Acne is influenced by your genes, lifestyle and of course what you eat. One study published in The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology Trusted Source found that a low-glycemic, high-protein diet for 12 weeks improved acne in men, and also led to weight loss.
More than one-third of people with acne see a connection between what they eat and their blemishes.
Foods with a high glycemic indexes such as carbs, processed foods, and sweets were associated with acne. On the contrary, a well-balanced, antioxidant-rich diet, rich in fruits and veggies, whole grains and healthy oils can reduce inflammation and contribute to your skin’s overall health. So there is a direct relationship between inflammation and acne.
DO eat – foods that fight acne and inflammation:
– Low glycemic index foods – are correlated with a decrease in inflammation and sebum levels.
– Omega 3 fatty acids – found in salmon, sardines and other oily fish, chia seeds, flaxseeds.
– Antioxidants – eat plenty of fruit and vegetables high in antioxidants and try to eat veggies as varied as possible. Food with vibrant colors have the highest amounts of antioxidants (berries, broccoli, spinach, oranges).
Note that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) warns that high doses of antioxidant supplements can be harmful, increasing the risk of some chronic diseases and they can also interact with some medication. Talk to your doctor before taking antioxidant supplements. However, eating a wide range of fruits and vegetables has been linked to a lower rate of chronic diseases, reducing inflammation and improving skin condition.
– Deficiencies in minerals such as Zinc and Selenium have been linked to acne. Most nuts contain Selenium and Zinc, with positive effects on acne management. High quantities of Zinc can be found in cashews, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, beef, turkey, lentils and seafood. Some studies suggest a quantity of 40 mg of Zinc daily to maintain a good skin condition.
– Whole grains – such as brown rice and quinoa are also part of an alkaline diet, which helps reduce inflammation.
If you are a professional or amateur athlete, you must consider food that is more nutritionally dense such as: beans, lentils, quinoa, brown rice, tofu and soy products, hempseeds, healthy fats (nuts, seeds, avocado and avocado oil, coconut and coconut oil, olive oil), fatty fishes high in Omega 3 (salmon, sardines). The general piece of advice for vegetarian athletes is to get enough protein and Iron, Zinc and B12 in their diets. Nutritionally dense foods, such as the ones mentioned above, will help vegetarian athletes maintain a good, acne-free complexion and overall good health with quality vegetable proteins.
DON’T eat – the foods below are foods with a high glycemic index, correlated with an increased inflammation level and thus an increased risk of sebum production:
– Junk food
– Dairy products
However, “food is only about 25% of the picture when it comes to acne,” says Marmur, a professor of dermatology at Mt. Sinai Hospital. The other 75% is influenced by hormones, stress, sleep levels, and where you live. Good skin care also plays a role. “
Water – helps hydrate your body and complexion and flushes away toxins that can cause skin problems.
Stress – the most important thing you can do in preventing or minimizing acne is to reduce stress in your life. Stress increases the cortisol level in your body and inflammation; the amount of sebum is directly influenced by stress.
Relaxation and good sleep – is the opposite of stress, contributing to a decreased cortisol level and thus a decrease in sebum production. Make sleep a priority, since it influences not only acne, but also the body’s overall immunity.
A good skincare routine and hygiene – don’t go to bed at night without removing your make-up, your skin will thank you for leaving the pores clean and able to breathe. Also, maintain a good skin hygiene, using non-oily products that are designed for skin with acne and don’t touch your skin too often. Clean your phone with a damp microfiber cloth regularly (ideally daily).
The best diet advice in dealing with acne seems to be eating a clean, balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. You can achieve these benefits with The Diet of Common Sense, which is a lifestyle choice rather than a proper diet. Together with the other changes in your lifestyle like drinking plenty of water, reducing stress, good sleep, and relaxation, a good skincare routine and hygiene could lead to proper acne management.
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