During my vacation in Honululu, Hawaii, I wanted to see if I could find local treats that are heart healthy for those of us with high blood pressure. Wandering around in the supermarkets and gift shops, I quickly found that macadamia nuts are a local grown tree nut (apparently they were first grown in Australia). The most common brand in touristy areas seems to be Mauna Loa, and there are many flavor options including Smoked BBQ, Maui Onion and Garlic, Milk Chocolate Covered and so much more!
Of course I personally think it’s okay to sample small amounts of the flavored options, but I was so glad to find that they have a dry roasted and unsalted option! The only ingredient listed is “dry roasted macadamia nuts”! Yay! Why is this important to me? Well, the flavored options often have a lot of added ingredients including salt that wouldn’t be helpful in my low blood pressure journey.
With the unsalted, dry roasted one, I can be more certain that I will be getting the nutritional benefits of the macadamia nut with out worrying about hiking up my blood pressure from a ton of salt! I usually take out a spoonful and then drizzle it very lightly with maple syrup! YUMMMM!
Ok so what are some health benefits for macadamia nuts?!
- Lowers total and LDL cholesterol (low density lipoprotein or casually known as “bad cholesterol”)
- Lowers inflammation and oxidative stress (this protects your cells)
- Lowers high blood pressure
- Lowers triglycerides (excess fat from foods we eat that are stored in our fat cells)
- Helps to improve control of blood sugar levels in Type 2 diabetics. This is important because over time high blood sugar can damage blood vessels.
- Improves digestive health because of its fiber content
Phew! Impressive list, isn’t it?! There are more health benefits, but I’ll stop here for now, so I don’t overwhelm anyone with giant blocks of text!
Be mindful that: although macadamia nuts are healthy, they are high in calories so consume in moderation! I don’t go over a single serving in a day which is about 10 to 12 macadamia nuts.
Next time you travel to Hawaii or you see macadamia nuts on your local supermarket shelves, give them a try! Don’t forget to look for unsalted and dry roasted if possible. Enjoy!
Picture taken by Diana of Heart Happy Adventures