5 impressive health benefits of Macadamia nuts
Macadamia nuts are high in healthy fats and may help those trying to lose weight. One serving of macadamia nuts also contains dietary fiber, protein, manganese, thiamin, and a good amount of copper.
The fat content of macadamia nuts is higher than that of other popular nuts such as almonds, cashews, and walnuts. A 1-ounce (oz) serving of macadamia nuts has 21 grams (g) of total fat.
More than 75 percent of the fat that macadamia nuts contains is monounsaturated fat, which has health benefits. These nuts also contain specific kinds of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), which are not readily available in many other foods.
Macadamia nuts contain just over 1 g of natural sugar, and they are a low glycemic index food. With their many health benefits, macadamia nuts can fit into any healthful diet.
1. They may prevent cancer
Macadamia nuts contain a type of vitamin E called tocotrienols.
Tocotrienols may have powerful anticancer abilities, according to some research. Macadamia nuts contain a significant amount of tocotrienols.
Macadamia nuts also contain plant compounds called flavonoids, which can fight cancer by destroying damaging free radicals in the body.
2. They protect the brain
Aside from their potential ability to fight cancer, tocotrienols also have brain-protecting effects.
One study found that a tocotrienol-rich supplement helps protect brain cells from the effects of glutamate, which may play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Another study on rats shows that oleic acid, one of the main monounsaturated fats present in macadamia nuts, can protect the brain from certain kinds of oxidative stress.
3. They may prevent weight gain
Macadamia nuts and their oil are some of the richest sources of palmitoleic acid, a monounsaturated fat also called omega-7.
Researchers in one study gave sheep palmitoleic acid for 28 days, and the results show a reduction in weight gain by 77 percent. However, experts have not yet shown that palmitoleic acid has weight loss benefits in humans.
Another study shows that feeding mice macadamia nut oil as a supplement reduced the size of their fat cells after 12 weeks.
4. They stave off hunger
Macadamia nuts contain protein, high amounts of beneficial fats, and fiber. Together, these nutrients can help a person feel full for longer.
The fat takes longer to digest, and protein and fiber help prevent large blood sugar changes that can make a person feel hungry.
5. They lower heart disease risk
Studies have found that eating tree nuts, including macadamia nuts, can lower the risk factors for heart disease.
In 2015, a research review found that eating tree nuts of any type lowered total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein, or “bad,” cholesterol, and triglycerides.
Replacing saturated fats with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as those present in nuts raises levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good,” cholesterol, according to some studies.
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