As proud Australians, we have a soft spot for macadamias!

This tasty nut originated in our east coast rainforests more than 60 million years ago. What’s more, Australia is the leading global producer of macadamias, and Australians consume more per capita than anywhere else in the world.

A healthy handful (or a 30g serve) is around 15 macadamias.

Handful of macadamias

What makes macadamias unique?

  • Macadamias contain the most monounsaturated fat of all tree nuts. In fact, 81% of the total fat in macadamia nuts is the heart-healthy MUFA type.
  • They are a good source of manganese – a mineral needed for many of the body’s functions, including fat and carbohydrate metabolism, calcium absorption, and blood sugar regulation.
  • Macadamia nuts are a source of niacin, which is important for growth and for releasing energy from food.  
  • A handful of macadamias (30g) contains around 2g dietary fibre – similar to the amount in a slice of wholemeal bread. And the soluble fibre in macadamias acts as a prebiotic, helping feed beneficial gut bacteria.
  • Macadamia oil contains high levels of palmitoleic acid, an omega-7 fatty acid believed to help skin retain suppleness. 
  • Macadamias are naturally low in sugar and sodium.
Nutrient Per 100g Per 30g
energy
Energy (kJ) 3018 905
macronutrients
Protein (g) 9.2 2.76
Total fat (g) 74 22.2
Saturated fat (g) 10 3
Monounsaturated fat (g) 59.6 17.8
Polyunsaturated fat (g) 1.1 0.33
Omega 3 ALA 200 60
Carbohydrate (g) 4.5 1.35
Sugars (g) 4.5 1.35
Dietary fibre (g) 6.4 1.9
minerals
Calcium (mg) 48 14.4
Copper (mg) 0.4 0.12
Iron (mg) 1.8 0.54
Magnesium (mg) 95 28.5
Manganese (mg) 5.1 1.53
Potassium (mg) 410 123
Selenium (ug) 10 3
Sodium (mg) 1 0.3
Zinc (mg) 1.2 0.36
vitamins
Thiamin (mg) 0.3 0.09
Riboflavin (mg) 0.1 0.03
Niacin (mg eq) 4.1 1.23
Folate DFE (ug) 11 3.3
Vitamin B6 (mg) 0.3 0.09
Vitamin E (mg) 1.4 0.42
other
Arginine (g) 1.4 0.4
Sterols (mg) 116 35
Polyphenols (mg) 156 47

Health effects

In addition to the health benefits all tree nuts provide, macadamia nuts have been linked with: 

  • Reducing oxidative stress [1] – oxidation causes damage to the body’s cells and this is believed to be an important factor in the development of disease and ageing.
  • Emerging (though currently limited) evidence suggests that macadamia oil may be linked with skin health, by improving the appearance of scars and other minor skin irritations.
Nuts for Life - Macadamias

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.

Macadamia nuts 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 macadamias from plastic bags and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer. They can be refrigerated for up to 4 months and frozen for up to 6 months. Remember to bring any nuts back to room temperature before eating to help them taste their nutty best.

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.
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