Macadamias: A Little Exotic and Very Healthy
By Paul Rothbart
Macadamia nuts originated in Australia but are not grown in many tropical climates. The state of Hawaii supplies most of these somewhat exotic, delicious nuts to the rest of the U.S. They have a unique flavor and make a very tasty snack eaten raw. They are also good in numerous savory recipes and macadamia cookies are incredible baked goods. There are many reasons to love macadamias. One of the best reasons is their many health benefits.
The number of nutrients contained in a one-ounce serving of macadamia nuts is impressive. With 204 calories, a single serving has two grams of protein and three grams of fiber. It also has 58 percent of the recommended daily allowance of manganese and 22 percent of the RDA of thiamine. A serving of macadamias also has significant amounts of Vitamin B6, iron, copper, and magnesium.
May Help With Weight Loss
Though fairly high in calories, macadamias are a good weight loss food. Their fiber and protein content helps you feel full and reduces hunger pangs and cravings. In a study conducted in Japan for a three-week period with young women as test subjects, each of three groups ate bread with one having it with butter, another with coconut, and the third with macadamia nuts. Those who had the macadamias lost an average of 0.9 pounds while the others remained at the same weight.
Improve Heart Health
Eating macadamia nuts can reduce the levels of LDL or bad cholesterol in your blood. Research found that consuming 0.3-1.5 grams each day can lower cholesterol by as much as 10 percent. Lower cholesterol improves heart health and reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke. This health benefit of macadamias is believed to be due to the fact that most of their fat content is of the monounsaturated variety.
Macadamia nuts are loaded with antioxidants and in fact, have more flavonoids than any other tree nut. They also contain a large amount of the antioxidant tocotrienols. These powerful compounds fight free radicals in the body. These harmful molecules attack cells, damage them, and can cause many chronic diseases such as cancer. Consuming macadamias can help reduce your risk of many chronic diseases.
Improve Gut Health
Good digestion is essential and is a function of gut health. Macadamia nuts contain soluble fiber, which acts as a prebiotic. It feeds the helpful bacteria in your gut that aid in digestion. Macadamias can help protect against ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and Crohn's disease due to the anti-inflammatory properties of this fiber.
Nuts are healthy and tasty snacks. Macadamia nuts rank high on both lists. Enjoy a handful or, better yet, bake some cookies.
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