Make way for Macadamia nuts, the next go-to superfood

Not many exotic ingredients have the versatility to bounce comfortably as a healthy snack or as an ingredient in confectioneries while maintaining its credibility in the skin and hair care aisle. But perhaps, one such superfood that has been gaining popularity of late is ‘macadamia nuts.’

The off-white nuts with a subtle, butter-like creamy flavour and texture are loaded with essential nutrients and have numerous health benefits. From aiding weight loss to boosting heart health and from reducing fizz to healing wounds, the tree nut promises numerous health benefits. Macadamia nuts are indigenous to Australia but today are grown and found in various parts of the world.

Nutritional value and health benefits

Macadamia nuts are loaded with vitamins, minerals and fibre, but low in sugar and carbohydrates. Dr Siddhant Bhargava, Fitness and Nutritional Scientist, Co-Founder of Food Darzee, shares the nutritional value of the nuts. He says, “One must note that consuming one ounce (28 grams) of these nuts will offer about 204 calories, 23 grams of fats, 2 grams of proteins, 4 grams of carbohydrates, 1-gram sugar, and 3 grams of fibres.”

He also mentions how the nuts work magic for your body and skin. He explains, “Macadamia nuts are extremely beneficial and must be included in the diet of people suffering from diabetes. Furthermore, these nuts help to encourage skin health by safeguarding one against oxidative impairment, which is one of the main culprits responsible for skin ageing.”

Macadamia nuts are rich in monosaturated fats that help to lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure. “One serving of these nuts also encompasses proteins, dietary fibres, manganese, and thiamine. More than about 75 per cent of the fat that macadamia nuts comprise​ are monounsaturated fat, which has numerous health advantages. These nuts are also packed with specific kinds of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), which are not readily present in many other edibles,” says Dr Siddhant.

While sharing the health benefits of macadamia oil, Dr Siddhant says, “It has been researched that the nutrients and fats present in macadamia nuts can help to reduce the peril of heart ailments. These nuts are filled with tocotrienols and flavonoids. These antioxidants play a major role in fighting cancer cells. Furthermore, the palmitoleic and omega-7 fatty acids present in macadamia nuts have an ability to stimulate skin, nail, and hair health.”

Is macadamia safe?

Macadamia nuts are likely safe for consumption as well as application. Even though macadamia nuts provide healthy nutrients, avoid its overconsumption. “Those allergic to tree nuts must avoid its consumption. You must discontinue its consumption if you feel any discomfort. Macadamia nuts are rich in calories; therefore, it is best to add them to a dish as an ingredient instead of consuming a bowlful of these nuts,” suggests Luke Coutinho, Adviser of Integrative Lifestyle and Nutrition at Pure Nutrition.

Luke advises consulting a nutritionist, doctor or healthcare professional before including the nuts in your diet. He mentions a few things one needs to keep in mind before including macadamia in your diet, he shares, “They are calorie-dense nuts, which means they may lead to weight gain in some cases where the consumption is not well-monitored. In some cases, macadamia nuts and macadamia nut oil have been known to cause constipation and other digestive problems. If you face such digestive problems, you must immediately discontinue the use.”

“Macadamia oil is a safe ingredient for almost everyone to use on their hair and skin. However, the oil contains less of the tree nut proteins that trigger a reaction, so there’s also a chance that you won’t react to it,” says Dr Apratim Goel, Cosmetic Dermatologist, Cutis Skin Studio. She also recommends doing an allergy test by applying a small amount of the oil on the inside of your arm. If there’s no reaction in 24 hours, it should be safe to use.

Now that you are aware of this superfood and its wonders, wouldn’t you want to make it a part of your daily routine? Of course, you would!

Skincare and haircare hacks:

Dr Apratim Goel shares simple skincare and haircare hacks using macadamia oil.

· If you are struggling with heat-damaged or dry hair, using just a few drops of macadamia oil on the ends of your hair can work wonders to your hair and will soften and moisturise them instantly.

· Macad​​amia is great for soothing the hair of frizz, dullness and tangles. This non-greasy oil adds shine and liveliness to your strands while keeping your scalp moisturised.

· Macadamia oil contains omega 7 or palmitoleic acid, which is beneficial for wound healing, wounds, scratches and burns.

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