If you want acne-free skin, or in fact skin that’s immune to acne full-stop, it is smart to have websites like this as a handy encyclopaedic tool to analyse the safety of any diet or strategy you’re about to follow. But what’s even better is to become a walking acne encyclopaedia yourself.
It’s best to have enough knowledge and nutritional facts stuffed into your brain to be able to adapt to any dietary or lifestyle situation.
For example: what if your employment drives you to a new, polluted city, or you go on holiday to Thailand where Bangkok and all the cities are choking in industrial fumes? You’ll need more antioxidants to tackle the acne from air pollution, and that handy reference guide in your head would tell you that sprinkling oregano onto foods is the easiest way ever to flood your body with antioxidants.
What if you need more vitamin A for whatever reason, such as if you want to protect your skin from sunburn? If you’re a real-deal acne expert you’ll know right away to eat sweet potatoes or carrots or liver.
There are many such foods it’s handy to know about, foods with single extraordinary strengths. For example, a couple of months ago we discussed how oysters are an amazing source of zinc, a terrific mineral for acne. Oysters contain 90.8mg of zinc per 100 grams, nearly six times the quantity of the next best source. As for selenium, it’s Brazil nuts which are the king of kings.
To keep equipping you with more and more instant weapons against acne, today we will discuss the what is not the richest, but what I believe the best source of magnesium ever – the macadamia nut.
Macadamia nuts – loaded with magnesium
If you’re not familiar with macadamia nuts then they’re a delicious, buttery-looking and great tasting nut which you can see in the picture above.
Today, most macadamia nuts are grown in Hawaii, but the Macadamia Integrifolia plant, a tree with holly-like leaves on which the nut grows, originated in Australia. Hence, the macadamia nut is also known as the Australian or Queensland nut. Macadamia trees have white to cream coloured flowers and can grow to be 40 feet in both horizontal and vertical spread. Macadamia nuts are highly sought after, hard to grow (nuts first appear in five to eight years) and hence are expensive.
Nowadays, macadamia nuts are still grown in Australia but also other topical regions such as South Africa, Central America, California, and Hawaii, which became the world’s largest exporter soon after macadamia nuts were first planted there in 1881. Originally, the trees were planted as a windbreak for sugarcane, but today Hawaii grows over 90% of macadamia nuts worldwide.
While the nuts are most popular as food, the brutally tough outer husks are composted for fertiliser, the oil is used as a cooking oil (which is friendly for acne) in cosmetics, soaps, and shampoos and the rest is used in animal feed.
One interesting fact about the buttery colour is that macadamia nuts are sometimes used for drug stings in police operations. When macadamia nuts are chopped very finely, they are close in texture and colour to crack cocaine.
In my opinion, macadamia nuts taste absolutely delicious as well, so it’s lucky then that their nutritional profile for us acne patients is excellent. Take a look at the nutrient content of a typical 50 gram serving of macadamia nuts…
- Vitamin C – 1% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA).
- Magnesium –16.5% (65mg).
- Vitamin A – 0%.
- Calcium – 4.5%.
- Iron – 10%.
- Vitamin B6 – 7%.
- Vitamin E – 3%
- Vitamin B12 – 0%.
- B1 (thiamine) – 40%.
- Choline – 0%.
- Manganese – 103% (2.05mg)
- Selenium – 2.5% (1.8mcg).
- Potassium – 5.5%.
- Zinc – 4.5% (1.3mg).
- Vitamin D – 0%.
- Sugar – 2.3 grams.
Macadamia nuts are very poor for vitamin E compared to many nuts per 50 grams (almonds=65%, Brazil nuts=15%, hazelnuts=37%), about equal to pistachios (5%) and pecans (3%), and only better than walnuts (2%) and cashews (2%). Like almost all nuts, macadamias contain negligible quantities of vitamin C. Their selenium content is demolished by Brazil nuts (1370%). Finally, there’s no vitamin A at all and a serious lack of zinc…
…but macadamia nuts are nevertheless a standout nut solely for their high magnesium levels. Almonds are killer sources of vitamin E, Brazil nuts are basically nature’s very own selenium supplement, and macadamia nuts have magnesium. Furthermore, the absorption rate of that magnesium beats pretty much any other source of the mineral on earth.
