Is Macadamia Nut (called " Hawaii Nut" in Chinese ) Native to Hawaii?
The Introduction of Macadamia Nut
Macadamia nut is native to Australia, also called “Australia Tree Nut” or “Volcano Beans” in Chinese. Hawaii is one of the main places which yield macadamia nuts, but it is not the native place. In the beginning, Australia did not start to plant macadamia commercially. Smart Businessman in the United States started to plant macadamia trees in Hawaii widely, and sold these delicious nuts to the tourist who thought macadamia was local species in Hawaii, so called it as the Hawaiian nut. The epicarp of macadamia nut is green, and the endocarp is hard and brown. Macadamia nut is extremely rich in nutrients with oil content about 70% and protein about 9% in weight, contains in minerals and vitamins, including calcium, phosphorus, iron, vitamin B1, B2 and amino acids. It is also known as the "Queen of Nuts".
The Species of Macadamia Nuts
Macadamia nut is native to Queensland and New South Wales in Australia. It is now mainly produced in the United States and Australia, but the yield is the highest in Australia. Only two species can be eaten raw with cultivated value, ie, coarse shell species and round shell species, but there are a lot of hybrid species. The yield and oil content of coarse shell are lower than that of the round shell species. The product texture and flavor of the coarse shell macadamia nut is not as good as the round shell macadamia nut, and processed products of the coarse shell species turn brown easily, but the sugar content is higher than the round shell species. Therefore, the round shell species are recommended to plant commercially currently.
Nutritional Value of Macadamia Nuts
- Brain cells are composed of 60% of unsaturated fatty acids and 35% of the protein. Therefore, the unsaturated fatty acids are the main nutrient for the brain development. Macadamia nut contains large amounts of unsaturated fatty acids, also contains 15 to 20% of high-quality protein and a dozen of essential amino acids, these amino acids are the main component of brain cells. Macadamia nut also contains vitamins B1, B2, B6, vitamin E, calcium, phosphorus, iron and zinc those are also beneficial to brain cells. Therefore, macadamia nuts are good for brain cells, especially good for pregnant women and young children.
- Macadamia nut is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids. These natural vegetable oils with monounsaturated fatty acids, not only cholesterol-free, but also can reduce blood LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) levels, while maintaining or even increasing HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) levels. This is also why macadamia nut can prevent heart diseases.