Live Superfoods Macadamia Nuts, Organic, 12 oz
- USDA Organic
Live Superfoods Raw Macadamia Nuts
Rich and crunchy air-dried macadamia nuts. What’s not to love? Research tells us that raw macadamias are a healthy snack choice. They’re chock full of minerals, vitamins, and heart healthy fats. Let’s take a closer look below.
Macadamia nuts contain the highest amount of beneficial monounsaturated fats of any known nut, the same type of healthy fats which are also found in olive oil and avocados. There is a general consensus among health professionals that the Mediterranean Diet is healthier than the American diet because more grains, such as pasta and couscous, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and olive oil are consumed. The percentage of the good, monounsaturated fats in macadamias is nearly double that of almonds.
Macadamia nuts contain a wide range of minerals, with high levels of potassium, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium in particular. Smaller amounts of selenium, sodium, iron, manganese, copper and zinc are also present.
Potassium is a very important mineral for the proper function of all cells, tissues, and organs in the human body. It is also an electrolyte, a substance that conducts electricity in the body, along with sodium, chloride, calcium, and magnesium. Potassium is crucial to heart function and plays a key role in skeletal and smooth muscle contraction, also making it important for normal digestive and muscular function.
Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body. It is essential for the development and maintenance of strong bones and teeth, the location of about 99% of the body's calcium. Calcium also helps the heart, nerves, muscles, and other body systems work properly. It is probably best known for its effects in preventing osteoporosis. The human body needs several other nutrients in order for calcium to be absorbed and used properly, including magnesium, phosphorous, and especially vitamins D and K.
Phosphorus: Next to calcium, phosphorus is the most abundant mineral in the body. These two important nutrients work closely together to build strong bones and teeth. About 85% of phosphorus in the body can be found in bones and teeth, but it is also present in cells and tissues throughout the body. Phosphorus helps filter out waste in the kidneys and plays an essential role in how the body stores and uses energy. It also helps reduce muscle pain after a hard workout. Phosphorus is needed for the growth, maintenance, and repair of all tissues and cells, and for the production of the genetic building blocks, DNA and RNA.
Magnesium: Every organ in the body, especially the heart, muscles, and kidneys, needs the mineral magnesium. Most important, it activates enzymes, contributes to energy production, and helps regulate calcium levels as well as copper, zinc, potassium, vitamin D, and other important nutrients in the body.
Selenium is an essential mineral found in trace amounts in the body. It works as an antioxidant, especially when combined with vitamin E, by scavenging damaging particles in the body known as free radicals. Free radicals can damage cell membranes and DNA, and may contribute to aging and a number of conditions, including heart disease and cancer.
Selenium also plays a role in thyroid function and is needed for the immune system to work properly. People with a number of conditions, ranging from rheumatoid arthritis to some types of cancer, often have low levels of selenium. However, in most cases scientists aren't sure whether low selenium levels are a cause or an effect of the disease.
Macadamia nuts have an impressive line-up of vitamins as well, including vitamin E, thiamin (B-1), pantothenic acid (B-5), B-6, riboflavin (B-2), niacin and folate.
Vitamin E acts as an important antioxidant, protecting cell walls and red blood cells.
Vitamin B-1 is a co-enzyme important in releasing energy from carbohydrates.
Vitamin B-5 promotes a healthy nervous system and releases energy.
Vitamin B-6 is involved with protein metabolism and is more important in pregnancy, the elderly and with moderate alcohol consumption.
Vitamin B-2 is important in growth of new tissues, healthy skin and eyes.
Niacin converts food into energy and promotes healthy skin.
Folate assists in forming red blood cells and in utilization of protein. It is regarded as essential in pregnancy in minimizing birth defects.
Antioxidants are scavengers of free radicals and play a significant role in protecting living systems from oxidation and damage. They may minimize degenerative diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and others. Macadamias contain a range of antioxidants including Vitamin E as tocopherols and tocotrienol, epicatechin [which is the principle antioxidant in tea], the amino acids methionine and cysteine and selenium. Other antioxidants have been detected in lesser amounts.
Macadamias also contain phytosterols [plant sterols] which are believed to lower total serum cholesterol and the undesirable low density cholesterol. Macadamias contain a range of sterols constituents, of which sitosterol is the most significant.
The University of Newcastle has recently completed a dietary study on the health benefit of macadamia nuts. It demonstrated a significant improvement in markers for oxidative stress, clotting tendency and inflammation. Persons with elevated cholesterol levels showed an improvement in cholesterol and blood fats. These people also had a slight weight reduction despite an increase in the total amount of fat consumed.
Separate dietary trials in Australia and Hawaii with macadamia nuts have demonstrated a significant reduction in total blood serum cholesterol, a reduction in total blood triglycerides, reduction of the undesirable low density cholesterol and with little or no effect on the desirable high density cholesterol. These are all recognized indicators for the risk of heart disease. A range of tree nuts including macadamias have been shown to lower blood pressure in hypertensive people.