What Foods Are Safe if You Have Acne?
The skin produces pimples when sebaceous glands overproduce oil (sebum), which combines with dead skin cells to block pores. While studies don't conclusively prove that what you eat causes acne, your best bet is to eat mostly lean protein, fruit and vegetables.
A diet rich in vitamins and minerals keeps your body running efficiently by maintaining healthy levels of blood sugar, regulating hormones and releasing toxins. Vitamins A, E, C, B3, B5, B6, zinc, selenium and chromium can alleviate some possible causes of acne, including stress, inflammation, poor circulation or digestion, hormonal imbalance and insulin resistance.
Vitamin A, a common facial cream ingredient, is even better to ingest as food, specifically carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach and kale. Vitamin A may even heal acne scars. Vitamin E, found also in spinach and kale as well as eggs and almonds, regulates vitamin A levels in the body to keep the cells toxin-free. Citrus fruit and vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower and squash, offer the anti-inflammatory properties of Vitamin C.
Avocado, peanuts, lean meats and eggs all include Vitamin B3, an anti-inflammatory that aids in circulation. Eggs also contain Vitamin B5, which balances hormones, along with fish, beans, sunflower seeds, peas, mushrooms and broccoli. Vitamin B6 helps the body absorb fats and proteins and regulates the metabolism and nervous system. Sources of B6 include fish, poultry, spinach, turnips and bananas.
If your body does not get enough zinc, it may be overproducing testosterone, which activates the sebaceous glands. Whole grains and pumpkin seeds provide a healthy supply of zinc.
The combination of Vitamins A, E and selenium works together to prevent cancer as well as acne, thanks to their antioxidants that protect against free radicals. You'll find selenium in plant foods, tuna and cod.
Chromium, a mineral commonly lacking in our diets, helps maintain blood-sugar levels and reduce HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol. Some good sources of chromium include onions, tomatoes and romaine lettuce.
A diet about three times higher in Omega-3 essential fatty acids than Omega-6 essential fatty acids helps relieve the inflammation that may cause acne. Get Omega-3 from fish, walnuts, olive oil, avocados and flax seeds.
Lean meats, fish and eggs are all good sources of protein.
As always, it helps to drink plenty of fluids, which hydrate your skin. Water, herbal tea and vegetable juice are best. Beverages to avoid include milk and soda.
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