“You are what you eat” is especially true for people with acne. Whatever you ingest and put into your body shows up on your skin, the largest organ of your body. In addition to exercising, reducing stress levels, getting adequate sleep, keeping up with personal hygiene, diet is also an integral component of improving your acne.
Inflammation is when your skin looks red and swollen during a breakout. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to a disease or bacteria and chemicals. The body brings in white blood cells to try to fight off the infection. But when the wound does not heal, bacteria feed off the oil produced by your skin and multiply inside your pores. Inflammation can cause your skin to produce excess oil. A poor diet also contributes to this inflammation.
Some foods to avoid include:
Saturated and processed fats
Dairy consumption (added hormones)
Red and processed meats (artificial hormones)
Trans fats (fast food, deep fried foods, margarine)
Refined grains and white flour
Vegetable oils (canola, sunflower
Sugar (limit foods that have a high glycemic index, which can throw off blood sugar and hormone levels)
Some anti-inflammatory foods to improve acne:
Fruits and vegetables (leafy greens, bell peppers, and berries) -full of antioxidants
Whole grains (oats, barley, whole wheat, brown rice)-fiber and antioxidants
Omega-3 fatty acids (cold-water fish like salmon, flaxseed, almonds)
Fermented foods (kombucha, kimchi, live sauerkraut)
White tea and green tea (antioxidants)
I’ve tried cutting out most of the foods from the top list before, which showed me that eating better really helps with my skin. Although I didn’t have the time or money to cut out everything at once, I tried cutting out each food group separately. I found that the easiest to cut out was the dairy.
As for cutting out gluten, that was difficult, since virtually everything I liked had a little bit of gluten in it. Breads and pastas that are gluten-free taste and have a very different texture than those with gluten. I felt less bloated and my skin was less inflamed and that helped me get through my gluten-free phase. I also incorporated more berries and antioxidants, making sure that vitamins A and E, which are critical for skin health, was included in my diet.
Last but certainly not least, I made sure to drink plenty of water, as this helps flush out the toxins in your body that can lead to acne. Drinking more water can help you attain clear and glowing skin.