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The macadamia nut is the best in many ways. It is the most expensive in the world, the hardest, the fattest, and possibly one of the healthiest. Indeed, the indigenous people of Australia have known the beneficial properties of macadamia nuts since antiquity, and they actively used them. In the rest of the world, the walnut has begun to rapidly gain popularity over the past 100 years, and only came to Russia relatively recently. However, many nut lovers are interested in any information regarding this product. Moreover, in terms of taste, it is also not at all in last place.
Where does macadamia grow
Before you get acquainted in detail with the benefits and possible harm to the body from eating macadamia nuts, it would be nice to understand what the plant itself looks like, its fruits, where and in what conditions it grows.
The historical homeland of the nut is Australia, where about six varieties of macadamia grow. But only two of them are actively used: Macadamiaintegrifolia and Macadamiatetraphylla. They differ only in the appearance of the walnut peel. In the first variety it is smooth, in the second it is rough. Other types of macadamia have either inedible or even poisonous fruits.
Macadamia nuts require a humid tropical climate and preferably a volcanic soil for good growth. Plants are so demanding for heat that they do not survive even when the temperature drops to + 3 ° C. In connection with these requirements, the macadamia nut took root well in New Zealand, in the countries of South and North America, in Indonesia, in South Africa, in Kenya, in India and Sri Lanka.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, the macadamia nut has been successfully cultivated in the USA in the Hawaiian and Antilles.
Actually, this name was officially strengthened for the nut relatively recently, in the 30s of the last century. Before that, it was called Australian or Queensland, after the name of the state where it was first discovered. It is also still called "Kindal", which is consonant with the name that the aborigines themselves in Australia used to designate it.
And the plant got its modern botanical name in honor of Dr. John McDam, a friend of the botanist, who discovered this delicacy for the Western world in 1857.
However, in the markets of the countries of the former CIS, where these fruits are still a unique exotic, they are called both the Brazilian nut and the Vietnamese macadamia nut. Apparently, depending on the name of the country from which this product is shipped.
How the macadamia nut grows
Macadamia is an evergreen tree with a spreading crown, reaching a height of 15 to 40 m. Smooth, leathery, dark green, elongated or even slightly pointed leaves grow in groups of several pieces. In length, they can reach 30 cm. Small flowers are bisexual, collected in drooping clusters, reaching a length of 25 cm. It blooms in early spring with white flowers with all shades of pink, cream and purple and emits a light pleasant aroma.
What does macadamia look like?
The fruits of this tree are round nuts of almost regular shape, the size of which is 20 to 35 mm in diameter, with a very thick shell. They have an outer shell, which is characterized at first by a greenish tint. As it ripens, the shell darkens and turns brown, and then cracks, and the nut itself emerges from it. The nut shell is dark brown and very hard. The nucleoli themselves are smooth, round, light beige, slightly resembling hazelnuts in shape and size.
Fruits can ripen up to 6 months between mid-summer and mid-autumn. Macadamia trees can live up to 100 years or more. They begin to bear fruit when they reach 7-8 years, and more or less abundant harvests can be expected only after the tree has lived at least 10 years. It is very difficult to get nuts because of the hard peel, and manual harvesting allows you to collect no more than 150 kg of fruits per day per person. In this regard, historically, macadamia has become one of the most expensive nuts in the world. Nowadays, technologies for mechanical assembly and processing of fruits have appeared. And the plantations where this nut is cultivated have grown all over the world. Nevertheless, despite the fact that today more than a hundred thousand tons of Australian nuts are sold in the world per year, the price for it continues to remain high, about $ 30 per 1 kg.
Macadamia nut flavor
Macadamia nuts have an oily, slightly crumbly texture. The taste is sweetish, creamy. Many people compare it to the taste of hazelnuts or even roasted chestnuts. Some find it very similar to the taste of Brazil nut. In any case, both children and adults like these nuts very much, and can serve as a real delicacy even in the absence of special culinary treatment.
