This is my second post on the healthy oil series – Read the previous post on Olive oil here. I have been reading about the benefits of Macadamia nut oil a lot recently. I had given up on the Macadamia nut after an article I read about a year and half ago that called the nut with not many nutrients and full of fats. It was rated as the least useful of the 6 or 7 nuts profiles in this category. I put it in my list of decadent nuts until I read about Macadamia nut oil and it benefits. It made sense to me as nothing from nature has absolutely no benefit.
What is it?
It is oil extracted from the nut meat of the Macadamia tree. This nut (and tree) natively grows in Australia as well as Brazil, Hawaii and other places. The Macadamia nut trees, Macadamia integrifolia, prefer volcanic soil in more of a tropical climate. The nut has a number of nutrients and the extracted oil has a number of anti-oxidants and is rich in monounsaturated fats. The oil itself is clear, with a light yellow color and a distinctive nutty odor. It is tasty, IMHO!
What are its benefits?
- Heart and Head friendly:Since the oil is rich in monounsaturated fats(including Omega 3, 6), it helps in the lowering of the LDL cholesterol (bad) and helps in the maintenance of HDL (good) cholesterol. This oil may reduce the risk of heart problems and stroke.
- As a beauty oil: Since the oil does not oxidise easily and has a rich, buttery feel on the skin it is used in creams and sunblocks. Full of anti-oxidants and the high fat content, it may help keep the skin supple and soft. Also, loaded with Vitamin E, It may be the youth tonic I was searching for :). Btw, it is supposed to be also good for the hair and nails, although I have not tried it yet.
- As a cooking oil: Since the oil can withstand high temperatures(smoke point at about 425 F) and has a great flavor, it is a good choice for cooking especially frying or sautéing. This oil also has a high shell life of almost 2 years.
I use it in my morning omelets almost every other day and am trying to integrate it in my diet. While it is more expensive than other alternatives, it has become a regular in my kitchen.
Next post on healthy oils will be on Red palm oil – Happy Saturday!
– Gary Saggu