The Top 5 Health Benefits of Macadamia Nuts (Backed By Research)

I’m sure you’ve heard somewhere that macadamia nuts are good for you.

But ever wonder why?

It’s partly because of their extremely high fat content (especially compared to other nuts) [*].

They’re made up of more than 75% monounsaturated fats (these are the good fats). So that means they pack a serious health punch. On top of that, they also contain essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants that support your health and wellness [*].

Macadamia Nuts Nutrition Information

One ounce of macadamia nuts contains an amazing [*]:

  • 6% of the daily value for iron
  • 58% of the daily value for manganese
  • 23% of the daily value for vitamin B1
  • 5% of the daily value for phosphorus
  • 11% of the daily value for copper
  • 9% of the daily value for magnesium

As far as macronutrients and calories, 1 ounce (28g) of Macadamia Nut Butter (or dry roasted macadamia nuts) contains: 

  • 215 calories
  • 22g of fat 
  • 2g of protein 
  • 4g of carbohydrates
  • 3g of fiber

macadamia nut butter nutrition

Macadamia nuts are also one of the few sources of palmitoleic acid. This is an omega-7 fatty acid that researchers are beginning to discover new properties and benefits of.

The nutrients found in macadamia nuts have been found to support many promising health benefits. 

1. Improves Skin Elasticity and Appearance 

Research has shown that palmitoleic acid, the omega-7 fatty acids found in macadamia nuts, sea buckthorn oil, and avocado oil may promote skin, nail, and hair health. 

They do so by protecting against oxidative damage, which is one of the main culprits of skin aging, by encouraging and evoking new skin cell development.

Some research has shown this rare fatty acid may improve the body's synthesis of elastin and collagen, which are proteins that keep your skin young, strong, and reduce the appearance and onset of wrinkles [*]. 

2. May Help Reduce Heart Disease Risk

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in every four people dies from heart disease in the United States [*]. Shockingly, approximately 610,000 individuals lose their lives to heart disease every year.

Research has shown that the nutrients and fats found in macadamia nuts may reduce the risk factors for heart disease. Here are four examples backed by science:

  • In a 2007 study, men with high cholesterol showed reduced risk factors for coronary artery disease after eating macadamia nuts for just four weeks [*].
  • A review paper published in 2015 found that consuming tree nuts of any kind reduced triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol), and total cholesterol [*]. Tree nuts include cashews, macadamia nuts, walnuts, almonds and other nutrient-dense nuts.
  • Some studies suggest that substituting polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats for saturated fats increases good cholesterol or high-density lipoprotein (HDL) [*]. And as we mentioned, macadamia nuts are a great substitute because they’re rich in monounsaturated (but most other nuts will do the trick if macs aren’t nearby).
  • A study conducted by Swedish researchers found that consuming nuts may help reduce the risk of heart failure and atrial fibrillation [*].

3. High in Antioxidants 

Tocotrienols and flavonoids are present in nuts like macadamias, and research is emerging about these antioxidants supporting their role in fighting cancer cells.  

Tocotrienols are a unique form of vitamin E that has potent anticancer properties, according to scientific research [*]. 

The plant compound called flavonoids that can help fight cancer by destroying harmful free radicals in your body [*].

Sources of flavonoids include berries, red wine, seeds, and nuts [*].

4. Promotes Brain Health

According to one study, a tocotrienol-rich supplement protected brain cells against glutamate toxicity[*], since glutamate has been shown to play a role in Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease.

A study on rats found that oleic acids, a monounsaturated fat, may play a role in protecting the brain from oxidative stress [*]. We're all subjected to oxidative stress every day [*].

From the sun, our diet, and even the air we breathe. Oxidative stress happens when there is an imbalance of antioxidants and free radicals in your body. It can damage your tissues and cells.

Macadamia nuts are a source of oleic acid.

5. Reduces Risk of Metabolic Syndrome and Diabetes

Metabolic syndrome describes a group of conditions that can increase the risk of diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.

Metabolic syndrome includes high blood pressure, high blood sugar, low levels of HDL cholesterol, high triglycerides, and excess belly fat.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), approximately 34% of people in the U.S. suffer from metabolic syndrome [*].

Research indicates that monounsaturated fatty acids (which are fatty acids found in macadamia nuts) may help reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome.

  • Consuming a diet rich in monounsaturated fatty acids can decrease metabolic risk factors in individuals suffering from type 2 diabetes [*].
  • A study on diabetic rats found that exercise and a diet high in monounsaturated fatty acids were more effective at reducing HbA1c than exercising or consuming the fats alone [*].
  • These fatty acids help improve glycemic control in individuals suffering from type 2 diabetes [*].

6. Helps Reduce Hunger Cravings

Macadamia nuts are packed with fiber, protein, and high amounts of quality fats. These nutrients play a role in keeping you feeling full (because eating fat is linked to a reduction in the hunger hormone, ghrelin [*]).

That means that the high-fat content of macadamia nuts can help stave off hunger better than a snack of similar size.

These nuts also contain protein and fiber that won't spike blood sugar levels so you avoid potential sugar-crashes (and mood swings) that might happen if you eat something loaded with carbs.

Now, are you ready to add these macadamia nuts to your diet?

Eat More Macadamia Nuts

Eat macadamia nuts alone as a quick, easy, and healthy snack. Or eat them in toppings, dressings, or sauces. Grind them into nut butter or add them to baked goods, smoothies, and shakes.

Hungry yet?

Try FBOMB's chocolate macadamia nut butter fat bomb recipe now.

More Nutritional Information

One cup (132g) of macadamia nuts contains 948 calories [*]. But don’t worry, the typical serving size for these nuts is much less than one cup (at around 28.4g or 1 ounce). So far fewer calories will generally be consumed at each sitting (unless you eat a whole cup at once).

An easy way to plan your serving is to remember that one ounce (or 10 to 12 nuts) of macadamia nuts equals approximately 204 calories. If you forget, use a scale to weigh out one ounce.

Remember that roasted nut may have lower nutritional content [*]. That’s because cooking can denature (or deactivate) beneficial proteins and enzymes.

Another thing to be on the lookout for is added sugar, excessive salt, low-quality oils, or other unhealthy ingredients used to add flavor. And of course double check you don’t have a nut allergy before hammering down a handful.

Finally, store macadamia nuts in a cool and dry place (such as a pantry) and check for bacterial or mold growth if you’ve left them for a while.

There you have it: The top five health benefits of macadamia nuts, backed by science. So the next time you're shopping, grab some macadamia nuts to help improve your health and wellness today.

    benefits of macadamia nuts


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