8 Surprising Macadamia Nut Oil Benefits

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

The most important health benefits of macadamia nut oil include its ability to lower triglyceride levels, improve heart health, boost energy levels, and improve your digestive process. It helps boost bone health, stimulate circulation, protect eye health, prevent chronic diseases, and optimize immune system and other protective systems.

What is Macadamia Nut Oil?

You may be familiar with macadamia nuts, which are one of the most popular varieties of nuts, due to their rich flavour and high nutrient profile. However, what’s even more valuable is the macadamia nut oil that can be extracted from these nuts for a number of uses. It is clear to slightly amber in color and retains a slightly nutty flavor, as macadamia nuts are quite strong in their flavor. [1] [2]

Fatty Acid Content 

The fatty acid composition of macadamia nut oil makes it extremely valuable as vegetable oil for frying or cooking; it is composed of nearly 60% oleic acid, as well as significant levels of palmitoleic acid and smaller amounts of linoleic acid. Although many people consider fats to be bad across the board, the truth of the matter is that we need certain monounsaturated fats to balance our cholesterol levels and ensure that our bodies run smoothly. This oil is available in many places around the world, although it isn’t as popular as other alternative vegetable oils.

A bottle of macadamia nut oil surrounded with macadamia nuts on a wooden table

Macadamia oil can calm, smooth, and add shine to hair when topically applied. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Health Benefits of Macadamia Nut Oil

The health benefits of macadamia nut oil include the following:

Heart Health

Macadamia nut oil boasts a high content of beneficial fatty acids that make it better than many other oils, even the sacred olive oil that so many people praise! Triglycerides are essentially fat in the blood, which can be very dangerous for your heart, as it can clog the arteries, raising your chances of atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes. The high oleic acid content in macadamia nut oil (even higher than olive oil) makes it important for rebalancing your cholesterol levels and actually reducing the levels of triglycerides in the blood. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are the most commonly discussed fats, and ideally, our bodies would have an even balance. Macadamia nut oil basically has this balance, making it optimal for the human body as a source of these fats. [3]

Energy Levels

Although the benefits to heart health and cholesterol balance are clear, macadamia nuts also feature an extremely high number of calories, which can represent a quick boost of energy to the body, something which the oil can also provide. However, you should be careful with the dose of macadamia nuts and macadamia nut oil while consuming, as it can quickly translate into weight gain and obesity, which comes with its own long list of health risks. [4]

Antioxidant Potential

Research has revealed that macadamia nut oil contains a high level of antioxidants, including tocotrienols, which can have a powerful effect on the overall health of the body. Antioxidants are molecules that neutralize free radicals, the dangerous byproducts of cellular metabolism that can cause a wide range of chronic diseases, including apoptosis, and cell mutation. The high antioxidant content in macadamia nut oil makes it a potent addition to your immune system and can help to clean out your entire system. [5]

Eye Health

Some of the antioxidants in macadamia nut oil have been linked to boosting eye health, namely by preventing macular degeneration and slowing the development of cataracts. This is achieved through the same free-radical-neutralizing process as the other antioxidant effects of macadamia nut oil. [6]

Skin Care

One of the antioxidants in macadamia nut oil, squalene, is rare and has a particularly strong impact on our skin. Squalene is a naturally occurring antioxidant in our body, but adding more through macadamia nut oil can help reduce oxidative stress on the body’s fats and the skin, helping to prevent wrinkles, age spots, slow healing rates, and other signs of aging. [7]

Shaving and Moisturizing

Although this is similar to the aforementioned benefits for the skin, macadamia nut oil can be a wonderful way to moisturize the skin on a daily basis, particularly for men who regularly shave. Rather than using traditional shaving oils, the smooth, anti-inflammatory nature of macadamia nut oil can help soothe the skin and moisturize it at the same time, leaving smoother and healthier skin behind. [8]

An infographic on health benefits of macadamia nut oil

Macadamia oil has many health benefits like improving skin and hair health. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Hair and Lip Health

The rich acid content of macadamia nut oil also makes it beneficial for your hair; mixing it into natural shampoos can help increase the shine and health of your hair, and strengthen the follicles in their beds, reducing hair loss. Due to its excellent properties, it is used in a variety of cosmetic products including lipsticks, skin conditioners, sunscreen and bath preparations, lacquer removers, shampoo, shower oils, and other skin preparations. [9]

You can also make natural lip balm with macadamia nut oil and beeswax to significantly boost the appearance and health of your lips; the rapid healing properties help chapped lips very quickly and reduce any inflammation in sores or wounds.

Retains Healthy Fats

Although this isn’t a definitive health benefit, macadamia nut oil has a higher smoke point than other vegetable oils, like olive oil. Therefore, when you’re cooking with macadamia nut oil, you are far less likely to burn off the beneficial fats, which are the main reason why you are using the oil in the first place. This will also help retain the flavour of the oil, which is pleasant and beneficial to many meals, particularly when used as salad oil. [10]


  • Macadamia nut oil is used in culinary applications (typically as a frying oil),
  • It is also used in certain cosmetics for the hair and skin.
  • The composition of the acid makes it very stable, which is why it is so highly praised in cosmetic applications.

Word of Caution: As mentioned earlier, having a high level of fats in the body, even beneficial ones, can lead to weight gain, and considering that many people will associate macadamia nut oil with the nuts themselves (which have a shocking 718 calories per 100 grams), they may indulge and see some weight gain as a result. Also, macadamia nut oil has been known to cause constipation in limited cases. Finally, for those who suffer from nut allergies, the extracted oils don’t always cause allergic reactions, but in some cases, a similar allergic reaction can occur. Consult a medical professional before making any major changes to your diet, health supplement regimen, or cooking style.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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