Foods That Can Heal Acne
Many factors can contribute to acne. Heredity, hormones, stress and lifestyle are all factors. People who are cleansing their skin properly and still having problems with acne can try turning to nutrition to give skin a boost. There are several foods that can help.
Traditional Chinese medicine calls for foods that will cool "heat" in and cleanse the lungs, which are believed to control the skin by TCM practitioners. Foods that will do this include fresh fruits, particularly watermelon. Also eat cucumbers, squash, celery, carrots, beet tops, dandelions, cabbage, aloe vera and mulberry leaves, according to Acupuncture.com.
Foods with Vitamin A
Foods rich in vitamin A can help clear acne. Vitamin A, or retinol, is a key ingredient in many topical acne medications. Vitamin A-rich foods include green vegetables such as parsley and spinach, yellowish orange fruits including carrots, cantaloupe and apricots, and yellowish orange vegetables such as yams. Dairy products and fish oil also contain vitamin A. Do not take mega-doses of this vitamin, however, because high doses are toxic, according to Rebecca Prescott of Acne Total Health of Townsville, Australia.
Foods With B Vitamins
Foods that contain B vitamins nourish skin, according to Prescott. Whole grains are a good source of B vitamins, as are fish, dairy products, eggs, avocados, peanuts, leafy vegetables and lean meats and liver.
Omega-3 fatty acids can help clear acne, according to nationally known nutritionist Andrew Weil, MD, director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center. Foods with omega-3 fatty acids include chia seeds, salmon and flax seeds. Omega-3s reduce and prevent inflammation, according to Weil.
Vitamin C Foods
Foods rich in vitamin C can help with acne thanks to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, according to Prescott. Vitamin C also helps the body regenerate and repair tissues, according to Weil. Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons and limes are one of the best-known sources of vitamin C, but they are not the only ones. You can also find it in kiwi, broccoli, cantaloupe, peppers, strawberries and pineapple.
Skin Repair Foods
Prescott recommends people who are suffering from acne add L-carnitine, zinc and selenium to their diet. L-carnitine can help repair skin damage related to acne. Red meat, especially mutton, is the best dietary source of L-carnitine, according to Weil. Zinc improves overall body health, including skin health. Find it in nuts, whole grains, eggs and mushrooms. Selenium helps with skin elasticity and enhances the action of other antioxidants, notes the Acne Resource Center Online. It is found in Brazil nuts as well as most vegetables.
Food With Magnesium
Magnesium-rich foods can help balance hormones, which can help with acne, according to Acne Resource Center Online. Such foods include pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, tofu, spinach, almonds, lentils and broccoli, according to Weil.
Vitamin E-Rich Foods
Eat broccoli, almonds, sunflower seeds and peanuts for their vitamin E. Vitamin E, also found in wheat germ and vegetable oil, is important in skin repair, according to the Acne Resource Center Online. Vitamin E may have antioxidant properties that are beneficial to skin and slow signs of aging.
To keep skin hydrated, people who have acne need to drink lots of water, according to Weil. Even mild dehydration can impact the health of your skin. Water carries nutrients to cells in the body and helps to flush toxins, according to the Mayo Clinic. Women need about nine glassess a day, while men should drink 13 glasses, according to the Institute of Medicine. Do not use thirst as your guide, the clinic recommends, as you are likely to be mildly dehydrated by the time you feel thirsty.
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