Tired? Stressed? Always hungry? Eating more macadamias might be the answer!
What we eat has a huge influence on how we feel. This is great news, especially if you feel tired, grumpy or unable to concentrate, because it means the power to fix how you feel is in your fridge, pantry or freezer.
Nuts, like macadamias, pack a nutritional punch for anyone wanting to eat a healthy diet. Macadamias are nutrient-dense morsels packed with plenty of fibre, good fats, micronutrients and antioxidants. These essential nutrients combine in complex ways to keep you happy and healthy. For instance, the fibre in nuts and nut skins helps promote good gut health. This is essential for digestion, but scientists are now learning just how important it is for our physical and mental well being too. A healthy gut can influence hormones that affect weight management, appetite, blood sugar levels and the immune system70. And that is just where the benefits begin!
So are you getting enough nuts in your diet? You could be one of the 98% of Australians that don’t eat the recommended daily intake of nuts.
Here are five important signs that you might need more nuts in your life:
A new Australian study has found eating nuts may increase cognitive function in healthy older adults. Cognitive functions are the mental processes that allow us to receive, select, store, transform, develop, and recover information that we've received from external stimuli. This process allows us to understand and to relate to the world so we are more effective at learning, thinking, reasoning, remembering, problem solving, decision making, and paying attention.
This new study was conducted by a team at Deakin University in Victoria and recently published in the journal BMC Geriatrics. Using measures such as immediate and delayed recall, verbal fluency, and processing speed and attention, the study found that cognitive scores were higher in people with a moderate intake of nuts compared to those who didn’t eat nuts at all.
So if you find yourself struggling with the mental load of modern life, a healthy handful of 15-30g of macadamias might be just what you need.
If you find that you are getting peckish between meals, it might be a sign that you should add macadamias to your menu. Macadamias are a potent combination of protein, healthy fats and dietary fibre that help you feel fuller for longer. They are digested slowly with minimal impact on blood glucose levels. Adding macadamias to your breakfast, lunch and dinner packs extra nutrients into your meals, but macadamias are also a great on-the-go snack. They give you the slow-burn energy-boost that you need between meals.
Nuts like macadamias are a great protein for people who want to reduce their meat intake, but don’t want to sacrifice flavour. Not only do macadamias provide essential protein, they contain a bounty of other micronutrients that are commonly found in meat, like magnesium, thiamin, iron and copper.
If you are struggling to get enthusiastic about your meat-free options, the texture of macadamias might be the answer. The best thing about these nuts as a meat substitute is their unique soft crunch. Unlike some other substitutes, this hearty mouthfeel is truly satisfying for carnivores who struggle to find recipes for a meat-free Monday.
BMI (Body Mass Index) is a simple way to understand whether or not you are in a healthy weight range for your height. A BMI above 25 is a sign of being overweight. Above 30 is considered obese. Doctors now combine BMI with waist circumference to get a better picture of a person’s disease risk from their weight. Online body mass calculators are available to do the complex calculations that can tell you your BMI score.
18As a healthy wholefood, they also help you to keep your weight under control by helping you feel fuller for longer so you don’t reach for highly processed snacks that can lead to weight gain.If you are overweight, it could be a sign that you should include nuts into a healthy eating routine. One well-known, five-year study called the PREDIMED Trial found eating nuts as part of a balanced diet resulted in a reduction in participants’ waist circumference18. As a healthy wholefood, they also help you to keep your weight under control by helping you feel fuller for longer so you don’t reach for highly processed snacks that can lead to weight gain.
Macadamias are known as a good mood food. The copper, magnesium and manganese in macadamias help maintain our neurotransmitters (chemicals that send signals around the brain) that are essential for good mental health and their fibre contributes to a healthy gut, that can also help with mental wellbeing. There is an increasing body of research that shows a Mediterranean style diet that includes regular nut consumption has a significant impact on reducing the symptoms of depression29. If you find yourself in need of a pick me up it could be a sign that you need to incorporate a healthy handful of macadamias into your diet.
We know nut consumption is associated with a range of health benefits, so get creative and start enjoying more macadamias in your life.