In the 1850’s, a German-Australian physician and botanist called Ferdinand von Mueller discovered the macadamia nut and decided to name the genus after a colleague. His name was John Macadam. Von Mueller was a noted chemist and physician who encouraged macadamia nut cultivation. The genus is from the tree family_ Proteaceae_. They are were mainly found in Australia with a species or two growing in Indonesia and New Caledonia. Nowadays, most macadamia plantations thrive in Hawaii. Other names include Queensland nut, bush nut, maroochi nut, bauple nut, and Hawaii nut. In Australian Aboriginal languages, the fruit is known by names such as bauple,gyndl,jindilli,kindal kindal and boombera.
Even before the arrival of scientists who discovered the plant species, the aboriginals of Australia knew of the nuts existence. They would use stones to crack the nuts open. Early settlers to Australia noticed all the macadamia shells strewn about.
Macadamia nuts are often eaten, raw, roasted & salted, or coated in chocolate. Whichever way they are eaten, macadamia nuts provide great nutritional value.
Many recipes have incorporated macadamia nuts. They are very popular in desserts. They are baked into different kinds of bread and are added to the flavoring in a variety of pastries such as cookies and brownies. Their healthy attributes tend to balance out the sweets in the rest of the food.
The macadamia nut is small and rich in oil. There are only two edible species. One is called Macadamia tetraphylla. This has four leaves, and the shell has a rough texture. The other is called Macadamia integrifolia. It has more leaves and shells with a smooth texture. It is the latter that is best known primarily because of commercial promotions.
Although the presence of a large amount of oil puts many people off, much of the oil in macadamia nuts is actually healthy. It consists of mono-saturated fat. This is the kind of fat that is good for the body when eaten in proper amounts. However, it is suggested that daily fat intake should be no more than 35 percent of the day’s total calorie consumption.
The oil from macadamia nuts is extracted and used in cooking. It is preferred among chefs because it is healthier than the usual oil used in cooking. Macadamia oil tastes great, and it is low in carbohydrates.
Macadamia nuts are a great source of vitamin E that is best known as an antioxidant. This will help prevent unhealthy cells from growing inside the body. This will fight off the factors that cause heart problems and stroke.
People are always worried about their cholesterol levels rising. The kind of fat that comes from macadamia oil will actually lower cholesterol levels. It will strengthen the immune system and reduce risks pertaining to cardiovascular diseases.
Macadamia nuts have a high vitamin B content. This is significant for both metabolic and growth processes. It also shows the nutritional value of the nuts because metabolism will function more effectively with proper sources of nutrition like macadamia nuts.
Vitamin B1 or thiamine is responsible for the body’s ability to transform carbohydrates into energy. Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine is important for brain development. It creates the neurotransmitters that allow the body to function as a one system with all of the parts in sync.
Macadamia nuts contain potassium. Potassium is a necessary element that our body needs to perform specific functions. It works alongside pyridoxine in developing neurotransmitters for muscle activity. A deficiency in this will mean limited or no muscle control. Potassium is also needed to make people’s bones sturdier and stronger.
Because of its nutritional value, macadamia nut oil is now sold as a dietary supplement. The oil extracted has been put into capsules so that people can benefit from it in healthy doses.
Macadamia nuts also provide an excellent moisturizer. Lotions have been developed using the oil to help prevent dry skin. It is also reported to soften the skin and minimize the appearance of wrinkles. It is slowly becoming sought after in beauty products.
Lotions are not the only beauty product macadamia nuts have been used in. The oil has already been introduced in many hair products. It has also been used in manufacturing bar soaps as well as liquid gels and facial scrubs.
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