Are Macadamia Nuts Good for Pregnancy? The Benefits

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Written by Gina Wagg BA, Dip.

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You’ve probably heard about the many nutritional qualities of macadamia nuts. If you’re pregnant, you might wonder if they are still considered a healthy snack for you to enjoy.

Macadamia nuts are good for pregnancy. They contain monounsaturated fatty acids that help with inflammation, blood cholesterol, and overall heart health. They also provide magnesium. Macadamia nuts have many uses and they don’t go rancid fast.

How many servings can you have, should you be worried about any risks, and what other purpose do they serve? Read on to learn the answers!

Are Macadamia Nuts Safe When Pregnant?

Macadamia nuts are not only safe but also healthy and good. Nuts, overall, are healthy during pregnancy – or any time. As a matter of fact, they are so healthy that the FDA approved a health statement about them. 

shelled and unshelled macadamia nuts on a wooden bowl

The claim stated that consuming 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts as part of low fat (saturated) and low-cholesterol diet could decrease the risk of heart disease. Among these nuts are macadamia nuts (source: USDA).

Macadamia nuts are usually sold raw, peeled, and dry-roasted. They can be salted or unsalted. Also available are sweet glazed or plain roasted.

We recommend dry-roasted and unsalted or lightly salted macadamia nuts. If you prepare them at home, opt for the same. Adding flavors such as butter, sweeteners, or salt can counter and defeat their purpose of helping to reduce the risk of heart disease. 

A study was conducted to compare raw and roasted macadamia nuts. Results showed that compared to raw macadamia nuts, the roasted ones have better nutritional and sensory qualities, as well as oxidative stability (source: Food Science & Nutrition).

Oxidative stability means the oil or fat in the nuts resists degradation brought about by air. This means that roasted macadamia nuts won’t go rancid fast.

The Benefits of Macadamia Nuts During Pregnancy

Macadamia nuts are abundant in monounsaturated fat and are a great source of magnesium.

Not all fats are bad for you. Unsaturated fats, including monounsaturated fats, can help relieve inflammation, improve blood cholesterol, balance heart rhythms, and more (source: Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health).

Monounsaturated fats can also help with good sleep quality during pregnancy (source: Midwifery), which is helpful if you’re up all night twisting and turning due to your growing belly!

Magnesium helps produce ATP, the body’s energy unit, and convert fatty acids into DHA, which is needed for the proper functioning of brain cells. 

Magnesium also has antioxidant properties that work to decrease oxidative stress. And like monounsaturated fats, magnesium helps with better sleep and improves sleep disorders (source: Molecules). 

Based on a daily 2,000-calorie diet, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans advise consuming about 5 ounces of nuts per week (source: Dietary Guidelines for Americans). This includes macadamia nuts.

The number of ounces per serving will depend on your calorie level as stated in the guideline. Macadamia nuts have a distinct flavor, which makes them a great choice for adding to baked goods. Or you can enjoy them on their own as a delicious snack (source: USDA).

Is Macadamia Milk Safe for Pregnancy?

More and more people are switching their whole dairy milk for plant-based milk due to animal ethics, environmental concerns, and health reasons.

There is no current research on macadamia milk being unsafe for pregnant women. 

macadamia milk with macadamia nuts on a table

According to a study, soy, almond, rice, macadamia, cashew, hazelnut, and coconut milk were examined for sodium, calcium, potassium, and oxalate content. Each one was compared to dairy milk to check their risk factors and effects on chronic kidney disease and kidney stones.

Results showed that among the plant milk, macadamia milk contains the most calcium content, is moderate in potassium, and is low in oxalate. This means that macadamia milk is unlikely to increase the risk of kidney stones (source: Journal of Renal Nutrition). 

Is Macadamia Nut Oil Safe for Pregnancy? 

Like macadamia milk and macadamia nuts, there is no current literature on macadamia nut oil being unsafe during pregnancy.

Macadamia nuts are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, and so is macadamia nut oil. Macadamia oil is both edible and topical, and it is also used in cosmetics production (source: Only Foods). 

Macadamia nuts are not only healthy, but they also have many uses in the kitchen. We hope we’ve answered all your questions about this amazing nut!