Healthy nibbles

MACADAMIA

MACADAMIA

DID YOU KNOW
The macadamia tree is a member of the Proteaceae family and native to the subtropical, coastal rainforests of eastern Australia. According to the Australian Macadamia Society, the Aboriginal people gave the macadamia several names: Kindal Kindal, Boomera, Jindill or Baupal. In the 1850s, these trees were noticed by Ferdinand Von Meuller, a British botanist, and Walter Hill, the Director of the Botanical Gardens of Brisbane, Australia. The genus macadamia was named after a prominent scientist of that time, Dr. John McAdam.
The largest producers of macadamia nuts are Australia, South Africa and Kenya, representing about 75% of the world’s production. They are followed by USA, Guatemala, China, Brazil, Malawi, Colombia, New Zealand and Swaziland.
Macadamia nuts are valued for their subtle, buttery flavor, velvety-soft crunchy texture and their oil profile, which is rich in monounsaturated fats. Due to their versatility, macadamias are used as snacks or as an ingredient in baking and confectionery. In addition, macadamia oil is used for cooking and many cosmetics.
BENEFITS
Nutrients
Macadamias have an interesting nutritional composition, being high in fiber, magnesium, copper, manganese and thiamin, and are a source of vitamins B6, niacin and minerals such as iron, phosphorus, potassium and selenium.1
Cardiovascular health
A 2008 study observed that the unique fatty acid profile of nuts may beneficially affect the cholesterol levels and may, consequently, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Including macadamia nuts in a heart-healthy dietary pattern may help reduce CVD risk factors.3
Monounsaturated fats
Of all nuts, macadamias contain the highest amount of monounsaturated fats (59.27 g/100 g).
Omega 7
Macadamias are a natural source of omega-7 fatty acids, also known as palmitoleic acid. Thanks to their being a source of monounsaturated fats (oleic and palmitoleic acids). According to a 2007 study, macadamias may help to modify favorably the biomarkers of oxidative stress, thrombosis and inflammation, which are the risk factors for coronary artery disease.4
FUN FACTS
In Australia, macadamia nuts were considered a delicacy. They were used for trade between tribes and as special ceremonial gifts at inter-tribal gatherings, known as corroborees.
MACADAMIA
Macadamia nuts have an exceptionally hard shell compared to the rest of the tree nuts, which provides great protection to the kernel.
References:

1)    USDA Food Composition Databases. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28 slightly revised May, 2016: https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search/list.
2)    Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 on nutrition and health claims made on foods: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:32006R1924&from=en.
3)    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.
4)    Garg, M. L., Blake, R. J., Wills, R. B., & Clayton, E. H. (2007). Macadamia nut consumption modulates favourably risk factors for coronary artery disease in hypercholesterolemic subjects. Lipids, 42(6), 583-587.

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