Macademia nuts have the best fat profile of any nut. The kinds of fats that have been linked to increased hormone production are saturated fatty acids (SFA) and monounsaturated fatty-acids (MUFAs). Polyunsaturated fatty-acids (PUFAs) tend to lower testosterone and androgen levels. 100g of macadamia nuts contain 75 grams of fat (60 grams are MUFA, 13 grams are SFA and less than 2 grams are the bad PUFA). A BIG plus is the high omega-7 content (see below).
High-monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) diets have been found to lower both plasma cholesterol and triglycerides (fat energy is stored in adipose fatty body tissue as triglycerides) concentrations (source: NCBI). Diets rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) have been shown to benefit glycemic control; MUFAs specifically stimulate secretion of the antidiabetic hormone, Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) in vitro. In an American study, people who were given macadamia nuts saw reduced cholesterol levels and overall healthier heart markers.
These nuts are grown in Doi Tung, in the mountains near Chiang Rai Province, Thailand (85baht/50g). A seaweed version is also available (iodine!)
Macademia nuts also contain some important essential vitamins and minerals, such as iron, B vitamins, magnesium, manganese and folate, omaga-9 as well as protein, healthy fats and antioxidants. Macadamia nuts are rich in palmitoleic acid, an omega-7 fatty oil that provides the building blocks for the enzymes that control the burning of fat. As a copper-rich food, the macadamia nut helps with the efficient utilisation of iron and aids in proper enzymatic reactions.
10 Macademia nuts (25-30g or 1 ounce) contains 203 calories:
- Iron (1mg – 6% RDA)
- B vitamins (as B1 & B6: 0.4g – 40% RDA)
- Magnesium (1.2mg – 58% RDA)
- Manganese (36.7mg – 9% RDA)
- Omega-7 (Palmitoleic acid can make up 0.3-3.5% of the nut. Omega–7 can reduce risk of type II diabetes, prevent the buildup of atherosclerotic plaque, increase beneficial HDL and lower an inflammation marker called C-reactive protein. 10 nuts should deliver 100-400mg of Omega-7 which is the dosage given to patients in scientific studies that showed a 10-15% reduction blood triglycerides and the bad LDL cholesterol.)
- Omega-9 (Oleic acid, which the body can produce, can make up to 1.5% of the nut.)
- Copper (0.2mg – 11% RDA)
- Phosphorous (53mg – 5% RDA)
- Fibre (2.4g – 10% RDA)
Macademia nuts can be quite expensive, so you might need to shop around for a good source, especially an organic one. Doi Tung Macademia Nuts are grown near Chiang Rai in Thailand, a 50g bag costs 85Baht (£2 or $2.80US). Available by mail order or from BigC, Tops and others.
You can also plant a few macademia nut trees and make some money! A good tree produces around 12KG of nuts with shells per year, or about 3.5KG of nuts, 100g retails for $3-5. (Growing advice here). 10 nuts are giving you a good dose of omega-7 (sea buckthorn is another great source).
Our advice: Eat 10 nuts a day and see if you feel the difference.
Note: Macadamia nuts are toxic for dogs and can cause weakness, vomiting, loss of coordination, tremors and hyperthermia.
Sources: mercola.com, anabolicmen.com, drberg.com and draxe.com