Ever wondered what role your food habits play in improving your skin health and preventing the development of acne! Well, there might be several food items that you eat daily without even having the slightest idea that they are not only a significant reason behind the occurrence of acne but are capable of intensifying its effect as well.
Which Foods Can Cause Acne Breakouts?
1. Food Items That You Are Allergic To
The fact that acne is basically an inflammatory skin condition accounts for a valid reason that it can occur due to food allergies. A lot of people have a food intolerance to certain items and after consuming them they tend to develop acne seemingly out of the blue without having any noteworthy warning symptoms. Food sensitivity or delayed hypersensitivity reaction acts as a major contributing factor for acne because your immune system produces high levels of pro-inflammatory molecules, falsely identifying that particular food as a threat. These molecules circulate throughout your body and are intimately associated with encouraging skin inflammations and worsening acne breakouts.
2. Junk Food And Alcohol
Rather than following a Palaeolithic-style diet for acne, most people opt for a typical Western-style diet that involves consuming plenty of calories, unhealthy saturated and trans fats along with refined carbohydrates. Eating excessive deep-fried foods such as burgers, nuggets, hot dogs, french fries, spring rolls, fried chicken, and other fast-food meals can aggravate the severity of acne and fluctuate your hormone levels in such a way that it encourages acne growth. Frequent intake of alcohol, sodas and milkshakes can have a similar effect on your system as they can also lead to an imbalance in certain hormones that are known to result in skin eruptions.
3. High Omega 6 Containing Foods
As per scientific findings, omega-6s are pro-inflammatory in nature and hence, food items with heavy omega-6 content act as food acne triggers. It is recommended that you stick to a Mediterranean-style diet for acne removal that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids rather than consuming stuff containing high amounts of corn and soy oil as they possess plenty of omega-6 fats. Because omega-6 fatty acid-rich foods are known to work as precursors to inflammation, they are also linked with acne formation. Therefore, dependent on excessive amounts of omega-6 fatty acids can stimulate a chronic inflammatory state that creates an ideal background for the occurrence of acne breakouts.
4. Dairy Products
Although not all dairy products are known to influence the development of acne equally, milk and ice cream especially are associated with infuriating acne conditions and worsening its severity. This is because cow’s milk and certain milk products contain amino acids, growth hormones and inflammatory substances that can not only increase the insulin levels in your body but can also clog your skin pores, resulting in acne. The connection between dairy products and their effect on acne is somewhat tricky to speculate as yogurt acts as an effective remedy to treat acne whereas chocolate milk, cottage cheese, and sherbet are the worst offender to induce breakouts.
5. Processed Sugars And Grains
People who opt for a high-glycaemic diet tend to suffer from serious acne problems as it dramatically incites your blood sugar or insulin levels. Consuming too much of processed baked goods that contain refined carbohydrates can have a great impact on the glucose in your bloodstream and result in the development of excessive inflammation, manipulating the frequency of acne blemishes. Hence, avoid or cut down the consumption of stuff such as bread, pasta, crackers, cereal or desserts made with white flour, cane sugar, maple syrup, honey, cookies, cakes, pretzels, muffins, popcorn, white rice, rice noodles, sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages to prevent the development of acne as this food causes pimples.
6. Dietary Supplements
Popular dietary supplements like whey protein powder are known to contribute to the growth of acne due to its high content of amino acids (leucine and glutamine). Ingesting such supplements can make your skin more vulnerable to acne by stimulating your body to release higher levels of insulin. Moreover, when you consume nutritional drink powders on a regular basis that contain multivitamins like iodine and biotin (B7 or vitamin H), there may be a possibility of an overdose of these compounds, which again can stir up the aggravation of skin eruptions. The same goes for other vitamin B supplements, specifically vitamin B6 and B12 as they too offer a similar effect and intensify the severity of acne.
While searching for food to eat for acne-free skin, make sure to remember that chocolates are definitely not on that list. Even though the authentic reason behind this observation is somewhat unclear and controversial, a series of informal surveys state that eating chocolate on a daily basis can increase the risk of developing acne, especially in teenagers. The primary components of chocolate include sugar, non-fat milk solids, milk fat, and cocoa, which all are directly associated with significantly heightening your insulin levels and increase the reactivity of the immune system to acne-causing bacteria. As a result, your skin breaks out and leads to the formation of acne.
