It seems that over the past 10 years or so, nuts have gotten a better reputation among the health community. While some might have avoided them because of calorie counts before, it’s been shown that different types of nuts have plenty of health benefits. Macadamia nuts certainly belong in that category, and they are now among the most popular. It’s a good thing too, as they are both nutritious and taste great.
What’s interesting is that the macadamia nut is actually not all that old. It wasn’t until the 19th century that macadamia nuts were discovered, and now countries around the world grow their own. Countries such as Australia, South Africa and the United States are the largest growers of these popular nuts. So what exactly can eating more macadamia nuts do for you? Here is the nutritional value and health benefits that you’ll get from eating more in your diet.
Nutrition of Macadamia Nuts
If you’re trying to watch your weight, you really have to limit how many macadamia nuts you’re eating, but just one ounce will get you plenty of nutrition for 200 calories. For starters, you are getting a decent protein kick, while adding 10 percent of your daily fiber recommendation. Macadamia nuts contain plenty of thiamin, with 22 percent of your recommended value. Other vitamins found in smaller amounts include vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B6, niacin, riboflavin and folate.
Of the important minerals that your body needs, manganese is the most abundant, and you’ll be getting more than half of your daily value with each serving of macadamia nuts. Copper and magnesium are also significant within macadamia nuts. Those in smaller amounts include calcium, phosphorus, iron, potassium and zinc. As for fatty acids, there are more than 50 milligrams in the omega-3 department.
Good For the Heart
Perhaps the biggest reason why macadamia nuts have become so popular is because of the positive effects that they have on your heart health. Macadamia nuts have plenty of monounsaturated fats, which are very heart healthy. People were a little afraid for years because of the word “fats” in the name, but certain fats are great for your body.
There is also no cholesterol to be found within macadamia nuts, and will help you reduce your overall cholesterol. Arteries are cleaned out more effectively with monounsaturated fats, while lowering your triglycerides. The antioxidants in macadamia nuts also help prevent other heart problems, and diseases overall that include cancer and other illnesses.
Macadamia nuts have a very strong shell, and they can help your exterior, as well. There are many beneficial fatty acids within macadamia nuts, which includes palmitoleic acid. While you might not have heard of that particular acid before, it’s vital to younger and healthier looking skin. The older you get, the less of this acid that your body produces, resulting in wrinkles.
Your skin will also look brighter overall with more color due to the antioxidants. Those antioxidants fight free radicals in your body that can cause damage to your skin. If you’re concerned about keeping your hair looking healthy and strong, macadamia nuts even help in that department. The oil helps your scalp to grow more hair, and is even found in many different shampoos and conditioners as a result.
Protecting your bones can be harder and harder as you get older. It’s important to attack bone loss before it even comes a problem, which you can do by ingesting more magnesium and phosphorus. Luckily for us, macadamia nuts are filled with both of these minerals, which strengthen your bones and promote density that reduces your chances of developing osteoporosis or arthritis.
Another thing that can happen with age is dental problems, including tooth loss. The minerals we mentioned have a tremendous benefit for your teeth to make them stronger. The antioxidants in macadamia nuts can also improve your dental health by fighting germs that cause everything from bad breath to serious gum disease.
Plenty of us know that we need to take care of our brain, especially as we start to get older. It can be a bit difficult to know which foods help your brain health, though. Macadamia nuts are among those foods, as they contain the nutrients needed (such as copper and magnesium) to promote brain health. The nuts do this through boosting your neurotransmitters in the brain that send hormonal signals.
With your brain working more efficiently, you’re also helping your nervous system overall and reducing your chances of serious problems down the road. Even in the short term, the oleic acid in macadamia nuts can help you boost your memory and give you more energy throughout the day. In turn, that reduces the symptoms or chances of suffering from depression and other neurological problems.
Because of the calorie count in macadamia nuts, some people might not think that they are good overall for your weight. Though eating too many can’t really help you lose weight, fitting them into your regular diet has a positive effect on weight management. For starters, macadamia nuts have enough fiber to promote a healthier digestive system, which allows for a better metabolism to burn stubborn belly fat.
Outside of that, you can also reduce your appetite throughout the day thanks to palmitoleic acid. If you are substituting 200 calories worth of macadamia nuts instead of 200 calories of milk chocolate, you’re going to be less hungry throughout the day and actually burn fat. Your body will even have an improved way of absorbing the nutrients that your body needs. Add in a little bit of protein, and you can build muscle and get throughout exercises much easier than before.
Summing it Up
One thing that people point out about macadamia nuts is how much they can cost. Among nuts, they are certainly not the cheapest, but eating them is certainly worth the cost. There haven’t been many negative effects of eating macadamia nuts found in research, so there’s not much to worry about. These nuts are very high in calories, so make sure to be mindful of your calorie intake to avoid weight gain. After all, one cup of macadamia nuts contains over 900 calories.
That shouldn’t be an issue for most people, though, as studies have shown that people who eat macadamia nuts regularly in their diet don’t have much difference in weight than those that don’t. That’s good news for those that love macadamia nuts, as they are easy to incorporate into your diet and bring all of those great benefits that we listed above.