Skin-Clearing Diet Foods
You might think of acne or the occasional breakout as an ailment mostly affecting teens. However, 54 percent of women and 40 percent of men over 25 years of age experience breakouts, "Natural Solutions" magazine reported in 2009. Manufacturers have picked up on this, putting out and selling countless products designed to rid the skin of existing blemishes and preventing new ones from forming. You might prefer a more natural method for clearing your skin --- diet. Understanding the role food can play in your skin issues, and what foods may improve your skin, can help you decide what treatment methods are right for you.
Food and Acne
Since a 1969 chocolate-and-skin study found no correlation between food intake and breakouts, acne sufferers have looked at other possible sources of skin issues. Food may influence skin after all, "Natural Solutions" reported. High-glycemic food, such as fried foods and processed sugars found in soda, cause rapid boosts in blood sugar. The pancreas tries to meet this surge by producing more insulin, which helps bring sugar levels down. This insulin, however, actually triggers the sebaceous glands to produce sebum, or skin oils. It is this skin oil, in excess and along with bacteria, that fills the pores and causes pimples.
The Food and Acne Debate
Although it seems a correlation has been found between high-glycemic foods and skin issues, some think food plays no role in acne or breakouts. According to the AcneNet website, food plays no role in blemish production. The site, developed by the American Academy of Dermatology, even states that strict adherence to diet foods or healthy, vitamin-rich foods will not provide you with acne or breakout relief. However, it does encourage an overall healthy diet regardless of skin problems, along with an outside skin-care treatment method you or your physician choose.
Healthy Foods for Acne
Foods rich in fiber and vitamin B6 may help with acne issues. Fiber absorbs toxins and eliminates them through your waste. Because fiber also influences healthy digestion, your body will eliminate these toxins fairly quickly. This helps to stop your body from expelling excess waste through the skin. Fiber-rich foods include broccoli, potatoes, apples, oranges and strawberries, the BodyFAQ website reports. Vitamin B6 may also help fight acne, because it contributes to healthy skin and limits skin swelling and inflammation, the Office of Dietary Supplements reports. Foods with B6 include avocados, oatmeal, chicken breast, bananas and garbanzo beans. Consult your doctor before adding any supplements to your diet.
Occasional breakouts and persistent acne have multiple causes. In addition to the possible influence of food, occasional breakouts can be caused by the onset of stress, the process of puberty or the shift in hormones in your early 20s. Persistent acne, however, may be caused by biological factors out of your control, such as heredity. Because of these multiple factors, your skin-clearing regimen might need to extend beyond changing your diet. Consult your doctor about additional methods to combat breakouts.
Consuming too much of some of the vitamins in these foods may lead to side effects. Too much fiber, for instance, may cause gas and bloating, the Body Ecology website cautions. Too much B6 may lead to nerve damage in arms and legs, although this is usually associated with supplements, the Office of Dietary Supplements adds. Consult your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms. In addition, because intake thresholds of these vitamins depend on how much is in your system and how well your body absorbs nutrients, consult your physician before introducing these foods in your diet.
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