benefits as a result, ranging from your hair to your heart! They have healthy fats and very low cholesterol levels which are a great benefit to the heart as well. Serving size here is roughly 100 grams.

 

Amount per serving
(100 grams)

% Daily value

 Calories

718

 

Calories from fat

634

 

Total fat

76 g

117%

Saturated fat

12 g

 60%

Trans fat

0g

   

Cholesterol

0mg

 

Sodium

5mg

0%

Total carbs

14 g

5%

Dietary fiber

9 g

34%

Sugar

5 g

 

Protein

8 g

 

Vitamin A  0%

Vitamin C  2%

Calcium 9%

Iron  20%

 

 

Macadamia Nut Background Information

The macadamia tree grows naturally in north-eastern New South Wales in Australia. The first European to discover them was Allan Cunningham. In 1857, the nut was named by Ferdinand Von Mueller after his colleague John Macadam who was a fellow botanist.

Australia is the world’s largest producer of macadamia nuts, with about 40% of the world supply coming from there. As well as consuming the nut, macadamia is also available as an oil. This is one of the healthiest sources of fat that you can cook with. The oil is wonderful in salads and to cook with. Macadamia honey is another a delicious option.

Macadamia oil has even more health benefits than olive oil. In addition, it has a higher smoke point, so that it can be cooked to a higher temperature without getting burnt. If you'd like a full history of macadamia nuts -- we've got you covered here. And if you're looking for where you can buy macadamia nuts (or which brand) - the Mauna Loa brand from Hawaii are very popular.

Benefit #1: Metabolic Syndrome

  • Heart Health/Reduced Heart Disease Risk
    • Macadamia nuts are heart-healthy. Recently a study was published in the Journal of Nutrition in which researchers out of Penn State University looked at the effect that macadamia nuts had on cardiovascular health. The study involved dividing twenty-five adult males and females into two groups and the study was conducted over two five-week periods. One group ate a diet that included 1.5 grams of macadamia nuts each day, with the other group consuming a normal American diet. However, the total macronutrient counts between the groups were the same.
    • At the end of the first five-week period, the participants had a two-week break where they resumed their normal diets. They then switched diets.
    • The results of this study were that including macadamia nuts in a person’s diet appears to lower both total cholesterol and LDL (low density) cholesterol. This is great news because high LDL levels are responsible for arterial plaque build up which could lead to a stroke or heart attack. [1]
    • All of this amounts to a lower risk of heart disease.
  • Lowered Blood Sugar Levels
    • A meta-analysis study, which was published in PLOS ONE magazine, analyzed 450 participants over eleven studies which focused on the effect of macadamia nuts on blood glucose levels. The analysis showed that people who consumed on average 56 grams of macadamia nuts each day had considerably lower levels of blood sugar.
    • One reason that macadamia nuts had such a beneficial effect on high blood sugar levels is that it contains a lot of monounsaturated fats. When it comes to macadamias, they contain omega-7 palmitoleic acid. This fatty acid is known to enhance insulin sensitivity. It does this by reducing inflammation and preventing the breakdown of pancreatic beta cells, which are responsible for the production of insulin. [2], [3]
  • Lowered Blood Pressure
    • High blood pressure affects millions of people and is a precursor for a whole host of health problems including heart attack, loss of vision and kidney disease. It is well established that lowering our intake of sodium and taking in more potassium helps to lower blood pressure.
    • Macadamia nuts contain almost no sodium and a lot of potassium. They are also rich in omega-9 fatty acids (oleic acid). Numerous studies have found that oleic acid helps to reduce blood pressure, so the combination of omega-9 and potassium are the main reasons that macadamia nuts help to bring down your blood pressure levels. [5],[6],[7]
  • Diabetes

 

 

Benefit #2: Reduction of Inflammation

Researchers in Australia recently conducted an investigation of a range of natural herbal concoctions to assess their impact on inflammation. Among them was the macadamia Interflora nut. It was found that phenolic compounds contained within the macadamia nut effectively prevented the growth of Proteus mirabilis. This has been shown to help prevent the development of rheumatoid arthritis. [4]

Benefit #3: Stronger Bones

Eating nuts is a great way to maintain strong, healthy bones and macadamias are one of the best. That’s because they are literally packed with minerals and vitamins that will strengthen your bones. These include:

  • Manganese

  • Phosphorous

  • Magnesium

  • Calcium

Manganese is especially important because it will assist the body in transporting newly developed bone tissue to the areas where it is needed the most.