Why macadamia is sweet
The nuts themselves, when fresh, have a slightly sweet taste. But many of those who have tried them note not only the sweetness of the fruit, but also a noticeable aftertaste and aroma of vanilla. This is due to the fact that many manufacturers boil or roast nuts in their shells with the addition of vanilla or vanilla sugar. That is why, for many, such an incredibly rich chocolate-vanilla aroma and sweetish taste of macadamia nuts become noticeable.
Of course, raw kernels without heat treatment retain the maximum amount of nutrients. But the nut is so temptingly tasty that it is actively used in cooking:
- covered with caramel or dark chocolate;
- added whole and crushed to fruit and vegetable salads;
- used in the manufacture of ice cream and various baked goods;
- the taste of macadamia nuts is excellently emphasized and set off by such drinks as sherry and coffee.
- nuts also go very well with seafood dishes.
But, thanks to its rich composition, macadamia is actively used in folk medicine to alleviate the condition in many diseases.
Useful properties of nuts
Macadamia is truly the fattest nut in the world.
Fat content per 100 g of product
It is for this reason that macadamia nuts have not been very popular, especially among women.
But as a result of research, it turned out that their cores contain:
- 84% monounsaturated;
- 3.5% polyunsaturated;
- 12.5% saturated fatty acids.
Thus, the so-called "healthy" fats predominate in the composition of nuts, which help to reduce cholesterol and reduce the risk of stroke and cardiovascular diseases.
Among them, palmitoleic acid deserves special attention, which is found in human skin, but practically does not occur in other plant products. It is able to suppress inflammation, increase the sensitivity of tissues to insulin and protect the cells of the pancreas that synthesize this essential hormone.
In addition, nuts help maintain a balance between Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, which is especially important for the female body.
Macadamia contains an almost complete set of vitamins known in nature and many valuable micro- and macroelements, which means that nuts are capable of:
- To speed up the processes of recovery of the body after a long illness, intense physical exertion and mental fatigue.
- Stop the development of vitamin deficiency.
- To speed up the processes of elimination of toxins, poisons and heavy metals from the body.
- Positively affect the work and general condition of the joints, reduce the risk of arthritis, strengthen bone tissue and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
- Strengthen the body's defenses, enhance its ability to resist infections and parasites.
- Normalize the hematopoietic system.
- Reduce blood pressure.
- Eliminate migraines and frequent headaches.
- Accelerate metabolic processes and reduce the risk of developing disruptions in metabolic processes.
- Regulate lipid metabolism in the body and thereby promote weight loss.
- Restore the correct microflora, enzyme activity and a normal digestive environment.
Various antioxidant compounds contained in macadamia nuts slow down the aging process and reduce the risk of both benign and malignant neoplasms.
The benefits of macadamia nut for women
The substances in macadamia kernels can help women with painful periods. They minimize discomfort and relieve spasms. And the use of nuts during menopause reduces general manifestations and reduces the number of hot flashes.
The antioxidant properties of macadamia fruit have already been mentioned above. For women, their healing effect on the development of cervical and breast cancer processes is important. And with their regular use, the aging process will slow down, new tissues will form and grow.
Since macadamia contains substances that have a positive effect on the central nervous system and on the functioning of its peripheral organs, even a few fruits a day can help to cope with depression, neuroses, mood swings, irritability.
Given the properties of macadamia nuts to correct the functions of the reproductive system, they are recommended to be introduced into their regular diet for couples who have difficulties in conceiving a child.
Finally, both the kernels of nuts and the oil from them have an unsurpassed beneficial effect on the skin, therefore they are actively used in cosmetology. Macadamia is able to regulate the secretion of sebaceous secretions and normalize the color and general condition of the skin.
Macadamia during pregnancy
All of the above useful properties of macadamia have practical meaning for a woman in a position. During pregnancy, in some women, in addition, the possibility of developing varicose veins increases dramatically. Due to the cleansing of the blood channels with regular consumption of macadamia, these risks are noticeably reduced, and the vessels are noticeably strengthened.
Macadamia relieves any painful conditions of women during this difficult period and is able to accelerate the recovery of the body after the endured tests, both physical and emotional plans.
The beneficial effect of macadamia on the cardiovascular activity of pregnant women and the prevention of possible migraine attacks is very important.
