The oils in macadamia are: 12.5% Saturated 84% Monounsaturated 3.5% Polyunsaturated. The monounsatu-rated portion contains oleic fatty acid plus the highest known level of palmitoleic fatty acid, which is also present in beneficial fish oils, and may be nutritionally significant.
Monounsaturated fatty acids are the ‘good’ fats, and have been shown in macadamias to significantly reduce blood serum cholesterol levels, as well as enhancing the protective high-density lipoproteins and suppressing undesirable low-density lipoproteins. Cholesterol and lipoprotein levels are indicators to the risk of heart disease. The macadamia nut contains the highest level of monounsaturated fatty acids of any natural commercial food. MACADAMIAS CONTAIN NO CHOLESTEROL. MACADAMIAS CONTAIN NO TRANS FATTY ACIDS. Macadamias improve the balance between omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids. This facilitates the body’s manufacture of essential fatty acids and eicosanoids (prostaglandins etc.).
Macadamias contain significant protein – comprising essential and non-essential amino acids. These play an important body building role in muscle structure, connective tissues and blood plasma development. Macadamias contain all the essential amino acids, with most of these present at optimum levels.
Most of the ‘simple’ carbohydrates are present as saccharides (sugars). Macadamias contain the sugars – sucrose, fructose, glucose and maltose, plus some starch-based material. Carbohydrates supply energy to the body. Complex carbohydrates are described as dietary fibre.
Dietary fibre is the term for carbohydrates that are resistant to enzyme digestion in the stomach. They consist of complex soluble carbohydrates and soluble fibres such as lignans, hemicellulose, amylopectins, mucilage, gums and insoluble cellulose. Essentially dietary fibre in macadamias are the cell walls within the kernel. As dietary fibre is better defined and understood, it is becoming more important in human health. Dietary fibre promotes satiety, provides roughage, slows digestion and reduces hunger, promotes desirable intestinal bacteria, reduces constipation and diverticular diseases, reduces haemorrhoids, bowel cancer and irritable bowel syndrome. It functions in conjunction with the monounsaturated oils, minerals, vitamins and phytonutrients, and plays a role in reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases, cancers and diabetes.
VITAMINS AND MINERALS
Macadamias contain a large range of minerals. They are rich in: Iron, Potassium, Phosphorus, Magnesium and Calcium. They also contain significant levels of: Zinc, Copper and Selenium. The most significant vitamins are: Vitamin E, Thiamine (B1) Riboflavin (B2) and Niacin. Also Pantothenic Acid (B5) and Folate.
These are biologically active components that are protectants of our body systems. Many act as antioxidants, which scavenge the free radicals that oxidize blood fats. They operate as part of complex systems that are only partly understood. They also reduce risk of cancer, boost our immune systems, reduce gene damage and slow the ageing process. Macadamias contain tocopherols and tocotrienols, which are derivatives of Vitamin E, phytosterols such as sitosterol and also selenium. A current research project has shown strong antioxidant activity with the compounds now being identified. It is probable that macadamias contain the phytonutrients classes – phenolic compounds, flavonoids, phytoestrogens, phytic acids, ellargic acid, saponins and lignans.
WILL MACADAMIAS MAKE US FAT ?
‘Good’ fats are essential in a healthy diet. They make food tasty and promote satiety. Monounsaturates may be metabolized differently in the intestine from other fats so that they do not produce ‘fattening’ biochemicals. Providing macadamias are substituted and not in addition to other foods, there is evidence that they will either not contribute to weight gain or will reduce weight. USA studies of frequent tree nut eaters show that they usually weigh less than control patients.
WILL MACADAMIAS MAKE US LIVE FOREVER?
Probably not . . . but you should live longer and enjoy better health . . . PLUS you will have the enjoyment of the flavour and texture of the world’s finest nut !!