Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Hawaii’s wonderful tropical tree nut

When we first visited Hawaii, we were surprised to find macadamia nuts on everything: fish, pancakes, pastries, and sugar coated like a candy. The rich buttery flavor was delicious and we could not get enough of them until all the fiber and oil in the nuts had an effect on our lower intestines.

On subsequent visits we made sure to eat them in moderation. Now living on Hawaii Island, macadamia nuts are an enjoyable part of our diet.  Though macadamia nuts are relatively high in calories (200 calories per ounce ) we find just a handful is satisfying, perhaps because of the fiber content (2 grams per ounce).

Since we are  focused on our diet, we were delighted to find that macadamia nuts are very nutritious. The nuts contain Vitamin B-6, thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin. They also have moderate amounts of zinc, copper, iron, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, manganese, and magnesium as well as small amounts of fat-soluble vitamin-A, and vitamin E. Macadamia nuts even have antioxidants like polyphenols, Amino acids, flavones and selenium.

Another great thing about the tropical macadamia nut is that it has one of the best Omega 3 to Omega 6 fatty acid ratio of any tree nut.  Most tree nuts and vegetable oils have primarily Omega 6 fatty acids, which causes inflammation if eaten in too great a quantity.

The macadamia nut is also a great source of healthy mono-unsaturated fatty acids, notably oleic and palmitoleic fatty acids. These oils are great for your skin and your lungs.

On Hawaii Island, macadamia nut plantations are plentiful and the nuts are sold all over the island.  We get them from local farms without salt or sugar.  The oil is a tasty replacement for olive oil on salads and macadamia nut butter is a great alternative to almond butter.  We grind the nuts into a flour to use in crusts and biscuits.

The tropical macadamia nut is another amazing food grown in Hawaii with high nutritional value and great taste that helps keep us healthy and happy.

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