Have problems with acne? Nothing seems to work? Acne is one of the most unfortunate things that can happen to anyone!!! You will be surprised to know that there is a connection between what we eat and the condition of our skin. Yes, that’s right. While every individual responds differently to certain types of foods, there are specific foods that are known to spark a reaction which eventually leads to acne.
Acne is a multifactorial disease. While each case is unique, you can greatly improve your chances of clear skin with food and lifestyle strategies.
Nutrition and diet are affecting overall health; that statement needs no particular citation as every nutritional textbook advocates for this. But can diet affect acne? Acne is one of the most common dermatological conditions, affecting millions of young adult worldwide. It is generally accepted that excess sebum, hormones, bacteria and hyper proliferation of follicular cells are the major etiologic factors for acne.
What makes acne worse?
High sugar intake and a diet with a high glycemic index can placed high on the list of food that causes acne. Sugar in any form can cause spikes in certain pimple producing hormones. Foods such as chocolates and other sugary treats increase blood sugar, which may trigger acne. To get acne-free skin, you must avoid sugar as much as possible.
If you’re serious about stopping acne, scale back on the “white” foods in your diet-white bread, white flour, mashed potatoes, french fries and anything made with lots of sugar. They cause blood sugar and insulin to spike, and scientists suspect that those insulin spikes may contribute to acne. Diets full of refined foods and low in fruits and vegetables also come up short on magnesium, a mineral that helps to balance acne-inducing hormones.
It can be obtained from tea (black and green), chocolate, sodas, coffee, energy drinks and pain killers. Caffeine stimulates the adrenal glands to release stress hormones that can increase the stress levels. Taking too much stress is harmful for your health and skin and lead to acne condition. Caffeine can also disturb your sleep by not letting you go to the deepest phase of sleep. This sleep is essential for physical repair and detoxifying your body. These conditions can worsen the acne on skin.
While there have been noted associations between dairy consumption and acne starting back in the 1800s, some data indicate no association. Dairy foods produce a high insulin response, increase hormone levels in the body and alter inflammation – all factors that lead to unfavorable acne outcomes. The unfavorable associations between dairy and acne haven’t been noticed with fermented dairy products.
What to Eat?
Just cutting out the damaging foods listed above will likely lead to clearer skin—especially if you were regularly consuming them before
Green tea is filled the antioxidants that can protect from environmental stressors. Drink more green tea throughout the day.
These are rich in selenium, a powerful antioxidant that appears to help improve acne, probably by protecting cells from inflammatory damage and preserving skin’s elasticity. Selenium works particularly well when it’s accompanied by vitamins E and A, so eat your Brazil nuts with some almonds and perhaps some red bell peppers.
Salmon, flaxseed (and other foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids)
Some dermatologists think that omega-3 fatty acids, which help keep inflammation at bay, may help keep acne under control. Fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel all boast omega-3 fatty acids, as do flaxseed and walnuts.
- At least two servings of fatty fish per week. You can also sprinkle salads with flaxseed oil, use ground flaxseed in baking and smoothies, and add toasted walnuts to casseroles and hot and cold cereals.Sweet potatoes, carrots, bell peppers (and other foods rich in beta-carotene).Beta-carotene (found in many orange-, yellow-, and red-hued fruits and vegetables) converts in the body to vitamin A, another of the nutrients that helps to enhance selenium’s benefits to skin.
- Oranges, tomatoes, melons (and other foods rich in vitamin C). These juicy vitamin C bombs won’t cure you of breakouts, but because the vitamin strengthens cell walls, it can help protect your skin from scarring that blemishes can cause. Bioflavonoids, which often come from a C source (such as the white rind inside citrus fruits), also act as natural anti-inflammatories that can enhance the healing action of vitamin C.
- Almonds, eggs, leafy green vegetables (and other foods rich in vitamin E).The antioxidant vitamin E helps skin heal from damage and scarring caused by acne. It’s not easy to get a lot of E from a low-fat diet, but unrefined (minimally processed) vegetable oils, nuts, and whole grains are good sources.
- Helpful hint: Vitamin E is fat soluble, so eat it along with foods that contain a little fat. When you eat kale or spinach, for example, drizzle on a little olive oil.
Additional Acne Considerations
Nutrition and diet are an important approach to your skin’s appearance but environmental factors may also play a role in the incidence of acne. A consistent, natural skin care routine can help achieve healthy looking skin, depending on your skin type. Be mindful of products used to cleanse, exfoliate, tone, and moisturize as they may contain harmful ingredients such as endocrine disruptors that can aggravate acne or absorb into the skin.
Acne takes time to heal; the residual markings and acne scars may take weeks to fade. Natural moisturizers such as coconut oil, aloe vera plant, and olive oil can assist the body’s self-healing mechanisms by supporting cellular function with nutrients and hydration. Again, make sure you are staying hydrated and drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day. Sleep is also important for cellular regeneration, make sure you are getting enough.