Acne is a medical condition that is widely, still, not very well understood. There are countless potential causes from genetics to hormones. Even the foods you eat can impact your skin’s health. Many doctors are now linking dietary habits and acne, tying the two together with several common bonds.
Eating a well rounded, healthy diet can help clear up your skin but specific trigger foods can still prevent healing and cause new breakouts.
What can cause skin problems?
Gluten allergies seem to be popping up everywhere. From celiac’s to a mild sensitivity, people across the globe are discovering many of their common health woes to be caused by a hidden gluten allergy. Tons of people are cutting the starchy lunchtime staple from their diets completely and reporting weight loss, more energy, and even clearer skin.
Psoriasis and other skin conditions may be linked to bread consumption and since consuming gluten if you have an intolerance can do a number on your immune system and digestive system, you may experience a pretty severe acne breakout too. Bread, bagels, pasta, and other gluten rich foods can cause insulin spikes, which are known to cause pimples and make you feel crummy overall.
Speaking of bagels, yeasty foods can cause acne too! Beer (well, alcohol in general), bagels, pretzels, and other foods that contain a lot of yeast can actually allow more yeast to grow on your face, causing bumps and lumps to form.
The occasional snack is fine but remember to keep these sorts of treats in check; moderation is key, especially with beer. Alcohol can dry out your skin, make you dehydrated, and lower your liver and immune system function, making it easier for your skin to break out.
Be careful and take care of yourself. The same goes for chips, greasy foods, and chocolates. Keep your diet balanced and avoid overindulging when you can!
What to Eat to Reduce Acne
Amazingly, you can actually use your food choices to actively combat acne!
The foods we eat contain vitamins and minerals, some of which can help boost your immune system and give your skin an extra dose of the good stuff to amp up healing and cell regeneration. Vitamins A, B3, B5, C, and E all help your skin regenerate and protect it against free radicals and other environmental factors that can cause breakouts and aging.
Fatty acids, like Omega-3 fats, push the body to produce anti-inflammatory compounds to aid in easing the discomfort of swollen, red breakouts. Other minerals, like Selenium, Zinc, and Iron all help with blood flow and cell regeneration, both of which increase oxygen to the skin and allow it to heal rapidly, removing dead cells to make room for fresh, healthy ones.
Everyone knows a salad is good for you but it can literally help clear up your acne! Swap your iceberg lettuce for some dark greens like kale and give yourself a hefty dose of Vitamins A and C alongside calcium and iron.
Blend collards or other greens into a breakfast smoothie with strawberries, mango, or other fresh fruit for an antioxidant boost to start the day off right. Greens are powerhouses of health, incorporating them throughout the day will give you an extra boost of essential healthy assets.
Sauteed spinach instead of mashed potatoes or kale instead of lettuce on your burger both are tiny changes that can really add up!
Following up on the smoothie idea, lots of fruits are acne fighters too.
Papaya, for example, give an incredible kick of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, potassium, and antioxidants. The sweet flavor and creamy texture make them perfect for smoothies or for a quick snack on their own. Some people even put papaya on toast as a sort of sweet version of avocado toast due to the textural similarities, which may be worth checking out if you are not gluten intolerant.
Pineapple is a summer favorite due to its juicy, tangy flavor. Like citrus fruits (which are also excellent for fighting acne), pineapple delivers a punch of vitamin C but also follows up with a high dosage of manganese which promotes overall skin health and regeneration.
Pineapple is also a tasty smoothie favorite and actually goes quite well with papaya. You can also grill it to add to burgers or skewer it onto kabobs. Some people even add chopped pineapple into stir fry dishes and sauces. The possibilities are pretty much endless.
Seeds are also amazing for helping clear up your skin. Rich in zinc and fiber, seeds are wonderful dietary additions. Pumpkins, sunflowers, and any other roasted seed will do the trick and also provide a tasty, healthy snack option for those on the go.
As a bonus, these seeds can actually help with weight loss and do not trigger insulin spikes, which is a known cause of acne breakouts. If plain, salted seeds are not your thing, many flavor options are out there, ranging from classics like dill pickle and bar-b-que to zany options like pepperoni pizza and buffalo wing.
When looking at your diet, it is important to not forget the little things. Seasonings and spices have recently caught the attention of dermatologists and other medical professionals as potential acne triggers. Think about it: when you order food at a restaurant or make a recipe, you do not really think about the spices going into the dish.
This allows many spice allergies to go unnoticed, wreaking havoc on our bodies. If you notice your breakouts worsening when you eat a particular dish or type of food, check the spice list. If there is a common denominator, try cutting it out for a few weeks and see if your skin clears up.
The results just might surprise you!
Your diet has an incredible pull on the quality of your skin. If you notice yourself breaking out, take a bit of time and look into the underlying potential causes. Allergies and sensitivities can sometimes be super hard to detect so be proactive and start sleuthing around. This paired with fighting back by choosing skin friendly foods just might do the trick!