Macadamias for health + well-being
The Australian macadamia industry is undergoing a major brand transformation, launching Australia’s famous native food as the World’s Finest Nut, unrivalled in taste and quality. Australia already leads the world in research and development, farming practices and commitment to clean, green production from seedling to serving, producing more than 30% of the world’s crop.
As part of the new brand launch, the macadamia industry has teamed up with another Aussie hero, Olympic swimming sensation and reigning Celebrity MasterChef, Eamon Sullivan, to showcase the healthy virtues and tasty versatility of our local nut. I was invited by The Australian Macadamia Society (AMS) on a two-day media tour of extravagance in one of Australia’s most stunning beachside resorts, Byron Bay in Northern NSW,the home of Australia’s native macadamias.
More research is indicating the health and wellbeing benefits of macadamias. The latest Dietary Guidelines Report for Americans 2010 has just been released representing the best science on health and nutrition – nuts are recommended in a new guideline promoting the importance of eating nutrient-dense foods1. The experts recognize that nuts are packed full of nutrients making every bite count and are a great source of the healthy oil, mono-unsaturated fatty acids.
Mediterranean-style eating patterns that emphasise vegetables, fruits and nuts, olive oil were recommended in the Report as they are associated with a low risk of cardiovascular disease. The heart health benefits are thought to be related to the higher content of the healthy mono-unsaturated fatty acids compared to the unhealthy saturated fatty acids. The Report highlights the important role macadamias can play in a healthy diet as they are the richest nut source of naturally healthy oils, monounsaturated fatty acids.
There are many health and vitality reasons why you should enjoy a handful of macadamia nuts (30-50g) regularly:
1. Slow down the ageing process
Macadamias naturally contain antioxidants like manganese, vitamin E and zinc which neutralize or scavenge substances called free radicals which would otherwise damage cells. A study of men with high cholesterol, found that eating 40-90g of macadamias per day for four weeks improved markers of oxidative stress2. Great news as oxidation causes damage to the cells in our body and is thought to play a key role in ageing as well as development of diseases like heart disease and eye problems like cataracts.
2. Lower your risk of heart disease
Cardiovascular disease remains one of Australia’s biggest killers. Many studies have found that a high mono-unsaturated diet, rich in macadamia nuts lowers blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels – both risk factors for heart disease2,3,4. Macadamias contain a potent bundle of heart protective nutrients: healthy fatty acids (plant omega-3s and mono-unsaturates), plant sterols, dietary fibre and antioxidants like vitamin E and manganese.
3 Keep you satisfied for longer
Macadamias are rich in fibre and contain protein to help you feel fuller for longer and help curb the urge to snack between meals. Great news if you’re trying to stick to a weight loss eating plan. As part of your weight loss diet, try a handful of nuts (30-50 grams) a day as a snack or slice and toss through salad or stir-fries.
4 Part of a healthy weight loss diet
In a short-term study of young healthy women, a macadamia nut rich diet reduced body weight and body mass index, and total cholesterol. These findings are consistent with other research that suggests including nuts as part of a kilojoule-controlled weight loss plan can contribute to weight loss.
Check out my delicious macadamia nut butter recipe, made in my vita-mix.
THIS IS A PICTURE OF ME WITH AEMON SULLIVAN (OLYMPIC SWIMMER AND VERY COOL GUY ) WHO IS VERY PASSIONATE ABOUT GOOD FOOD. HE JUST BOUGHT HIS FIRST CAFE IN SUBIACO PERTH !