The Nut You Should Be Eating to Lower Diabetes and Heart Disease Risk
Macadamia nuts are a superfood with major health and beauty benefits. Rich in protein, fiber, healthy fats, and key nutrients, the creamy, delicious nut has even been known to support weight loss. If you’ve shied away from macadamia nuts in the past, it might be time to reconsider:
While the macadamia nut has been proclaimed to be the world's most expensive nut—due to the time it takes for trees to mature, and nuts to be produced on the tree—you can still get your macadamia fix and reap some of their nutritional benefits beyond eating them whole for an affordable price. Macadamias these days are in fact popping up in unexpected places, which is making it easier than ever to add more of this antioxidant-rich superfood into your everyday diet.
The health 101 of the mighty macadamia
“Macadamias are a rich, delicious tree nut packed with some amazing health and beauty benefits,” says Kimberly Snyder, a plant-based nutritionist with A-list celebrity clientele from Reese Witherspoon to Kerry Washington. “These nuts are rich in beneficial monounsaturated fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation and risk of heart disease, and even improve brain health.” Macadamia nuts also contain phytonutrients, which are chemicals produced by plants; and plants with phytonutrients contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
Snyder explains that macadamias also have beauty benefits. “Research shows that macadamias contain a specific type of fatty acid, called palmitoleic acid, that prevents skin aging and dehydration, and can help to regenerate and heal skin tissue. Palmitoleic acid is a rare fatty acid that cannot be found in other nuts, making macadamias a unique beauty food.”
Macadamias have some of the highest levels of flavonoid amongst all tree nuts. Flavonoids are antioxidants that fight inflammation and help lower cholesterol. “Macadamia nuts are also loaded with other nutrients like iron, copper, vitamin A, potassium, magnesium, and folates. These micronutrients work together to support bone health, fight inflammation, and boost energy levels. These little nuts pack some big benefits, making them a delicious and beneficial superfood.”
One ounce of macadamia nuts contains:
- 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
“Whenever possible, opt for raw, organic macadamia nuts over roasted, to help avoid added sugar, salt, or oil,” says Snyder. “I also recommend soaking raw macadamia nuts in water for about 2-4 hours before eating or using them in a recipe. This makes them a lot easier for the body to digest and helps to unlock more nutrients.”
Snyder does remind that macadamia nuts are particularly high in fact compared to other tree nuts, so like with other nuts, they should be enjoyed in moderation. So, while you shouldn't chow down on a box of chocolate-covered macadamia nuts on the regular, you should eat foods that are nutrient-dense, like raw macadamias (in moderation) and other macadamia-powered products that contain some of their health benefits.
Macadamias in unexpected—and delicious—places
These days, macadamia nuts are not just for eating whole. They are increasingly being used as a base for everyday products—from butter to milk, to health-conscious chocolate. Here are a few brands bringing macadamia-based goods front and center. So in addition to serving a bowl of macadamias as a snack at your next shindig, you can easily sneak this superfood into your everyday diet and revel in all the macadamia glory.
1. Milkadamia - Macadamia nut-based milks, creamers and butter
Milkadamia is helping to make animal-based dairy obsolete with its line of plant-based milk, creamers and butter...and macadamia-based cooking oils launching soon. On the top of your buy list should be the ultra-creamy milkadamia Milk Unsweetened Vanilla which contains more than 20% of your recommended daily values of vitamin D and A, and calcium...all in an eight-ounce, 50-calorie pour. Their tag line “Moo is Moot” is a reminder that flavorful, rich, nutrient-dense dairy alternatives are a force to be reckoned with. This is a company that is also obsessed with doing right by the planet and the environment. They use regenerative, sustainable farming and vow to never use palm oil in any products.
2. SuperFat - Macadamia keto-friendly nut butter spreads
This nut butter company created a convenient way to get the right balance of nut fats and functional ingredients, moderate protein, and low net-carbs packed into a single serving on-the-go nut butter packet. Beloved by athletes and everyday people alike, SuperFat provides a boost of on-demand fuel with clean ingredients. Their SuperFat Macadamia MCT + Probiotics Nut Butter uses a core ingredient, macadamia nuts, and added probiotics. Many nut butters these days use filler, palm oil, and other questionable ingredients. SuperFat promises “functional ingredients” in what are some damn-good tasting nut butter… for enjoyment in moderation and good for pre or post-workout fuel.
3. Taika - Macadamia Nut Latte
A coffee latte in a can doesn't get any better than Taika Macadamia Nut Latte. With zero sugar and only 70 calories, Taika gives you a perfect energy buzz jitter-free. What’s more, their coffee drinks are also infused with adaptogens like Lion’s Maire (a mushroom that is said to support brain health among other things), and ashwagandha, to name a few. (For a deep-dive on adaptogens, checkout The Beet’s comprehensive guide.) You can easily order Taika cases (which come with 12 cans in each) online.
4. Vegan treats
And of course, we would be remiss to not mention some delicious plant-based macadamia guilt-free sweet treats. Lenny & Larry’s, makers of vegan plant-protein packed snacks makes a mean White Chocolaty Macadamia cookie. JOJO’s Goes Hawaiian is a guilt-free vegan chocolate bar that comes in a bag of six, perfectly portioned into 150 calories with 0 sugar and 4 grams of plant-protein.