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Macadamia nuts are one of the "healthy nuts". Here are 5 scientific reasons why.

written by

Marie Reedell

posted on

June 28, 2024

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Don't eat a lot of nuts... but maybe you kinda miss them? I know I do. 

It's so much work to soak and dehydrate them at home (to get rid of the antinutrients). It's easier to just not buy them at all. If you want to purchase presoaked nuts, they're hard to find and prices can be crazy. And then of course there are PUFAs to consider.

I mean, don't you wish almonds didn't have a 2010:1 omega 6/3 ratio? Don't you wish walnuts weren't so ridiculously high in PUFAs? Don't you wish Brazil Nuts didn't have so many oxalates?

Enter macadamia nuts...

Macadamia Nuts are low in antinutrients and omega 6. They are a healthy nut.

Check out how they compare to popular nut options:

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I mean, macadamia nuts undoubtedly come out of top.

Avoid antinutrients, PUFAs, and high omega 6 for the best health possible.

Here's an overview of what each is and why you should avoid it:

PUFAs 

PUFAs, or Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids, are a type of fat molecule composed of more than one double bond in their backbone. They are commonly found in many foods, especially vegetable oils like soybean, sunflower, and corn oils. While these fats are essential for our body in certain amounts (since our body can't produce them on its own), the modern Western diet has a disheartening imbalance of these fats, which can have potential health consequences (especially when PUFAs are oxidized): inflammation, oxidative stress, suppressed thyroid function, increased risk of heart diseases and certain cancers, and more.

Lectins

Lectins are part of a plant's defense. It keeps the seeds from being eaten by insects and animals so the plant can reproduce. Lectins are a protein, and they're sticky. They will stick to the intestinal lining and create inflammation and can lead to leaky gut syndrome. Lectins are also associated with insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.

Oxalates

Oxalates are chelators. They bind to calcium and then you (usually) poop them out. If oxalate does not bind to calcium and you don't have enough liquid in your pee, then kidney stones will form. Oxalates can cause stress and cellular damage in your body. They can trigger inflammation, steal minerals, and destroy connective tissue. An oxalate overload can lead to a host of problems like kidney stones, arthritis, joint pain, and osteoporosis.

Phytic Acid

Phytic acid is an antinutrient. It's an organic acid that binds phosphorous within. It's found mostly in the bran or hulls of seeds. Untreated phytic acid can combine with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc in the intestinal tract and block their absorption. This is why a diet high in improperly prepared nuts and whole grains may lead to serious mineral deficiencies and bone loss. The modern misguided practice of consuming large amounts of unprocessed bran often improves colon transit time at first but may lead to irritable bowel syndrome and, in the long term, many other adverse effects.

Omega 6/3 Ratio

Omega 3 and omega 6 are essential fatty acids (also in the PUFA category) necessary for your health, and they can only be obtained through food. But, when eaten out of proportion, it can cause a plethora of chronic health issues: inflammation, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, arthritis, asthma, depression, fatigue... the list goes on and on. The modern American diet typically provides a shocking 20:1 omega 6/3 ratio. But, humans should eat a 1:1-4:1 ratio. We can only do this by being aware of our food choices.

Soaking nuts can remove antinutrients... but it's time consuming.

Soaking nuts, grains, seeds, and beans has been commonplace in indigenous cultures around the world for thousands of years. It's just what they do. It's likely a result of paying close attention to how your body feels (which is sadly getting lost in the modern word --- there's a pill for that, right?). 

Antinutrients are naturally in a nut for preservation. It helps prevent sprouting until the conditions are right - moist, warm, and slightly acidic. Proper preparation of nuts imitates the process that slowly occurs in nature (more on that below).

How to soak nuts:

  1. Put raw nuts in warm, salted water. You can add a little lemon juice or fermented whey to make the water acidic, too.
  2. Let them soak. The more the antinutrients, the longer you need to soak them to remove 100% of the antinutrients. Almonds should be soaked for a 8-24 hours. But, macadamia nuts only need 1-2 hours of soaking because of the low levels of antinutrients. Once soaked, you can eat them wet. Make hummus or add them to sauces. You can also re-dry them back into a crunchy nut for storage or snacking. 
  3. To dehydrate, spread the nuts on a tray (salting them if you'd like) and keep them between 110-150F. This can be in an oven, a dehydrator, or in the sun! This should take 12-24 hours. You know they're done when they're completely dry and crispy.
  4. Store in an airtight container.

The process of soaking nuts neutralizes phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors. Vitamin content increases, particularly B vitamins. Tannins, complex sugars, gluten and other difficult-to-digest substances are partially broken down into simpler components that are more readily available for absorption.

In short, soaking nuts makes them more nutritious!

Miller's is now offering Raw Hawaiian Macadamia Nuts

We have a direct connection with Ohana Farms, on the big island of Hawaii. They absolutely share our values. The use organic and regenerative farming practices and have an extreme attention to detail. They carefully dehydrate the nuts low and slow to preserve all of the nutrition.

We'll offer raw Hawaiian macadamia nuts for a limited time. If you love them and order them regularly (which I hope you do), we'll keep them around. So, if you're interested, add some to your next order now!

Mmmm... nothing beats the earthy flavor and crunch of a nut.

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References

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