Foods to Heal Acne
Acne is an inflammatory skin condition that is caused by clogged pores and bacterial overgrowth. Acne can occur on the face, neck, back, chest and shoulders. It is not a serious health condition; however, it can cause scarring. The types of pimples include blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules, nodules and cysts. Certain foods can aggravate acne, and nutrition plays an important role in the prevention and treatment of this skin condition.
Fruits and Vegetables
Skin is the body's largest elimination organ and acne is a symptom indicating that the body is out of equilibrium. Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and color your plate for variety. Add foods rich in the antioxidant vitamins A, C and E to help repair the skin, enhance immune function, and prevent damage caused by oxygen to cells and organ tissue.
Vitamin A helps support the immune system and promotes healthy skin and tissues. Vitamin A contains retinoids, which convert to retinoic acids and help in the regulation of skin cell production, shedding and the inhibition of oil production. The best food sources of vitamin A include eggs, liver, and leafy green and yellow vegetables. Plant sources like carrots and spinach contain pro-vitamin A precursors known as carotenoids, which have vitamin A activity.
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is an important nutrient that helps maintain the health of body systems. Vitamin C functions as an antioxidant that supports the immune system and maintains the health of gums, skin and blood. In addition, vitamin C is critical to wound healing and is an important nutrient for acne support. Good sources of vitamin C include kiwi, citrus fruits, berries, cabbage, vegetables and tomatoes.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps protect cell membranes and tissues. It benefits the circulatory system and is an important part of wound healing. The wound healing properties of vitamin E helps treat acne and prevent scar formation. According to Patrick Holford, author of the book "The New Optimum Nutrition Bible," the best food sources of vitamin E include vegetable oils, grains, wheat germ and lettuce.
Foods high in zinc help boost the immune system and maintain healthy skin. According to Larry Trivieri and John Anderson in their book "Alternative Medicine: The Definitive Guide," zinc functions to regulate oil glands and up to 80 mg per day is used for acne. According to Holford, the highest food sources of zinc are oysters, ginger root, lamb, pecans and dried split peas. Other good sources of zinc include whole grains, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, fish and egg yolks.
Add garlic to salads and warm meals to make use of its antimicrobial properties. According to Michael Murray, N.D., in the book "Healing Foods," many of the therapeutic effects of garlic are attributable to its sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin. Alliin is converted into allicin by an enzymatic process, which is stimulated by means of crushing or chopping garlic. According to Murray, garlic is also a very good source of vitamin C. Generally, garlic works as a blood purifier that helps prevent and treat acne outbreaks.
According to "Alternative Medicine: the Definitive Guide," acne may be a symptom of a deficiency in the omega-3 fatty acids. Add walnuts, flax oil and cold-water fish to your diet to acquire adequate levels of these essential fats.
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