Macadamia vs Hazelnut - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison
In this article, you can find a detailed guide about the differences between macadamia nuts and hazelnuts. Hazelnut and Macadamia nuts are very common and used in daily life. They are used in baking and desserts, and combination with chocolate, but here their similarities end.
Hazelnuts known as filberts or cobnuts, are the fruit of the hazel and therefore include any nuts of genus Corylus, especially the nuts of the species Corylus avellana. Hazelnuts are nutty, with slight notes of musty and earthy. Macadamia nuts belong to the Macadamia genus. Macadamia nuts are native to Australia. It was first commercially produced on a wide scale in Hawaii. Macadamia nuts taste like solid and creamy butter.
Hazelnuts are used in baking and desserts and used in combination with chocolate for chocolate truffles. The most popular products are chocolate bars, hazelnut cocoa spread such as Nutella, and Frangelico liqueur. The flavored hazelnut oil is used as a cooking oil. Macadamia nuts are also used in baking or breading for fish or chicken. The wood is used decoratively for small items  .
Although these nuts have a similar appearance, nutritionally they are different. We created the nutrition infographic to better understand the difference and explore the nutritional aspects of these nuts. Have a look below.
Macadamia nuts contain more calories, than hazelnuts. Each macadamia nut has about 718 calories per 100 g, while each hazelnut contains 628 calories per 100 g .
Hazelnuts significantly have a higher amount of vitamins, than macadamia nuts. Hazelnuts are richer in Vitamin C, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, and the amount of Vitamin E is 27 times higher than in macadamia nuts. Hazelnuts are also rich in Folate. Conversely, some vitamins in macadamia have a higher level than in hazelnuts: Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, and Vitamin B3. Macadamia nuts lack Vitamin K and Vitamin A. Both of them contain no Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D .
Potassium is a mineral, which may help to reduce the risk of kidney stones, also it helps muscles to contact and nerve cells to respond. Hazelnut contains 2 times more potassium than macadamia nuts. It contains 680 mg potassium per 100 g, while macadamia nuts contain 368 mg per 100g .
Overall, hazelnuts are richer in minerals, than macadamia nuts. The levels of copper, potassium, and phosphorus are almost 3 times higher in hazelnuts than in macadamia nuts. This nut also contains more iron, calcium, and magnesium. On the other hand, macadamia nuts contain more sodium, than hazelnuts. This means macadamia nuts are not a great choice for those who have high blood pressure  .
The relative ranking of carbohydrates in foods that affect blood sugar levels is called the Glycemic Index. The estimated glycemic index of hazelnuts is 15. Macadamia nuts have a very low glycemic index – 10. According to studies, both nuts fall under the category of having a low GI value  .
Hazelnuts contain a low level of calories and fats, they are better in case of low calories and low fats diets .
Despite that macadamia nuts contain more calories, more fat, than hazelnuts, they also can help you in case of diets. Raw macadamia nuts are the healthiest ones. Macadamia nuts contain monounsaturated fat, which is important for weight loss. Nevertheless, in the case of low carbs diets, such as the Keto diet, macadamia nuts are better choices .
According to researchers, eating nuts may be good for your heart . Hazelnuts are rich in potassium, which is required to keep your heart beating by keeping electricity flowing throughout your body. Besides, hazelnuts are also high in antioxidants, which may lower cholesterol levels in the blood . Macadamia nuts contain monounsaturated fat, which is good for your heart. According to a study in 2007, males who ate macadamia nuts for 4 weeks had lower risk factors for coronary artery disease .
Hazelnuts are rich in tocopherols, especially Vitamin E, which are excellent dietary sources of natural antioxidants. In this case, antioxidants can help with fighting cancer. Similarly, hazelnuts contain Vitamin B6, which also can help to fight several types of cancer . According to studies, some neolignans (cedrusin and balanophonin, and gallic acid) can inhibit the growth of human cancer cells . Macadamia nuts also contain plant compounds called flavonoids, which by destroying damaging free radicals in the body can fight cancer .
The essential fatty acid may help the body fight cellular inflammation. Macadamia nuts are a great source of omega-3s, which is important during pregnancy. Overall, macadamia nuts have a high amount of monounsaturated fats, are low in carbs and sugar, and have a moderate fiber content. If you are not allergic to macadamia nuts, then you can enjoy their many nutritional benefits such as vitamins, minerals, and a low glycemic index. Macadamia oil is also a great oil for a baby massage .
Improving Hair Health
Zinc is an important nutrient for human health. Zinc helps promote the formation of collagen to make hair healthy growth. Hazelnuts are a good source of this mineral. Hazelnut oil is a great product for maintaining good hair growth and perfect for scalp massages to stimulate the hair follicles and nourish them .
Calcium is also an element playing a significant role in keeping hair in proper state and women in particular in the perimenopause period are exposed to its deficiency .
Improving Skin Health
Overall, hazelnuts are a rich and inexpensive source of natural and effective phenolic antioxidants, which can decrease oxidative stress and keep skin healthy .
Besides, hazelnuts are a great source of Vitamin E, which can help to keep your skin looking young and vibrant.
Research shows that oleic acid in hazelnuts has beneficial effects on insulin sensitivity. Results show that the incorporation of hazelnuts into the diet can prevent the reduction of HDL-C concentrations in patients with type 2 diabetes .
On the other hand, macadamia nuts are a good source of dietary fiber and plant protein and contain antioxidants and flavonoids. These nutritional components have beneficial effects on diabetes. Another study shows that macadamia nuts can help improve glycemic control in people with type 2 diabetes .
According to the study, the tocotrienol-rich supplement may help to protect brain cells from conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Research shows that macadamia nuts may Increase the production of neurotransmitters, and the monounsaturated fats in these nuts can protect the brain from oxidative stress  .
DOWNSIDES AND RISKS
Although nuts have hugely beneficial effects on human health and can be a part of a healthful diet, however, they have some possible drawbacks.
Depending on the context, try to avoid macadamia nuts if you are on a low-fat diet. .
Allergy to hazelnuts is often found in patients with tree pollen allergy. The symptoms usually include itching, swelling, burning in the mouth and throat after the ingestion of hazelnuts or hazelnut-containing products.
Allergy to macadamias is rare, estimated to cause less than 5% of all tree nut allergies. In severe cases, the allergic reaction can cause anaphylaxis .
Hazelnuts contain more vitamins, minerals, protein, fewer sugars, and sodium than macadamias. On the other hand, macadamias are lower in price, have a lower glycemic index, and low level of carbs. Hazelnuts contain 27 times more Vitamin E and 2 times more potassium than macadamias.
Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores
Comparison summary table
|Lower in glycemic index|
|Lower in price|
|Lower in Sugar|
|Lower in Sodium|
|Lower in Saturated Fat|
|Rich in minerals|
|Rich in vitamins|
|Lower in Cholesterol||Equal|
Which food is preferable for your diet?
|Low Calories diet|
|Low Fats diet|
|Low Carbs diet|
|Low glycemic index diet|
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