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Sandalwood (Santalum spicatum), growing in the desert and arid regions of West Australia, is well renowned for its fragrant heartwood, but also holds another prized gift, the Sandalwood nuts.
Western Australia currently has the largest sandalwood plantation resource in the world. Creamy WA Sandalwood nuts are Australia’s second native nut behind the Macadamia nut and are very edible.
Why are Sandalwood Nuts unique?
Sandalwood Nut kernels have a unique and delicate flavour with an amazing texture which makes it a highly versatile ingredient or a stand-alone product. This superb native Australian Bush Food is now capturing the interest of a vast range of consumers, Culinary Professionals in fine restaurants and numerous chocolatiers.
These exotic and treasured nuts are packed full of goodness with very impressive nutritional properties. For centuries, Sandalwood nuts were consumed orally by indigenous Australians as a cure for rheumatoid arthritis and topically applied (rubbed) for cold and stiffness.
Sandalwood nut is rich in oils containing one of the rarest fatty acids found in the world – ximenynic acid. Ximenynic acid is found thus far in only two genera of the plant kingdom (Santalum and Ximenia) making the Sandalwood nut a plentiful source of this valuable fatty acid.
Sandalwood nuts contain around 60% Fat. This oil is comprised mainly of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA).
Sandalwood nut oil is packed with:
- Ximenynic acids, which is incredibly unique, rare and powerfully anti-inflammatory1 and is hailed as an anti-ageing Skincare gem.
- Oleic acid (53.5%), a monounsaturated omega 9 fatty acid (an important component of olive oil) known as a good fat, reducing the amount of LDL (bad cholesterol) whilst boosting the levels of HDL (good cholesterol).
These nuts contain a low concentration of saturated fatty acids which is a positive indicator from a health perspective and also a low concentration of polyunsaturated fatty acids that will benefit the oxidative stability of the oil.
The Sandalwood nuts provide 17.6% protein (nearly twice the amount of protein in Macadamia) and 17% dietary fibre (nearly 3 times the amount of fibre in Macadamia).
What are the benefits of Monounsaturated Fats (MUFA)?
Monounsaturated fats are healthy fats most commonly found in olive oil, nuts, seeds and some animal-based foods.
Diets high in monounsaturated fats can help with weight loss and may reduce risk factors for heart disease, cancer risk and inflammation as long as they don’t add extra calories to your diet. Research has also suggested that a diet high in monounsaturated fat may be a healthier alternative to a conventional lower-fat, high carbohydrate diet in people with type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance, making West Australian sandalwood Nuts a healthy addition to our diets.
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