But why is magnesium so great for clearing acne anyway?
Magnesium is easily one of the most overlooked nutrients for acne, and for health. Magnesium affects countless genes in the human body, and for general health is involved with producing energy via manufacturing adenosine triphosphate (ATP), controlling all manner of cellular signalling, and serving as a building block for serotonin.
For acne, magnesium has a similarly wide range of uses, unlike zinc which mainly controls the immune system or vitamin A which mainly controls sebum production. Increasing your magnesium levels firstly has the power to supress elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which causes acne by slowing wound healing and impairing nutrient absorption.
Secondly, magnesium’s role in cellular signalling allows it to increase insulin sensitivity and allow the acne-causing hormone insulin to fall. Thirdly, magnesium is a key ingredient used to manufacture the acne antioxidant glutathione. Finally, the human body uses magnesium to manufacture neurotransmitters like melatonin and adenosine which are essential for sleeping efficiently. That and the reduction in stress hormones is why magnesium is dubbed the “relaxation mineral”.
The most direct effect on acne is the increased antioxidants from glutathione, but make no mistake – without magnesium your acne efforts will be weaker than they might otherwise be. Deficiency is indeed common; studies estimate that 25-80% of children and adults have magnesium levels below the RDA of 400mg per day.
Big sources of magnesium are all flawed
Hence I recommend that every acne patient inspects and if necessary corrects their magnesium levels. But there’s a big problem – doing so is far harder in the twenty-first century than in 1960.
If you think about it, humanity has been intensively farming the earth’s soil land for over ten thousand years now since the agricultural revolution. Never before in the history of the world have soils been under so much strain. While plants manufacture vitamins like ascorbic acid of their own accord, minerals must be absorbed through the roots. Therefore levels of magnesium in the soil are now lower than ever; only Egypt has normal levels.
Because of that fact, levels of magnesium in almost all foods have fallen dramatically too. One study estimated that the levels of magnesium in green vegetables and berries have fallen by 25-80% since 1950. That’s a massive drop.
To combat magnesium deficiency many governments and corporations have added magnesium to widely eaten staples like bread and cereal. Such foods do not increase your magnesium levels any better; the form added en masse is magnesium oxide, which has a very bad absorption rate.
Now on paper, if you look at an internet nutrition table, there are still many stellar sources of magnesium around. Dark chocolate contains 28% of the RDA per 50 grams and you will absorb a decent amount of that. The best sources of magnesium are supposedly green vegetables like swiss chard, which contains 20% of the RDA per 100 grams. Seeds contain plenty of magnesium; pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds have 65% and 40% respectively…
…but all those sources are flawed. Finding swiss chard in a supermarket is like a quest for the ark of the covenant. With spinach, another great source on paper, the minerals are famously hard to absorb due it being extremely high in the mineral-binding oxalic acid.
Cocoa is very high in phytic acid, another mineral binder, although you do absorb some of the magnesium. Finally, the food group which is generally highest in magnesium is arguably the nut. For instance, almonds have 33% per 50 grams, hazelnuts have 20% per 50 grams, Brazil nuts have 47%, pistachios have 15% and walnuts have 19%.
However, nuts are also a food group notorious for their nutrient inhibitors like phytic acid. Dietary sects like the paleo community refuse to eat nuts unless they’re soaked in water and dried in the sun first to deactivate the nutrient binders.
Traditionally, humans would not get magnesium from one stellar source; our levels would slowly but surely accumulate each day from many different fruits, vegetables and meats. But levels have declined severely in all of those foods. All the truly stellar sources have big flaws.
Except one: the macadamia nut. Macadamia nuts are drenched with magnesium but are widely hailed as being a rare nut which contains nearly no phytic acid. Hence the absorption rate beats other nuts significantly. There’s nothing blocking your acne and skin from enjoying all the benefits.
Macadamia nuts contain no oxalic acid, few lectins, and few defensive plant compounds full stop. Generally, phytic acid is abundantly found in nuts with brown skins such as almonds.