Important! But you should remember about the content of a large amount of fat in these nuts and in no case get carried away with unlimited eating them.
Since this healthy product is also very tasty, it is necessary to carefully monitor compliance with the daily dose in its use.
Men can also reap significant benefits from eating this gourmet product. Macadamia nut can:
- ensure the normal functioning of the genitourinary system;
- improve the composition of the ejaculate and enhance potency;
- prevent inflammation of the prostate gland;
- prevent the development of various malignant tumors and other equally serious diseases;
- control the activity of the liver in the right direction;
- reduce the risk of kidney stones.
The richest composition of the macadamia nut cannot but affect the general condition of the child's body. Indeed, for a growing body, the need for a variety of minerals and vitamins is especially great. In addition, regular consumption of these fruits can strengthen the immune system and charge with beneficial energy for the whole day.
Nuts play a significant role in strengthening bones, therefore they are an excellent preventive measure against rickets.
In addition, you do not have to be reminded once again to take this delicious medicine. Rather, on the contrary, you will have to make sure that the child knows the measure of the use of these nuts. Otherwise, instead of benefit, you can cause significant harm to the body.
Attention! It is not recommended to give macadamia nuts to children under 3 years of age.
Application of macadamia nut
Macadamia nuts use not only the kernels themselves, but also the shells. And from the crushed fruits, a unique oil is obtained, which is actively used in cosmetology.
As has been mentioned more than once, macadamia nut kernels have been actively used in recent decades, both for preparing a variety of culinary dishes, and for maintaining the health and performance of the body.
The fruits are added to the dough when baking bread and pastries, salads and other dishes are prepared with them.
To improve the general condition of the body, it is most useful to eat the nucleoli raw, without heat treatment. They go well with coffee. It is enough to eat a small handful of nuts every day to protect yourself from many health problems.
Advice! When including macadamia nucleoli in your regular diet, you need to reduce your daily intake of other fat-containing foods.
Application of macadamia shells
Macadamia nut shells can also be widely used, especially in regions where the fruit is grown or processed.
For example, in many countries, macadamia shells are used to light fires and cook food instead of firewood. Often, the shell is used as a mulch to protect other plants from excessive dryness of the soil.
In Russia and in other neighboring countries, a unique tincture is made from it on vodka or moonshine. The shell of the macadamia nut retains many of the beneficial properties of the fruit and has a very pleasant taste and aroma of melted cream and vanilla.
There are two main ways to make such a tincture:
- shell with 5-6 macadamia nuts;
- 1 liter of refined moonshine.
- Using a hammer, break the shell of the nuts into as small pieces as possible.
- Pour the crushed shell with moonshine, leave for 10 days. Vacuum can be used if desired.
The aroma of the tincture appears almost immediately. The color changes slowly but surely takes on a slight brownish tint.
- shells from 160-180 nuts;
- 3 liters of moonshine;
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar.
- In any reasonable way, crush the nutshell.
- Lightly fried in the oven or boiled for 5-15 minutes in sugar syrup (500 g of sugar per 1 liter of water).
- Pour the prepared shells with moonshine, add granulated sugar.
- Insist from 10 to 15 days in a dark place, shaking occasionally.
Properties and uses of macadamia oil
The most beneficial properties are possessed by cold-pressed macadamia nut oil, because it retains all minerals, vitamins, and amino acids. Initially, it is characterized by a pale yellow color, and after filtration it becomes completely colorless. For its unique properties, this product is called the Australian elixir of youth.
A variety of cosmetic products are made on its basis, which can be used even by people with very sensitive skin, since it is hypoallergenic.
In medicine and cosmetology, macadamia oil is used for:
- restoration of skin elasticity and firmness;
- fight against the so-called orange peel on the surface of the skin;
- getting rid of abrasions, scars, traces of inflammation, rashes, due to the stimulation of regeneration processes at the cellular level;
- protection and restoration of the skin during and after prolonged sunbathing;
- normalizing the hair structure, combating skin problems on the head, strengthening hair follicles;
- nourishing, moisturizing and softening the skin of the face, eliminating pigmentation and smoothing wrinkles.
