The Right Diet for Reducing Acne
by Vanessa Day
There’s an old myth that says eating too much chocolate causes acne. While excessive amounts of chocolate certainly aren’t good for your health, the good news is that eating it is not going to cause breakouts. Sugar in chocolate and other sweets may cause insulin to spike, which has been linked to skin problems. But chocoholics can rest assured that having a piece here and there is not going to have any substantial effects. However, there is a strong correlation between diet and skin health, and those who suffer from moderate to severe acne may be able to reduce the problems by switching up what they eat. Read on to learn about some great foods that can help fight acne and leave a glowing complexion.
The most important benefit that we should get from food is essential vitamins and minerals that boost our immunity, feed our metabolism, strengthen our bones and brighten our skin. The foods that fight acne contain high levels of nutrients like vitamin E, zinc, selenium and B vitamins.
High Fiber, Low Glycemic: Foods that are high in fiber—such as whole grain bread and pasta, lentils, black beans and certain fruits—have shown to improve skin’s condition and reduce acne. While research is still being conducted on this connection, it seems that a healthy digestive system may affect breakouts.
Brazil Nuts:These contain not only healthy fats, but also large doses of selenium, an antioxidant that greatly improves acne. Selenium helps protect skin cells from inflammation and improve elasticity. Other foods rich in this mineral are onions, garlic and whole grains.
Oranges: This fruit is high in Vitamin C, which does not prevent acne, but can help in the healing process. It strengthens cell walls, protecting skin from blemish scars. You should try to consume at least 250 mg of this vitamin everyday. If you aren’t a fan of oranges, then try tomatoes, melons, red bell peppers or strawberries.
Sweet Potatoes: Beta-carotene is one of the main minerals in sweet potatoes, and it converts into vitamin A once it enters your system. Vitamin A is vital for healthy skin, helping it heal, reducing redness and keeping pores clear. It also improves the benefits of selenium, so try eating some sweet potatoes with brazil nuts. Carrots, cantaloupe and bell peppers are all rich in beta-carotene.
Salmon: All fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, and salmon seems to pack a real punch. Omega-3s help fight inflammation and keep cell membranes strong, lowering the chances for blemishes to form. Flaxseed also has plenty of these fatty acids, so toss some in your morning yogurt or cereal for added nutrients.
Oysters: Packed with acne-fighting zinc, Oysters provide you with double the recommended daily intake of this vitamin. It’s unclear why zinc is so effective in staving off breakouts, but it might have to do with its ability to control the release of male hormones, which can cause acne. Zinc also helps your body absorb vitamin A, which we already know is an essential part of keeping skin healthy. Zinc can also be found in beans, poultry and fish.
Fruits and Vegetables: You may have scooted those leafy greens to the edge of your plate as a child, but those veggies moderate the hormone levels in your body, keeping acne at bay. Fruits and vegetables should be a staple in every diet, and they are especially helpful when preventing acne.
Eggs: Apart from a healthy dose of protein, eggs also contain a good amount of vitamin E. This antioxidant helps to heal skin and clear up scars. It is difficult to get a lot of E while eating a low-fat diet, but people should aim for at least 15 milligrams a day. It can also be found in almonds and leafy greens like kale and spinach.
Water: While technically not a food, water is a big contender in the fight against acne. When skin is hydrated, it appears smoother and younger. It also improves the condition of your digestive system and helps flush out toxins that can settle in the skin. People should consume 6-8 glasses of water a day.
Now that you have an idea of what your diet should consist of, let’s talk about what you need to avoid. Stay away from refined sugars most commonly found in baked goods, cookies, cakes and soda. The sugars, along with simple carbohydrates, can boost inflammation and cause breakouts. You also need to monitor your sodium intake, as iodine tends to cause acne flare-ups.
By following these guidelines and adding these acne-fighting foods to your diet, you can ultimately improve the condition of your skin, clearing blemishes away to reveal a beautiful face. If you have severe acne or suffer from acne scars, changing your diet may not be enough. You should consult with a certified skincare specialist to discuss your options and figure out a good course of treatment, whether it be Microdermabrasion, laser skin resurfacing or a chemical peel. Contact us today, and we’ll schedule a personal consultation with one of our licensed skincare doctors.
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