Macadamias are free from other problems too. Their high fat content mostly comes in the form of stable monounsaturated fat (specifically omega 9s) rather than unstable polyunsaturated fats, they’re low in inflammatory omega 6s, and they contain next to no sugar.
It’s very simple, if you believe you need more magnesium to clear your acne for good, and the majority of us certainly do, then macadamia nuts are a great food to eat. Are you stressed out, sleep deprived, in need of antioxidants, or generally struggling to get more magnesium from foods? Macadamia nuts are the perfect daily snack.
The benefits don’t stop there
If you looked closely you’ll have noticed that macadamia nuts are an even better source of manganese. That’s a mineral which many people confuse for magnesium at first glance. But it’s actually very different. It’s not a mineral we’ve ever discussed on supernaturalacnetreatment.com but it’s promising for acne; apparently manganese can protect against oxidative stress (study) and increase insulin sensitivity (study). The absorption of manganese will also be enhanced by the lack of phytic acid.
Secondly, we have this very-clear cut study which found that macadamia nuts have promising effects on inflammation and oxidative stress.
A team of scientists led by Doctor ML Garg wanted to examine the effect of macadamia nuts on inflammation and oxidative stress levels in patients with elevated cholesterol. Seventeen hypercholesterolemic male subjects were given macadamia nuts (40 to 90 grams per day) for a period of four weeks, which was followed by an expected increase in blood monounsaturated fatty acids. Scientists analysed inflammation levels before and after by measuring leukotriene and LTB(4) and oxidative stress by measuring 8-isoprostane.
Blood analysis showed that after four weeks of eating the macadamia nuts, all blood indicators of inflammation and oxidative stress fell, by as much as 23.6%. Dr Garg’s conclusion was clear: “this study demonstrates, for the first time, that short-term macadamia nut consumption modifies favourably the biomarkers of oxidative stress, thrombosis and inflammation”.
A second study fed macadamia nuts or a placebo to two groups of obese mice. While levels of the pro-inflammatory chemical interleukin 1-beta decreased, levels of the anti-inflammatory interleukin-6 increased.
Could the benefits simply be due to the magnesium and manganese? It’s impossible to tell, but it’s clear that the macadamia’s theoretical benefits for acne translate into real world benefits superbly.
Next on the highly extensive list is yet more nutrition that may help you beat sleep deprivation and the acne caused by it. Approximately 60% of the fatty acids found in macadamia nuts are the monounsaturated fat oleic acid (omega 9). When consumed, oleic acid is known to convert to oleamide, a compound which induces sleep.
Low oleic acid intake has been linked to sleep disorders, and macadamia nuts are also one of the best sources of palmitoleic acid. According to this study, “palmitoleic and oleic acid seem to be especially important for sleep disorders, may be due to their function as precursors of the sleep inducing oleamide”.
Finally, macadamia nuts have many benefits for wider health because of their minerals like magnesium, but the most repeatedly recorded specific health benefit is an improvement in heart health, probably due to the high content of monounsaturated fatty acids:
- This 2008 study led by Dr AE Griel compared the effect of a five week macadamia nut diet (42.5 grams/1.5oz per day) and an average American diet on the blood cholesterol levels of 15 women and 10 men. There was a significant reduction in total blood cholesterol levels and LDL cholesterol levels and hence, Dr Griel concluded that “macadamia nuts can be included in a heart-healthy dietary pattern”.
- A similar study to the one on inflammation above gave seventeen hypercholesterolemic men (mean age 54) 40-90 grams of macadamia nuts per day for four weeks. At the end of the study, plasma total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol concentrations decreased by 3.0 and 5.3 percent respectively, while HDL cholesterol levels increased by 7.9%.
- Yet another study fed three groups of Japanese women a three week diet of either butter, coconut oil, or macadamia nuts. After three weeks both the coconut oil and macadamia group has lower LDL and overall cholesterol levels. The butter group experienced no statistically significant changes in cholesterol levels.
Any downsides? Organic vs non-organic
Is there any reason to avoid macadamia nuts? Only if you’re on a diet; since macadamia nuts are the highest nut in fat, with 76% compared to the almond’s 49% or the Brazil nut’s 66%, and fat contains 9 calories per gram, macadamia nuts contain a massive 359 calories per 50 grams.
