Health & Nutrition

Crunchy, creamy and luxuriously delicious; macadamia nuts are healthier than you might think. The idea that nuts are fattening came from the mistaken idea that foods with naturally high oil content cause weight gain. Studies have shown that including low GI (glycemic index) nuts in a healthy kilojoule-controlled eating plan, combined with regular moderate exercise, can actually help with weight loss by curbing your appetite. 

Not all fats are created equal.

Nuts contain good unsaturated fats and don’t increase blood glucose and insulin levels that cause hunger. The macadamia is one of very few plants to include Omega 7, a monounsaturated fatty acid. These healthy oils, combined with fibre and small amounts of plant sterols, help maintain good cholesterol levels, healthy blood vessels and optimal blood supply throughout the whole body, including the brain.

They also contain Omega 3 – an essential fatty acid with a wide range of health benefits, including lowering your risk of cancer, osteoporosis, arthritis and migraine headaches.

High in antioxidants, macadamias have the Heart Foundation’s (Australia) coveted Tick of Approval. Antioxidants are part of your body’s natural defence system and they work by de-activating potentially harmful substances, called free-radicals, that damage cells and are thought to contribute to the development of chronic disease.

Macadamia nuts are an easy solution to boosting your digestive health and keeping you regular. Macadamias contain about 2g of fibre per 30g serve, which is similar to a slice of wholemeal bread.  

Vitamins and minerals

Macadamias like other plant foods contain a wide range of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Just a handful (30g) of raw, unsalted macadamias (15 whole or 30 halves) provides you with:

  • 1/3 of your daily thiamine (vitamin B1), an important vitamin for releasing the energy from food, and necessary for normal functioning of the heart and nervous system.
  • ¼ of your daily manganese, a trace element important for antioxidant defences, bone health and normal metabolism.
  • 12% of your daily magnesium for electrolyte balance, nerve and muscle function and bone strength.
  • 9% of your daily iron for healthy blood and energy levels
  • 8% of your daily niacin for a healthy nervous system, releasing energy from food and good skin structure and function
  • 8% of your daily copper for antioxidant protection, immune system function and healthy looking skin and hair.
  • 1016 kilojoules
  • 24.4 grams fat total
  • 32.7mg of Omega 3 as ALA
  • 2.6 grams carbohydrates
  • 2.1 grams of dietary fibre

Macadamias pack a serious punch when it comes to essential nutrients – you can read more in the table below.  

Enjoy macadamias, knowing that every handful is doing you good!

Vitamins and minerals in macadamias, versus daily recommendations

Raw, unsalted macadamias Per 30g serve Per 100g Recommended daily intake Percent of daily intake per serve
Sodium (mg) 0.5 1.4 1600mg (SDT) 0%
Potassium (mg) 135 410 4700mg (SDT) 3%
Magnesium (mg) 39 130 320mg (RDI) 12%
Calcium (mg) 25.5f 85.0 800mg (RDI) 5%
Iron (mg) 1.1 3.7 12mg (RDI) 9%
Zinc (mg) 0.4 1.3 12mg (RDI) 3%
Thiamin, B1 (mg) 0.4 1.2 1.1mg (RDI) 33%
Riboflavin, B2 (mg) 0.05 0.16 1.7mg (RDI) 3%
Niacin (mg) 0.8 2.5 10mg (RDI) 8%
Folate (µg) 3.3 11 200ug (RDI) 2%
Pantothenic acid (mg) 0.2 0.76 5mg (RDI) 4%
Vitamin B61 (mg) 0.08 0.28 1.6mg (RDI) 5%
Vitamin E1 (mg) 0.15 0.5 10mg (RDI) 1.5%
Copper (mg)2 0.23 0.76 3mg (RDI) 8%
Manganese 1 (mg)2 1.2 4.13 5mg (RDI) 25%
Selenium 1 (µg)2 1.1 3.6 70mg (RDI) 1.6%
Arginine 1 (g) 0.4 1.40 N/A N/A
Plant sterols (mg) 35 116 N/A N/A
Antioxidant Capacity (ORAC- umol TE)2 559 1695 N/A N/A

DATA SOURCES: NUTTAB, except for

  1. USDA Standard Release No. 23, 2010
  2. USDA Database for the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of Selected Foods, Release 2

%DI is Percentage daily intakes, based on an average adult diet of 8700 kJ. Your daily intakes may be higher or lower depending upon your energy needs. RDI for vitamins are based on the FSANZ RDI: Recommended Dietary Intake (where available); OR Australian Nutrient Reference Values (NRVs) including Suggested Dietary Target (SDT).

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