Benefit #4: Improved Gut Health

Our gut health is compromised as a result of the massive number of toxins that enters our bodies through the foods that we eat and the air that we breathe. As a consequence of this, we are unable to properly absorb and digest the foods that we eat. Macadamia nuts help to counter this effect

Oleic acid, which is so beneficial in lowering blood pressure, may also be a powerful fighter against ulcerative colitis. In one study, people who added a daily dose of oleic acid to their diet had were seen to be 89% less likely to get ulcerative colitis. [8]

Benefit #5: Fat Burning/Weight-Loss

Everybody’s looking for an edge in the fat burning stakes, and it seems that macadamia nuts may just provide one. Once again, the key is oleic acid. A study that was recently published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry suggested that omega-9 fatty acids (oleic acid) had the ability to speed up the production of certain genes which metabolized fat for energy.

Palmitoleic acid is another compound found in macadamia nuts which appears to help speed up the fat burning process (your metabolism). On top of all of this, macadamia nuts are satiating, so that they reduce your hunger levels. That makes them a great healthy snack choice when you’re feeling a little peckish.

Some 80 percent of the fats contained in macadamia nuts are of the monosaturated variety, making them extremely healthy in the battle against weight gain. [9], [10]

Benefit #6: Potential Improved Skin

There is evidence that shows the omega-7 fatty acids which are in macadamia nuts (among other items), can promote healthier skin, nails, and hair. [11]

Benefit #7: Great Source of Fiber

Fiber is vital for the efficient cleansing of the body. The fiber content of macadamia nuts is 7 percent. This includes a mixture of soluble and insoluble fiber. This fiber will provide essential roughage to your digestive system as well as making you feel fuller and allow more efficient elimination of waste.

Benefit #8: Good Source of Protein

In order to maintain your body’s muscle tissue and fuel the repair and replacement of the cells in your body, you need to be taking protein into your body every few hours. Macadamia is a rich source of protein to make a great choice in this regard. The protein that you get from macadamia nuts will even help to keep your nails, skin, and hair healthy.

Benefit #9: Fight Hunger

With a great source of protein and fats, especially for those on a Keto/low carb high fat diet - these nuts are a great snack to fight episodes of hunger during the day, whether on the go, at the office, or just around on the weekends.

Other Benefit Claims

There are additional benefit claims of nuts which also require a bit more investigation, such as their benefit for those with diseases like Alzheimer's Disease. While we don't currently have links to resources and research on this topic - there are various sites who do cover this in more detail.

Macadamia Nuts Recipes

If you're interested in working macadamia nuts into your diet - there are several ways to do that, below we'll link to some popular recipes and options:

Macadamia Nut Considerations

  • Selection: Look for plump raw macadamia nuts that are uniform in color and size
  • Purchase: If you decide to purchase roasted nuts, be sure to select the unsalted version. There are studies which suggest roasting these nuts, especially at high temperatures, could reduce their nutritional value - so be sure to weigh the pros and cons depending on your decision to purchase and consume these nuts.
  • Storage: Store your macadamia nuts in an airtight container or an airtight sealed plastic bag with the air pressed to prevent them from going rancid. You can keep them in the fridge for up to six months.
  • Roasting: For a delicious treat, you can roast your macadamia nuts in the oven with honey. You can store honey roasted macadamia nuts for up to two weeks in an airtight container. Just note you may diminish the nutritional value by roasting them at high temperatures.

    Macadamia Nut Consumption Cautions

    There’s no doubt about it – macadamia nuts are a fantastic, healthy food choice with all sorts of benefits for your body. However, there are a couple of things to keep in mind that should prevent you from going overboard on your macadamia indulgence.