Foods That Can Help You Get Rid Of Acne
1. Vitamins A, D, and E
What to eat for pimples free skin? Well, here’s the answer. Consume food that are rich in vitamin A, E and D along with vitamin C to combat the growth of acne-causing bacteria and treat acne inflammations.
- Liver Sausage
- King Mackerel
- Bluefin Tuna
- Walnuts and almonds
- Egg yolk
- Butter and cheese
- Raw whole milk
- Wheat germ oil, hazelnut oil and olive oil
- Sunflower Seeds
- Pine Nuts
- Red Sweet Pepper (raw)
- Turnip Greens (raw)
2. Low Glycaemic Index (GI) Diet
If you are thinking about food for acne prevention, make sure to include food items that have a low glycaemic index as they don’t influence your blood sugar levels and control the release of androgen, a hormone that is known to intensify the severity of acne.
- 100% stone-ground whole wheat or pumpernickel bread
- Oatmeal (rolled or steel-cut), oat bran, muesli
- Brown rice
- Sweet potatoes
- Raw dates
- Peanuts and cashews
- Snow peas
- Carrots (raw and boiled)
- Celery and Lettuce
- Red peppers
- Red onions
- Greek yogurt
- Cherries, strawberries and blueberries
One of the various benefits of Omega-3 fatty acid refers to its potent anti-inflammatory effect that soothes acne breakouts and reduces its symptoms effectively. So, make sure to add omega 3 containing food items into your diet to get rid of acne.
- Rainbow trout
- Cod liver oil
- Seaweed and algae
- Grass-fed dairy products and meat
- Chia seeds, flaxseeds and hemp seeds
- Kidney beans
4. Foods With Antioxidants
Antioxidants, as we all know, help to fight the effects of free radicals and protect your body from oxidative stress, one of the primary reasons for acne. Hence, amongst the food for acne cure, eating stuff that contains plenty of antioxidants ensures a pimple free, clear and spotless skin.
- Blackberry, cranberry, mulberry, raspberry, and wild blueberry
- Green, leafy vegetables like spinach, corn and cilantro
- Small red bean (dried) and black bean (dried)
- Pecan nuts
- Green tea
- Dark chocolate
- Black plum
- Artichoke (cooked)
5. Zinc-Containing Foods
Zinc is considered as a very significant micronutrient for encouraging skin cell development and protecting your skin from acne-causing bacteria. Having sufficient levels of zinc in your body can reduce acne inflammation significantly.
- Lamb and chicken
- Whole grains
- Lima beans and kidney beans
- Sesame seed, flaxseed, watermelon seed and pumpkin seed
- Pine nuts, peanuts, cashews and almonds
- Yogurt or kefir
- Swiss cheese
- Cocoa powder
6. Milk Alternatives
Milk or dairy products made from it can lead to a hormonal imbalance in your body and trigger acne formation. Hence, you can depend on other suitable alternatives to make sure your body gets the required amount of nutrition without your skin breaking out.
- Soy milk
- Rice milk
- Almond milk
- Coconut milk
- Hemp milk
- Flax milk
- Tiger nut milk
- Macadamia milk
7. Other Supplements
Boosting your magnesium and selenium levels helps to cut down the risk of acne formation to a great extent. Also, consuming food items enriched with Vitamin C and Vitamin B3 helps to treat acne, minimizes breakouts and promotes cell regeneration. Probiotics, on the other hand, are known to reduce acne inflammations by promoting healthy bacteria to grow in your gut.
- Niacin or Vitamin B3 for acne(Liver, turkey, mushrooms, green peas, nuts, whole wheat, etc)
- Vitamin C for acne (Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, papaya, pineapple, grapefruit, etc.)
- Magnesium for acne (Green leafy veggies, legumes, seafood, tofu, chlorella powder, figs, etc.)
- Selenium for acne (Cottage cheese, brown rice, oatmeal, pork, yogurt, bananas, lentils, etc.)
- Probiotics for acne (kombucha, sauerkraut and pickles)
Author Name: Shreoshi Mitra
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