Macadamia – one of the Australian miracles
Little macadamia nuts, came to us from Australian continent, and are often called king of nuts, and the ground is that this is the most expensive nut in the world. It owes its name botanist Ferdinand von Mueller, who was first to describe the plants of Macadamia family and who named it in honor of his colleague chemist John Macadam.
Macadamia – is not the only name of Australian tree. Local aboriginals, for whom the nut served as one of the main foods, called it mullimbeeby, gyndl-gyndl, boombera and these old names were kept for a long time along with scientific. Only in1930, when Australian Association of macadamia admirers was created the plant was started to be called macadamia.
Macadamia – is an evergreen tree, reaching 15 meters in height with smooth coriaceous leaves and long catkins of creamy or pink flowers, resembling spikes. Local bees make magnificent honey from sweet-scented flowers. The tree usually start bearing fruits after living seven years, the nuts are most often ripen from March till September, but sometimes trees give crops all around the year.
Macadamia nuts look like and taste like hazelnut: of a spherical form, about 2cm in diameter, covered with green-brownish firm shell. The core of the nut is very difficultly separated from the shell, according to which there is even a myth that macadamia nut stands the weight of a car. However, this is an exaggeration, and nuts are extracted from their shells in industrial way, by grinding them in a number of mechanical cylinders.
About gold nuts and “nuts’ business”
When first Europeans appeared in Australia, tasty macadamia was at once to their taste and it became almost the only currency in trading with local people. But, as far as nuts were gathered by hand, their number couldn’t meet quickly growing appetites of European and American gourmets. The cost of nuts was very high, but in spite of that, a real hunt began for macadamias.
The situation changed only in the early 60th of the last century, when a special machine made for gathering of this Australian miracle was invented by Australian scientists. Within eight hours this mechanism gathered up to 3 tons of macadamia nuts. The development of ‘nut industry’ of Australia was also caused by the fact that the government didn’t tax any investment and scientific studies in area of cultivating, harvesting and keeping nuts, and many Australians have started investing money into nut business.
In 1970 in state of Queensland there were planted about eighty thousands nut-groves, after which macadamia received one more name – Queensland nut. Thanks to the planted areas inhabitants of Australia had already harvested 70 tons of nuts – unprecedented crops for that time, the main part of which was exported.
Today macadamia plantations are in many regions with tropical climate among which are – Brazil, Hawaii, California, Southern Africa, but the largest exporter of the nut is still Australia where they annually harvest 40 thousand tons of nuts ‘”gold nuts”. Despite this fact, demand for the nut remains very high, and today it keeps being the most expensive nut dainties in the world: in its homeland 2.20 pounds of macadamia costs more than 30 USD.
Fatty nuts – for health or slenderness?
People are ready to pay such a high price for macadamia fruits not only because they aren’t grown enough or hardly taken out of their shell. Local tribes of Australia not in vain considered nuts to be sacred, using them for headaches, exhaustion and bones illnesses.
Later conducted scientific studies showed that little nut – is a pantry of useful vitamins and trace elements. It contains almost all vitamins, trace elements, fats, proteins and amino acids needed for normal vital activity.
Macadamia – is one of the fattiest nuts, however the fat is made of monounsaturated fatty acids, protecting cells of blood vessels from damages and preventing atherosclerosis. While containing useful fats macadamia almost outstrips all their sources.
Compare content of monounsaturated acids in 3.53 oz. of nuts, considered to be leaders:
▪ Macadamia – 2.04 oz
▪ Hazelnut – 1.66 oz
▪ Walnut – 0.35 oz
The macadamia nut – is a reach source of zinc and manganese. If we recall that zinc provides normal formation of spermatozoons, and their activity as well, than we make sure once again that the price of nuts is not so big. Isn’t it?
Nutrients contained in macadamia help to remove superfluous cholesterol from the body, lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases and even some kinds of oncology. Nuts are recommended to be used for food while having tonsillitis, different forms of arthritis, varicose veins, migraines and also predisposition to timorous diseases.
Big nuts are usually used in confectionery: they are dried and covered with chocolate or caramel. And small and grinded macadamia fruits are used for decorating of salads, desserts, seafood dishes. Lovers of refined beverages claim that nuts perfectly set off the taste of coffee and sherry.
Oil of nuts – for skin and hair
In our latitudes the Australian nuts are still not frequent guest, but their name, is nevertheless a household name thanks to cosmetic agents with macadamia oil on the basis.
This fatty substance is got through cold pressing, and it preserves all useful properties of nuts. The oil contains unique palmitic acid, which is part of human skin, but practically is not found in other plants. In its properties the macadamia oil is close to adipose fat and vegetable wax, which are very difficult to be obtained in nature. Besides, there is a high consistence of selenium, zinc, potassium, other minerals, vitamins and fatty acids in macadamia’s fat.
So, leading cosmetic companies include macadamia oil into fabulous skin care and hair agents, into content of expensive cosmetics. It is easily absorbed, without corking up pores, has nourishing, softening, moisturizing effect on skin, is indispensable for dry, fading, rough skin.
It’s is known, that macadamia’s fat recovers sun burnt skin, helps to cure scars after operations and is a safe skin defender from harmful impact of the environment. By that the oil doesn’t give any side effects.
Shampoos in which macadamia’s husks are contained, run through the hair follicle well, nourishing hair roots, strengthening their structure and renewing natural shine. Thanks to this macadamia products are used in many caring dyes for hair.
At home you may use macadamia oil for peeling and nourishing of the skin. For that you should drip several drops onto moisturized with warm water and squeezed cosmetic cotton pad, and then carefully wipe the face with it. The massage of hairy part of the head with macadamia oil, mixed with other suitable oil: burdock oil, jojoba etc. has well proved itself.
In spite of the fact that the nut is of very high calorie (in 3.53oz of nuts – 700kcal), regular usage of macadamia helps to preserve normal weight. Agree, not many, even the most useful fats can boast of being the basis of a diet. Meanwhile, there is a so-called Hampton’s diet, which was called the healthiest in many investigations. Generally, Hampton’s diet – is a variant of famous Mediterranean diet, where olive oil is substituted for macadamia oil, containing a third more useful monosaturated fatty acids than olive one.
Contradictory evidence for using macadamia is only idiosyncrasy that is practically no contraindications exist. It goes without saying that in case of keeping measure.
It’s interesting to know that such useful for human body nut has absolutely inexplicable effect on our little brothers – dogs. Even a small dose of nuts causes severe intoxication of dogs. The animal weakens a lot during 12 hours, can’t stand up. But, in two days dogs usually gain their previous form.
How to select and keep macadamia nuts
When buying the nuts you should choose vacuum container, paying attention to application time and quality of nuts. The nuts should be bright and shining, shouldn’t have a rancid smell.
Like any nuts macadamia quickly absorbs outsider smells, and the fat contained in nuts may become rancid in room conditions. So you should keep nuts in hermetically closing container, and better – in a can with a ground-in lid in fridge.
Be healthy and beautiful!
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