    Caution #1: High Calories & Fat Content

    Most nuts are pretty high in fat and calories and macadamias are certainly no exception. Most of the fats are monounsaturated, which is a good thing. However, they do have a very high-calorie count. In fact, a cup of macadamia nuts will add more than one thousand calories to your daily count.

    Even if the calories you are eating are healthy, as in the case of macadamia nuts. They can still cause you to eat more calories than you expend. As a result, you will end up gaining weight. The message is to limit yourself to a handful of nuts a couple of times per day in order to keep a check on your calorie count.

    Caution #2: Allergies

    Nut allergies are quite common these days and allergies to macadamia nuts are possible. It's best to get tested with an allergist if you're concerned you may have a nut allergy or if those in your family already have been diagnosed with a nut allergy or experience(d) side effects when consuming nuts. Macadamia nuts may be safe for you, but it's best to be sure. Common signs of allergies are itchy tongues, rash, or swelling of the throat (source).

    Benefits of Other Nuts

    If you'd like information on other nuts as well, we've got the following guides:

    Sources:

    • Griel, A. E., Cao, Y., Bagshaw, D. D., Cifelli, A. M., Holub, B., & Kris-Etherton, P. M. (2008). A macadamia nut-rich diet reduces total and LDL-cholesterol in mildly hypercholesterolemic men and women. The Journal of nutrition, 138(4), 761-767.
    • Viguiliouk, E., Kendall, C. W., Mejia, S. B., Cozma, A. I., Ha, V., Mirrahimi, A., ... & de Souza, R. J. (2014). Effect of tree nuts on glycemic control in diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled dietary trials. PloS one, 9(7), e103376.
    • Yang, Z. H., Miyahara, H., & Hatanaka, A. (2011). Chronic administration of palmitoleic acid reduces insulin resistance and hepatic lipid accumulation in KK-A y Mice with genetic type 2 diabetes. Lipids in health and disease, 10(1), 120.
    • Cock, I. E., Winnett, V., Sirdaarta, J., & Matthews, B. (2015). The potential of selected Australian medicinal plants with anti-Proteus activity for the treatment and prevention of rheumatoid arthritis. Pharmacognosy magazine, 11(Suppl 1), S190.
    • Poulter, N. R., Prabhakaran, D., & Caulfield, M. (n.d.). Hypertension. The Lancet, 386(9995), 801–812. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(14)61468-9
    • Carretero, O. A., & Oparil, S. (2000). Essential hypertension. Circulation, 101(3), 329-335.
    • Aburto, N. J., Hanson, S., Gutierrez, H., Hooper, L., Elliott, P., & Cappuccio, F. P. (2013). Effect of increased potassium intake on cardiovascular risk factors and disease: systematic review and meta-analyses. Bmj, 346, f1378.
    • Sacks, F. M., Svetkey, L. P., Vollmer, W. M., Appel, L. J., Bray, G. A., Harsha, D., ... & Karanja, N. (2001). Effects on blood pressure of reduced dietary sodium and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet. New England journal of medicine, 344(1), 3-10.
    • Lim, J. H., Gerhart-Hines, Z., Dominy, J. E., Lee, Y., Kim, S., Tabata, M., ... & Puigserver, P. (2013). Oleic acid stimulates complete oxidation of fatty acids through protein kinase A-dependent activation of SIRT1-PGC1α complex. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 288(10), 7117-7126.
    • Ruiz-Gutiérrez, V., Muriana, F. J., Guerrero, A., Cert, A. M., & Villar, J. (1996). Plasma lipids, erythrocyte membrane lipids and blood pressure of hypertensive women after ingestion of dietary oleic acid from two different sources. Journal of hypertension, 14(12), 1483-1490.

         For more information on other nuts, check out our guide to the healthiest nuts you can eat!


        Author: Amanda Druhan

        Published:  Oct 1, 2018

        Updated:  Dec 11, 2019

        Medically Reviewed by: Natalie Butler, RDN, LD.

        Amanda is a guest contributor for SuperFat, avid cooker and baker.
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        • Helen on

          I really enjoy having a variety of nuts to eat especially when travelling, thank you for the information…. 👍

        • Nancy on

          So good!

        • Terry on

          Everything sounds so good.


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