Last week, I wrote about foods to avoid when you have acne and want clear skin. This week, I planned to list foods known to reduce acne backed by scientific studies. I started my research and let me tell you, there’s a lot of information out there! It was hard to condense into a top 10 or 20 foods for clear skin list. So what I decided to do is share five guidelines for choosing foods that will not only help your skin but also improve your overall health. I also highlighted helpful articles and resources!
1. Choose a Paleo or Mediterranean diet
Many skin experts recommend one of these two diets as the best diet for great skin. As I mentioned in my previous post, refined sugars and carbohydrates like white bread and pastries are a no-no when it comes to riding yourself of acne. Both these diets avoid these type of foods. The paleo diet is designed to resemble what human hunter-gatherers ate thousands of years it. One of the benefits and purpose of paleo is lowering inflammation in the body. Inflammation can wreak havoc on hormones. Hormones are the culprit for causing acne. The paleo diet consists of many hormone balancing foods including proteins, healthy fats, leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables. Processed foods, sugar, soft drinks, grains, most dairy products, legumes, artificial sweeteners, vegetable oils, margarine and trans fats are avoided.
Interestingly, researchers studied a 1,200 (including 300 teens) Papua New Guinea Islanders who all ate a hunter gatherer Paleo diet and there was not one reported case of acne!1
Similarly, the Mediterranean diet gears towards healthy fats, vegetables and proteins like fish (less meat) but also includes fruits, and whole grains.
How Paleo Makes You Look Younger, Sexier and More Vibrant: https://chriskresser.com/how-paleo-makes-you-look-younger-sexier-and-more-vibrant/
Eating for Healthy Skin: https://paleoleap.com/eating-healthy-skin/
2. Choose whole foods, not processed
There are a lot of processed packaged foods that appear to be a good choice for a paleo diet. You’ll find packaged foods that are paleo-friendly, gluten free, non-GMO. However, many are still not healthy for you. Read the ingredients on the label. Look for ingredients that are real foods and look for added sugars. Any “weird” sounding ingredients should be a red flag. Better yet, make your own snacks with whole foods at home. That way you have control of the ingredients. Don’t have time? Use this app!
3. Choose organic and grass fed
The pesticides on conventionally grown fruits and vegetables contain chemicals that are toxic to humans and known to disrupt hormones. We know that an increase in androgen hormone levels trigger acne. Also, industrially raised meats and dairy contain hormones and are treated with antibiotics. Consuming foods with pesticides, hormones and antibiotics effect hormone balance and cause inflammation in our bodies and stress. Stress hormones (cortisol), which can act as an androgen, stimulate the sebaceous glands and cause acne.
4. Choose gut-healthy foods
Current scientific evidence shows there is a clear connection between gut problems and skin disorders.2 If you have acne, your gut likely needs healing. Eliminating foods that cause inflammation in your body and adding foods that promote and heal the gut can lead to better skin. Pre – and probiotic foods promote a healthy gut. Fermented foods like kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, miso, Kombucha have probiotics. Prebiotic foods include garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus, banana, oats, apples and more.
5. Take vitamins and minerals
It can be hard consume all the vitamins you need to heal your acne. Many acne sufferers have had great results with adding vitamin and mineral supplements. Work with a nutritionist and/or functional medicine health practitioner to determine the best treatment for your needs and nutritional deficiencies.
Read about the skin benefits if these supplements:
Vitamin A, Zinc and Vitamin C – https://chriskresser.com/nutrition-for-healthy-skin-part-1/
Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Biotin and Sulfur – https://chriskresser.com/nutrition-for-healthy-skin-part-2/
Vitamin E, Pathogenic Acid (B5), Selenium – https://chriskresser.com/nutrition-for-healthy-skin-part-3/
Pathogenic Acid for Acne on YouTube; and you’ll find testimonials like this one that went viral.
Well, I hope this post will help anyone who is suffering from acne. There are tons of skin care products and prescription medicines that people turn to that can help. However, I think it wouldn’t hurt and will surely will help to look at your lifestyle first. Are you eating the right foods? Are you stressed? What works for you to reduce stress? Exercising? Sleeping more? Try identifying the root cause of your acne before you reach for that Accutane prescription and the accompanying side effects!