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[*].
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
Ok, so these numbers prove that macadamia nuts can be part of a healthy diet. But what are the real-world health benefits?
Why Macadamia Nuts Are Good for You
1. 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 eating macadamia nuts can significantly reduce the risk factors for heart disease. Here are four stellar 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, and almonds to name a few.
- 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[*].
2. May Prevent Cancer
Macadamia nuts contain some serious cancer-fighting ingredients. Two that came to our attention were tocotrienols and flavonoids.
Tocotrienols are a unique form of vitamin E that has potent anticancer abilities, according to scientific research[*]. What’s more, macadamia nuts are rich in plant compounds called flavonoids that can help fight cancer by destroying harmful free radicals in your body[*].
3. Protects Your Brain
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. So while glutamate is made naturally by your body (and is also taken in from your diet) eating macadamia nuts can help reduce the likelihood of potentially developing chronic illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease.
A study on rats found that macadamia nuts contain oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that can protect your brain from oxidative stress[*]. And that’s a good thing because we are 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.
4. Reduce the 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 found in macadamia nuts may help reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome. So in theory, eating macadamia nuts could help a significant portion of the population. Here’s what the research says:
- 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[*].
- Macadamia nuts help improve glycemic control in individuals suffering from type 2 diabetes[*].
5. Help Reduce Hunger Cravings
Macadamia nuts are packed with fiber, protein, and high amounts of fats. These nutrients play a role in keeping you feeling full (because eating fat is linked to 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 ate 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.
Try FBOMB's chocolate macadamia nut butter fat bomb recipe now.
More Nutritional Information
One cup (132 g) of macadamia nuts contains 948 cal[*]. But don’t worry, the typical serving size for these nuts is much less than one cup (at around 28.4 g or 1 oz). 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 cal. 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.