Nuts and seeds constitute some of the most nutritionally concentrated kinds of food available. Most nuts, when left in the shell have a remarkably long shelf-life, and can be conveniently be stored for later use.
Macadamia integriflora (family Proteaceae) is an endemic Australian plant traditionally used by Australian aborigines as a food. Its nuts are known to keep well for a long time which raises the possibility that macadamia nuts may contain antimicrobial compounds and therefore may have value as a functional food to delay spoilage and prevent food poisoning, as well as potential medicinal antibiotic uses.
Research published in the Pharmacognosy Communications Journal found that, the lack of toxicity of the macadamia extracts and their inhibitory bioactivity against a panel of bacteria and fungi demonstrate their potential as food additives to inhibit bacterial spoilage and food borne illnesses without the need for chemical preservative additives. Furthermore, macadamia extracts also have promise as antimicrobial agents for medicinal purposes*.
*Boyer, H., and Cock. "Evaluation of the Potential of Macadamia Integriflora Extracts as Antibacterial Food Agents." Pharmacognosy Communications 3.3 (2013): 53-62.
Macadamia nuts are one of the richest in fat: they contain about 75% fat, especially rich in beneficial monounsaturated fats and omega acids which have been shown to decrease plasma cholesterol levels. The macadamia nut oil is also a highly desirable ingredient in the cosmetics and skin care products.
Currently, macadamia trees are growing commercially in Australia, Brazil, Bolivia, Columbia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Kenya, Malawi, Mexico, New Zealand and South Africa.
Food rich in omega 9, such as the macadamias, have demonstrated positive effects when introduced as part of a balanced diet to treat obesity. Despite the high caloric value of macadamias, they are successful in lowering the overall caloric intake because they create a feeling of satiety.
Macadamias are a highly anti-inflammatory nut contributing to overall wellbeing due to the high monounsaturated fat content. People suffering from arthritis have reported improvements after incorporating macadamias into their diets.
Due to the high contents of omega 9, Macadamia consumption can function as a lubricant of the bowel. Healthcare practitioners recommend macadamias in a balanced diet to promote digestion and relieve constipation.