This tree nut is native to the Australian rainforest and named for the Scottish-born chemist who first cultivated it, John McAdam. In 1882, the macadamia was introduced to Hawaii, now the world’s largest exporter. Macadamia’s are some of the most sought-after nuts in the world which is why they can be quite expensive compared to other nuts.
Nutrition & Health
Like most nuts, Macadamias are naturally cholesterol free, gluten free, low in saturated fat and are a low glycemic-index food. They are good source of protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins & minerals and particularly:
- Highest in monounsaturated fat than any other nut
These are the heart healthy fats similar to those found in olive oil.
- Contains the amino acid l-arginine
This nutrient offers multiple vascular benefits to people with coronary heart disease.
- Contains a wide range of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants
Macadamias provide ⅓ of your daily recommended intake (DRI) of thiamine (vitamin B1) per serving which is an important vitamin for releasing the energy from food and necessary for normal functioning of the heart and nervous system as well as ¼ of your DRI of manganese which is a trace element important for antioxidant defenses, bone health, and normal metabolism.
In a nutshell, Macadamias naturally contain plant sterols which combined with the high amount of monounsaturated oils, fiber and phytochemicals all add up to make them a superfood for your heart. Other healthy nutrients in macadamia nuts include the amino acid l-arginine, vitamin B1, magnesium as well as copper and niacin, all which have many roles in the body to help maintain your well-being.
Purchasing Tips and Storage
Buy whole “unshelled” or “with-shell” nuts instead of processed ones. Look for the kernels that feature healthy, compact and uniform in size and feel heavy in hand. They should be devoid of cracks (other than natural split), cuts, mold, and spots and free of rancid smell.
Store unshelled macadamia nuts in cool, dry place where they stay fresh for several months. Shelled kernels, however, should be put inside an airtight container and kept in the refrigerator to prevent them from going rancid.