For acne however, there is not a single reason not to eat macadamia nuts EXCEPT if you happen to be allergic to them. Many nuts cause allergic reactions, including peanuts, and while macadamia allergies are not common, this study detailed several cases:
- One 42-year-old man developed itching of the throat, rhinitis, dyspnea and dizziness only five minutes after eating roasted macadamia nuts. This patient also had a history of seasonal allergic rhinitis, asthma and oral itching after eating carrots, apples or walnuts.
- A 34 year old man ate several different nuts and repeatedly developed severe oral burning, swelling and itching. The symptoms appeared after eating hazelnut, walnut, Brazil nut, almonds and macadamia nuts, but neither peanuts nor cashew nuts.
Allergic reactions are a common cause of acne, so if you’re allergic to macadamia nuts, run a mile, but luckily hardly anybody is.
Last but not least we have the age-old question of whether the organic version is worth it. With macadamia nuts we have an additional complication because organic macadamia nuts are among the most expensive nuts to ever exist.
The truth of the matter has yet to be concluded. It’s widely acknowledged that macadamia nut plants are sprayed with atrazine, a notorious pesticide also used on sugarcanes, corn and pineapples.
Atrazine is a helpful chemical for farmers but extremely unhelpful for hormonal health. This study found that atrazine delayed puberty in rats at low doses, studies find that atrazine decreases testosterone in amphibians, fish, rodents, and atrazine was shown here to essentially turn male frogs into females to the point where they actually sprout ovaries from nowhere.
On the other hand, if you look at a macadamia tree you’ll notice that macadamia nuts are protected by a thick husk. In fact, macadamia nuts have the hardest shell of any nut. Many other studies have claimed that macadamia nuts have virtually no pesticide residue at all. It’s highly likely that no agrochemicals penetrate their way into the inner nut at all.
The truth is that we don’t know whether organic macadamia nuts are completely clean. However, even if they do contain tiny levels of atrazine, the overall effect on your acne will almost certainly still be positive. Because atrazine can cause acne mostly through inflammation and oxidative stress, its damage will be outweighed the beneficial effect on inflammation and oxidative stress found within the macadamia nut.
There’s still the reproductive and hormonal issues to worry about, but if you restrict heavy sources of pesticides elsewhere (like conventional strawberries, kale, blueberries, potatoes), avoid contaminants in personal care items and foods, and keep your detoxification systems strong, there’s no problem. In fact, macadamia nuts will increase your armour of detoxification overall due to the magnesium increasing glutathione. The atrazine should just bounce off you.
Don’t get the idea that atrazine isn’t toxic and unhealthy, because it is, but you can easily withstand one single pesticide if you avoid most chemicals elsewhere. Even then, we don’t even know if these delicious nuts do contain atrazine.
If you’re rolling in cash then organic macadamia nuts will be the true gods among nuts for acne, but the regular ones are still fantastic for your magnesium intake.
If you want to buy a good product then purchase this Unsalted Macadamia Nuts 1lb Sealed Bag. You’ll notice that these nuts are not raw, which alternative health people usually claim is vital. However, pasteurisation does not damage the minerals like magnesium one bit, so in this case its irrelevant.
Macadamia nuts are a terrific snack for nearly all acne patients. On one hand, they’re not healthy for acne if you’re dieting, if you have a rare allergy, or if you’re poor (they are probably the most expensive nut). They’re not healthy if you’re a dog, since an unidentified compound in macadamia nuts caused dogs to experience vomiting, weakness, fever and muscle tremors.
On the other hand, macadamia nuts are terrific for increasing your magnesium intake, and hence terrific if you suffer from stress, low antioxidants, and elevated insulin levels and oily skin. Macadamia nuts are doubly great for any acne caused by sleep deprivation both due to the stellar magnesium content and the high proportion of monounsaturated oleic acids.
Finally, macadamia nuts are a top-notch acne food if you’re simply looking for a low-sugar, tasty snack to replace a muffin, a cookie, a slice of chocolate cake, or any other acne-causing food.
Thanks for reading!