You are what you eat, isn’t it? But, it’s crazy to believe that eating pizzas, chocolates and other junk food items gives you acne! No doubt, these foods contribute to acne flare-ups but there are many other factors like hormones, genes, skin type, environmental impact and your skincare routine that could give you the zits. Interestingly, as certain foods contribute to flare ups, there are some food pyramid items that help fight acne.
Here are 10 acne fighting foods that can give you clearer skin:
- Omega 3 fatty acids – Salmon, Flax seed, Walnuts: Omega 3 fatty acids are considered wondrous for the skin. These help in keeping skin inflammation at bay and keep acne under control. Two servings of fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel or sardines a week or a tablespoon of flaxseed or walnuts in your salads and smoothies can up your Omega power.
- Foods rich in selenium – Brazil nuts, Onion, Garlic, Whole grains: Brazil nuts are the perfect source of selenium which is a very powerful antioxidant. It helps in controlling acne and preserves the skin’s elasticity. It also reduces inflammatory damage to the skin. One Brazil nut a day is power packed for a days’ supply of selenium. Follow selenium intake with Vitamin A and E to pack in more acne fighting punch.
- Foods rich in Vitamin C – Melons, Oranges, and Tomatoes: Add enough Vitamin C to your diet to boost your immune system and strengthen your cell walls. Though these foods will not directly impact acne they will definitely help in protecting your skin from acne scarring. The bioflavonoids coming from this vitamin C source are natural anti inflammatories and enhance Vitamin C’s healing power.
- Foods rich in Vitamin E – Almonds, Leafy greens, Eggs: Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps the skin to heal from acne damage and scarring. However, if you are on a low fat diet it might not be easy to source the requisite amount of Vitamin E. Try minimally processed oils such as canola oil to get the requisite dose of Vitamin E. An ounce of almonds, spinach drizzled with a tablespoon of olive oil or an egg daily can give you the required Vitamin E.
- Foods high in water content – Watermelons, Cucumbers, Parsley: If you are suffering from acne you will always be advised to up your water intake. Foods that have a high water content such as cucumbers, watermelons, parsley, romaine lettuce, cabbage help in keeping your system free from toxins. Eat your water and get clear skin!
- Foods rich in beta carotene – Carrots, Bell peppers, Cantaloupes, Sweet potatoes: Foods such as carrots, cantaloupes, sweet potatoes and other yellow, orange and red fruits and vegetables are very high in beta carotene. Beta carotene converts to Vitamin A in the body and enhances the benefits of selenium to the skin. Aim to introduce at least ½ a cup of yellow or red fruits and veggies to your daily diet.
- Foods high in magnesium: Foods high in magnesium such as bananas, artichokes, buckwheat, oats, brown rice, figs are great acne fighters since magnesium helps to balance the acne inducing hormones.
- Green tea: Polyphenols and flavonols contained in green tea are very powerful antioxidants that help in reducing oxidation damage caused by free radicals. Green tea consumption inhibits bacterial colonization, contains hormonal activity and sooths inflammation.
- Watch the sodium: Iodized salt and other strong sources of iodine for some reason cause acne to flare up. Watch out for your sodium intake in processed or prepared food. Skip to sea salt since it has a lower iodine content.
- Black out the white stuff: When you want to scale off acne then scale off the white stuff. White bread, white rice, white refined flour, French fries, mashed potatoes and other refined stuff made from sugar are seriously off limits. Blood sugar causes insulin to spike which in turn causes acne flare ups.
I understand the strife and pain we all go through with zits and pimples. We just don’t like one popping-up! Integrate these 10 foods in your diet to stay healthy, vibrant and skin healthy- heal yourself with the right food.