For example, to make a nourishing mask for dry hair you will need:
- 2 tbsp. l. macadamia oils;
- 1 tbsp. avocado oils;
- 2-3 st. strong green tea brewing.
Making a mask is not difficult at all:
- The oils are mixed in a small container and heated in a water bath.
- Add green tea infusion to the oils and mix the mixture thoroughly.
- Apply the mask first to the ends, and then spread over the entire length of the hair.
Attention! It is better not to rub the mask into the hair roots, especially if they tend to form fat.
- They put a plastic cap on the hair, insulate it on top with a towel.
- They keep in this state for about half an hour, after which they are washed off with warm water.
- You can repeat the procedure 2 to 4 times a month.
How to open macadamia nut
Removing the shell from macadamia nuts is not easy at all. It is not for nothing that it is considered one of the hardest nuts in the world. In industrial conditions, special metal units with two rollers are used, between which nuts are held.
At home, cracking a round nut is easy only if it already has a slot and there is a special key. It is inserted into the slot, turned, and the nut is quite easily freed from the shell.
If the nut shell is whole, then even a hammer will not always be able to crack it. It is best to hold the fruit in a vise, place it on a metal surface and hit the seam from above with a hammer.
It may take more than one blow to the nut to finally crack the shell.
Attention! In order to facilitate the process of cracking the nut, it is placed in the freezer an hour before the procedure.
Do not split large quantities of macadamia nuts at once. With prolonged contact with air, the nut oil begins to taste bitter. Therefore, only the amount of fruit that is going to be consumed at a time is freed from the shell.
How much macadamia nut can you eat per day
In order not to harm your body, it is recommended to consume no more than 30-40 g of nuts per day. So much weigh about 10 -12 pieces of peeled nuts.
To activate nutrients, it is recommended to soak the nuts for 1-2 hours in water before eating them.
Calorie content of macadamia
Naturally, due to their high fat content, the energy value of macadamia nuts is very high.
Caloric content per 100 g of product is about 718 kcal. But 100 g contains 35 to 45 nuts.
The calorie content of one fruit is from 16 to 20 kcal.
100 g of macadamia nut oil contains about 845 kcal.
Contraindications for use
Despite the abundance of useful properties, macadamia, like any natural product, has some contraindications for use.
First of all, there is an individual hypersensitivity to the product. People with severe allergic reactions should be very careful when tasting a nut for the first time. Start with the smallest portion.
Caution should also be exercised by those who exhibit inflammatory processes in the gastrointestinal tract. If your doctor prescribes a low fat diet, then the macadamia tasting should be postponed for a while.
Do not give macadamia fruit to children under three years of age.
Important! Macadamia nuts in any quantity cause severe poisoning in dogs.
Reviews of doctors about the benefits and dangers of macadamia nut
Most medical experts agree that the benefits of eating macadamia nuts far outweigh the potential harm. But the first tasting should be carried out under the supervision of doctors in case of revealing such serious health problems as diabetes, cancer and acute inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. On the other hand, macadamia is the leader among all other nuts in phytosterol content. These substances have not yet been sufficiently studied. It is only known that they reduce the absorption of cholesterol in the intestines and may have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties.
Doctors from the United States consider real help from the regular use of macadamia nuts for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases in general, in particular, atherosclerosis. After all, nuts have the ability to remove excess cholesterol, thus cleansing the blood vessels. To do this, it is enough to eat only a few fruits daily.
Medical research has demonstrated the effectiveness of macadamia consumption in improving glycemic index control. Therefore, for those with type 2 diabetes, macadamia nuts can help normalize blood sugar levels.
At the same time, uncontrolled excess of the daily norm of nuts can cause a sharp increase in weight. Therefore, dietitians strongly advise, with the regular use of macadamia, to reduce the proportion of other fatty foods used in the diet.
The beneficial properties of macadamia nut are not in doubt by either doctors or ordinary people. When consumed in moderation, they are able to counteract many unpleasant and even dangerous diseases. And although traditional medicine is still wary of treating macadamia nuts, they have been actively used in traditional medicine for a long period of time.