Thousands of years before the Europeans arrived in Australia, the aborigines were already consuming this nut which they call boombera. The native nut grew in the rainforest of the Great Dividing Range. In 1828, a European explorer named Allan Cunningham, who came to Australia, discovered the nut. The recorded history of macadamia started in 1843 by Ludwig Leichhardt, a German explorer who brought a sample to Melbourne. In 1858, the nut was named in honor of Dr. John MacAdam, who was then secretary of the Philosophical institute of Australia. Macadamia was introduced to Hawaii in 1882 where the nut became very popular. Hawaii is currently the biggest producer, with an estimated 90% of the world’s supply.
Macadamia tree grows in the tropical climates of Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and Brazil. It can grow to a height of 15 meters. It takes around seven years to reach its maturity and begin to produce fruits. The tree would bear a cream-white flower racemes which develop into hard round shell. The kernel is white in color and buttery smooth and has a sweet, delicate flavor and its texture is wonderfully crunchy. Of the seven species of this nut grown all over the globe, only two are edible and grown in farms worldwide, the Macadamia tetraphylla with its rough shell and the Macadamia integrifolia with smooth shell. Who are the two largest consumer of macadamia in the world? U.S. and Japan!
Let’s have more about this superfood. What many people consider as the most delicious nut in the world is also a powerhouse of nutrition and health benefits. It is filled with vitamin A, E and B complex, vital minerals which includes manganese, zinc, calcium and iron. This nut also steaming with dietary fibers to provide you roughage and reduce constipation. It comes high with antioxidants to protect your body cells from free radicals.
Macadamia nut is high in monounsaturated fatty acids or the “good fat” and have proven its ability to reduce cholesterol levels. It is higher in fat and lower in protein than almond, and cashews. It can deliver a good supply of Phytosterols that is proven to lower cholesterol, prevent production, growth and spread of cancer cells, as well as encouraging the creation of collagen for skin protection. It is your best source for instant energy. It contains no cholesterol and it is gluten free which makes it great for individuals with celiac disease or with wheat-gluten allergy. Its high concentration of omega-7 or palmitolic acid makes macadamia an important ingredient in most skin care and cosmetic products.
What you need for a healthy diet can be found in this nut. Sometimes, great things do come in small packages. Taking macadamia as food is safe for most people, even as medicine. Also safe for pregnant and nursing women but not in large medicinal amount. Allergy to this nut is quite rare.
Macadamia food fact: Of all known nuts, Macadamia have the hardest shell. 300 PSI is needed to crack it open.
Be fit. Eat well. Enjoy life.
Photo by: http://echolife.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/macadamia_nuts.jpg