Botanical name: Macadamia integrifolia L. Smith
Other names: Australian nut, Queensland nut, Macadamia nut
Spanish name: Macadamia
French name: Noix de Queensland
Macadamia nuts are the seeds of the fruit of the macadamia tree, Macadamia integrifolia L. Smith, an evergreen tree that belongs to the botanical family Proteaceae, which reaches a height of about 9 meters.
Macadamia, which was discovered in Australia in the 19th century is a tough nut, whose thick shell encloses a cream-coloured oil rich nut. Amongst more than 9 species, only one is of dietary importance, due to its significant properties.
Properties and health benefits of Macadamia
Macadamia nut which is actually the seeds of macadamia fruit contains about 73.7% fats. It also contains a quite complete proteins, which are only lacking in methionine. This lack of methionine can easily be compensated by combining macadamia nuts with whole grains.
In terms of vitamins and minerals, macadamia nut is a good source of vitamin B1 and B2, niacin, phosphorus, iron, and calcium.
Being one of the most oil- rich of all oil-bearing nuts, the oil in macadamia is similar to that of olive oil. It is formed of mainly monosaturated fatty acids, which according to numerous recent studies from various world class research institutes, have shown that it has a negative effect on the heart.
It’s oil is said to be excellent for frying because of its very high evaporation point (198′ C) and its heat stability.
Thus, macadamia and its oil are heart-friendly foods due to the great characteristics of their fats, which help lower cholesterol level and improve blood circulation through coronary arteries.
Also, the presence of antioxidant polyphenolic flavonoids in macadamia helps prevent arteriosclerosis.
Preparation and use
Toasted – When toasting macadamia salt is usually added, but this is not advised for those suffering from coronary disease. Toasted macadamia are very tasty and easier to digest.
Raw – In order to eat macadamia raw, it has to be ripe, and moreover it must be well chewed. Note that when eaten raw, some may have a bitter taste, this bitter taste is due to the presence of cyanogenetic glucosides.