Are macadamia nuts good for you?

Are macadamia nuts healthy? 

Macadamia nuts are rich in nutrients. They are packed with healthy mono-saturated fats. They also contain vitamins (including B6), fibre, thiamine, manganese, copper, magnesium, and iron. Macadamia nuts are low in carbs and sugar, which makes them good for people with diabetes (they will unlikely cause a spike in your sugar level). They also contain flavonoids which are antioxidants helping to fight inflammation and lower cholesterol. Additionally, they are loaded with tocotrienols, a kind of vitamin E, another antioxidant which may help lower cholesterol levels. 

What are the health benefits of macadamia nuts?

Eating macadamia nuts is linked to several health benefits, including lowering bad cholesterol, improving heart health and blood sugar control, and helping digestion and weight management (despite the high-calorie content). Macadamia nuts are also associated with a lower risk of developing cancer and brain diseases.


Why are macadamia nuts expensive?

The reason why macadamia nuts are so expensive is the fact that they are tree nuts. They are not only rare but need a long time to grow. The trees take years from planting to harvest (between three to even seven years). 

Macadamia trees are grown in a few different locations of the world but require special climate conditions, so they cannot be grown everywhere.

The species originated in the high-altitude hills of Queensland, Australia, but today farmers adapted hybrids of macadamia that can grow in a similar environment in the mountains of California, Hawaii, Costa Rica, Brazil, South Africa, Malawi and Kenya. Macadamia trees require a lot of rain and a temperate climate identical to the one the trees come from.

The same type of land is often used for coffee, avocado, and fruits, which are more profitable crops for the local farmers, giving crops much earlier than macadamia trees. Moreover, because of the increasing land attractiveness and value in these regions, farming has to compete with tourism and real estate development these days.

Another factor in the high price is the processing issues. Macadamia nuts are harvested prematurely, meaning the farmers can’t see the kernel inside the shell when picking them, so they might gather the nuts while they are still developing the oil. Another problem is the shelling damage to the kernels if not done correctly.  Whole macadamia nuts are very rare. They make up less than half of shelled macadamia kernels; the rest are macadamia halves or pieces that got damaged in the shelling process. 

Adding to the ever-growing demand for macadamia nuts, these are all the reasons why macadamia nuts are so expensive. 


Can people with an allergy to nuts eat macadamia nuts?

Macadamia nuts are tree nuts, so like any other tree nuts, they may cause allergies. However, the allergy to macadamias is rare. It is estimated to cause less than 5% of all tree nut allergies. If you're allergic to one type of tree nut, it doesn't mean you're allergic to all kinds of tree nuts - check with your doctor if you can eat macadamia nuts safely.

Can dogs eat macadamia nuts? 

Even though macadamia nuts are so beneficial for humans they are on the list of food products to avoid when feeding your dog. The compound of macadamia that is toxic to dogs is unknown but even 1 macadamia nut may cause vomiting, weakness, lack of coordination and hyperthermia so keep your doggies away from your macadamias! 

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