Like all tree nuts, macadamias are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals beneficial to health. Regularly eating nuts has been shown to contribute to heart health, reduce overall mortality and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, assist with weight management, reduce the risk of cancer, improve sperm quality, reduce depression and overall promote good health. 

A 30g serve is around 15 macadamias.

Nutrient Per 100g Per 30g
energy
Energy (kJ) 3080 924
macronutrients
Protein (g) 9.2 2.8
Total fat (g) 74 22
Saturated fat (g) 10 3
Monounsaturated fat (g) 59.8 18
Polyunsaturated fat (g) 3.8 1.1
Omega 3 ALA 99 30
Carbohydrate (g) 7.9 2.4
Sugars (g) 4.6 1.4
Dietary fibre (g) 6.4 1.9
minerals
Calcium (mg) 85 25.5
Copper (mg) 0.8 0.2
Iron (mg) 3.7 1.1
Magnesium (mg) 130 39
Manganese (mg) 4.1 1.2
Potassium (mg) 410 123
Selenium (ug) 3.6 1.1
Sodium (mg) 1.4 0.4
Zinc (mg) 1.3 0.4
vitamins
Thiamin (mg) 1.2 0.4
Riboflavin (mg) 0.2 0.06
Niacin (mg eq) 2.5 0.8
Folate DFE (ug) 11 3.3
Vitamin B6 (mg) 0.3 0.1
Vitamin E (mg) 0.5 0.2
other
Arginine (g) 1.4 0.4
Sterols (mg) 116 35
Polyphenols (mg) 156 47

Health effects

In addition to the health benefits that all tree nuts provide, macadamias have been associated with: 

  • Reducing oxidative stress [1] – oxidation causes damage to the cells in our body and is believed to be an important factor in the development of disease and ageing.
  • Emerging evidence indicates that macadamia oil may be associated with skin health, by improving the appearance of scars and other minor skin irritations, however evidence is limited. Macadamia oil contains high levels of palmitoleic acid, an omega-7 fatty acid believed to help skin retain suppleness. 
  • Data for the effects of macadamias and cardiovascular indicators is limited. Consequently, there’s a low level of consistent reductions in total and LDL cholesterol [2].

What makes macadamias unique

  • Compared to other tree nuts, macadamias contain the most thiamin – a B-group vitamin important for the production of energy from food. They are a good source of thiamin.
  • They are a source of manganese and magnesium – minerals which have functions in activating enzymes. Magnesium is also important for bone structure as well as muscle and nerve function. 
  • They contain the highest content of monounsaturated fats of all tree nuts (81%), important for heart health.
  • They are the only native Australian bush food to enter into commercial food production.
  • Macadamias are a source of monounsaturated fats, and are naturally low in sugar and sodium.

Where they are grown

Macadamias are Australia’s native nut and are grown along the eastern seaboard of New South Wales and Queensland, from Port Macquarie in the south to the Atherton Tablelands in the north. 

Around half of the Australian crop is produced in NSW and half in Queensland. Macadamias are also grown in Hawaii (USA), South Africa, Kenya and Guatemala. 

Forms and best eaten with…

  • Macadamias can be purchased in shell, or as kernels roasted, raw, salted and unsalted.
  • Macadamias make delicious nut butters. 
  • They are great in both sweet and savoury dishes, adding a delicious creamy crunch. 

Storage

Remove nuts from plastic bags and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer. Nuts can be refrigerated for up to 4 months and frozen for up to 6 months. Remember, bringing nuts back to room temperature before eating can help them taste nuttier.

References

  1. Garg, M.L., et al., Macadamia nut consumption modulates favourably risk factors for coronary artery disease in hypercholesterolemic subjects. Lipids, 2007. 42(6): p. 583-7.
  2. Neale, E., et al., The effect of nut consumption on heart health: an updated systematic review of the literature. 2018. Nuts for Life, unpublished.
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