Just hearing the word “macadamia” makes my mouth water. Now that I have tasted macadamia oil, I don’t know that my refrigerator will ever be without some on it’s shelf. Beside the buttery flavor and silky texture, macadamia oil boasts anti-inflammatory properties that are appealing to both the taste buds and the tissue.
While I don’t discriminate against any one food group, I do try to moderate the consumption of overly inflammatory food groups. For all of the beneficial qualities in nuts, they also happen to have relatively high levels of inflammatory Omega-6 oils, which can be problematic when “healthy alternative” recipes call for literally hundreds of nuts in the form of nut flour, nut butter or even highly processed nut oil. Fortunately, not all nuts are as inflammatory as others and it just so happens that macadamia nuts saved some room in their breeches for some very protective compounds.
Besides boasting high levels of the ANTI-inflammatory Omega 3 fatty acids, macadamia nuts also contain significant amounts of a naturally occurring antioxidant: Squalene. Squalene’s major role in the macadamia nut is to prevent oxidative damage. Practically, this means the macadamia nut (and its oil) can withstand high temperatures making it a valuable asset to your culinary regime. In one test, macadamia oil bested rice bran oil, walnut oil, sesame oil, almond oil, avocado oil, grapeseed oil, and hazelnut oil in an oxidative potential test. Of all the seed and nut oils, macadamia oil withstood temperatures up to 250°F without significant oxidation. It also excelled at the shelf stability test, as the only oil tested that exceeded the manufacturer’s “best-before” date.
Squalene is also present in human skin surface lipids and has the capacity to protect us from sun-induced skin damage as well as synthesize vitamin D. Therefore, by eating a squalene-rich food, you will be supplying your tissue with the defence it needs as you enjoy the sunshine.
Macadamia nut oil + sun exposure = skin protection
While the role of squalene in the skin is protection, the role You don’t have to just eat or cook with macadamia oil to enjoy its protective benefits. Directly applied to the skin, macadamia oil has the capacity to confer similar antioxidant support by enriching the skin with its high levels of antioxidant vitamin E. Sauteed with vegetables, swirled into a dressing or slathered onto skin, macadamia oil might just be the best sunscreen you have ever savored as you play in the last rays of summer sun.
What is your favorite way to eat macadamia nuts?