Australia Has Gone Nuts!
Australia Has Gone Nuts!
Nuts have been a valued food for millions of years and still today are considered a gourmet food. Nut consumption is increasing and all over the world medical professionals are recommending nuts as a great food source with many medical benefits. Studies have shown these delicious little packages can help to reduce heart disease, lower the risk of certain cancers, including prostate cancer, lower the risk of developing diabetes, are low GI for sustained energy, and provide a rich source of fibre, protein and Vitamin E.
Nut production in Australia has grown significantly over the past two decades and modern processing and marketing facilities means the industry is stronger and more vibrant than ever. With greater production efficiency many nut orchards are still being run as family businesses, and nut growing is still an important part of “life-style farming”.
Australia with its vast land and varying climates is perfect for growing different nut varieties, as every nut tree has its own cultural requirements, from the tropical north to the more temperate climates in the south. The four main nut varieties grow in Australia are Macadamias, Almonds, Pecans and Pistachios.
Macadamias are native to Australia and are mainly grown in South East Queensland regions in Australia. They thrive in rain forest areas and close to streams. Macadamias are highly nutritious nuts, they have the highest amount of beneficial monounsaturated fats of any known nut. Macadamia nut oil contains properties that make it desirable ingredient in skincare products.
Almonds are native to the Middle East and South Asia, they are however now grown in large quantities in Australia. The main almond growing regions of Australia are in Victoria and South Australia. Almonds are extremely high in Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant, they are low GI for sustained energy and are gluten free.
Australian pecans are grown in many areas of New South Wales stretching from the Hunter Valley to the Central Coast. There are also many pecan growing regions in Queensland. The bulk of the Australian pecan product is sold to the Australian domestic market. Accounting for over 90% of the worlds pecan consumption, North America is the leader in this part of the nut industry. However Australian pecans are now increasingly being exported to China. Pecans are rich tasting and delicious, high in antioxidants, are naturally cholesterol free and packed full of protein.
Pistachios are a high desert tree, to bear fruit they require very hot summers and very cold winters. The pistachio tree is native to Western Asia and commercial planting began in Australia in the 1980’s, most orchards are planted along the Murray River throughout New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. Pistachios are rich in potassium, magnesium and vitamin B6, making them a very nutritious food. Fibre, protein and antioxidants are also found in this versatile little nut.
Make a change in 2011, eat nuts as part of your regular diet and feel the health benefits, as well as enjoying delicious, tasty food. So ask yourself, have you gone nuts yet??