We think of acne as something from days long past from our younger yesteryears. But acne can rear its ugly head well into our adulthood, reminding us that we are not completely out of the woods with this so called “teenaged” problem.
Acne is not a complicated matter, but it is highly misunderstood. There are many misconceptions about what leads to breakouts, from certain foods to hygiene. We’ve probably labeled chocolate and oily foods, like avocados, to be the villains. However, did you know that avocados can actually help fight acne?
Hormonal changes and stress can be precursors to a breakout. So in truth, if we learn to manage our stress, engage in healthy diet habits, and apply the right skin care routine, then we are giving our skin the best chance at looking its best. But for the purposes of this article, we are going to focus on diet and look at 8 Superfoods that can help fight this dreaded skin condition.
Fatty fish, like salmon and tuna, contain essential acids like omega-3 and omega-6 — both of which cannot be produced by the body and must be consumed through food. Fatty acids naturally moisturize the skin and reduce inflammation. Inflammation leads to clogged pores which is the main reason for acne production.
This delicious, creamy — and yes, oily, fruit is rich in vitamin E, a fat soluble vitamin. Vitamin E slows the aging process and helps to prevent free radical damage to the skin. Vitamin E is found in other foods like kiwis and almonds. Avocado is also a good source of Vitamin C which helps to reduce inflammation.
Most of us know that brown rice is better for you than its white counterpart. It contains fiber which helps to fill you up, but did you know that it’s rich in anti-oxidants? We usually think of fruits and berries as the anti-oxidant rich foods, but brown rice is an excellent source of these nutrients. In addition, brown rice is packed with magnesium and Vitamin B which help to regulate hormone levels.
Deficiencies in zinc and selenium have been linked to acne. Brazil nuts are rich in these two sources, despite the fact that we’ve been told that foods like nuts lead to breakouts. Brazil nuts also preserve skin elasticity and protect cells from inflammatory damage.
Oysters contain a good amount of zinc which helps to prevent breakouts. The connection isn’t quite clear but zinc helps to absorb Vitamin A, which is essential to skin health by controlling the release of acne producing hormones.
Fennel, the versatile licorice-tasting vegetable, has many health benefits, including skin health. It works like a natural skin cleanser by helping flush out excess toxins and fluids. Fennel acts as a natural purifier which helps to unclog the pores.
Garlic is another one of those superfoods we often hear about. Garlic contains high amounts of allicin which is an anti-inflammatory agent. Garlic is also good for heart health, lowering lipids, and killing off viruses that your body may be fighting.
We have talked a lot about acne-preventing foods but here is one that actually helps post-breakouts. Tomatoes, and other vitamin-C rich foods like oranges and melons, help with clearing blemishes and skin healing. So if you’re dealing with blemishes after an acne breakout, consuming high vitamin-C foods along with the right anti-blemish treatment is a great way to help your skin repair itself.
Vitamin C also helps to supply collagen which increases the capillaries in the skin.
Fight Free Radicals and you Fight Acne
Free radicals are found all over our environment in the form of pollution, sun, bad foods, smoking, and more. These culprits can damage our health and our skin.
Foods high in anti-oxidants help to fight damage from free radicals. Make sure to aim for 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Water is extremely vital for our skin health. Even a mild of amount of dehydration can cause the skin to look dry and wrinkled. So it’s essential to stay hydrated in order for skin to retain its elasticity and stay moisturized. Natural water is best but you can also count non-sweetened beverages like herbal teas toward your daily water goals. Avoid sugary drinks like sodas and processed juices which can worsen inflammation.
Foods to Avoid
Foods high in sodium, especially from processed foods, can damage the skin. Processed and refined foods, like white starches, french fries, and foods high in sugar, are inflammation’s best friend. On top of that, they cause insulin spikes which can wreak havoc on our hormonal levels.