Having and maintaining spotless skin is something on everyone’s minds, men and women alike. The last thing we want is a face full of acne that is highly embarrassing to walk around with, if not painful.
There may be a variety of factors that may contribute to an acne breakout, such as stress and anxiety, or hormonal imbalances, and these may be out of your control. However, researchers have found out that following a diet that is rich in certain foods may help in significantly controlling and preventing acne.
Remember though – there are no common foods that have the same impact on every person. For instance, eating an avocado may help in preventing acne in one person, but may lead to a set of other health problems in someone else because of a food allergy or sensitivity problem.
Each one of us is built differently, and it is possible that our bodies may react differently to the same foods.
The trick is to introduce new foods into your diet slowly. Once you’re sure your body is reacting positively, you can increase the serving sizes steadily with time.
8 Foods To Start Eating To Prevent Acne Breakouts
Here is a list of foods to add to your grocery list that can help prevent acne and are good for the overall health of your skin.
With their hefty serving of vitamin E, fondly known as the ‘skin vitamin’ by beauty experts, almonds are one of the best friends your skin can make. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps fight off free radicals which include bacteria and fungi that are responsible for blocking your pores with excess gunk and causing you acne. Additionally, vitamin E helps in the fading of scars and speeds up the healing process of acne wounds.
Try eating a handful of these delicious, crunchy nuts each day and see if it makes a difference!
Another bearer of vitamin E as well as vitamin C, avocados can help fight off skin inflammation and can help keep your skin well hydrated the natural way.
3. Red Grapes
Grapes, especially the red variety come with plenty of natural antioxidants and chemicals that help keep skin inflammation at bay. This helps control and prevent acne and a whole lot of other skin infections like eczema and psoriasis. This delicious fruit is also known to aid in managing side effects of various allergic reactions on your skin.
Yet another food that’s rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, artichokes are also chock-full of healthy dietary fiber. This helps improve your metabolism and digestion process, thus helps in effectively ridding your body of toxins. This makes artichokes a great dietary option for healthy, glowing skin.
Garlic contains high amounts of allicin, a chemical that kills inflammation-causing bacteria. In fact, beauty experts swear by rubbing a clove of garlic on pimples and acne as a form of effective treatment.
6. Brown Rice
Being rich in vitamin B, protein, antioxidants, and magnesium, brown rice is very helpful in regulating hormones which can, in turn, prevent acne breakouts.
It may not be your favorite thing to eat, but if you’re trying to fight acne, you may want to turn to this vegetable. It comes packed with vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, and these work together to protect your skin against infection that may lead to a breakout.
8. Fatty Fish
Omega-3 and omega-6 are natural fatty acids that are very hard to come by in their natural form unless you get them from their original sources like fish. These healthy fats can greatly contribute to fighting inflammation, and in turn, preventing the clogging of pores that causes acne.
5 Common Foods That May Trigger Acne Breakouts
When talking about a diet that helps to prevent and control and acne breakout, it becomes equally important to list out the foods that are known to be common acne triggers.
Note: As mentioned earlier, not everyone reacts the same way to the same foods. If you’re experiencing acne breakouts, it is recommended that you start by eliminating one or two foods at a time. For instance, try leaving out dairy for one week, greasy foods the next, etc. to help you zero in on the exact trigger for your acne.
This is a no-brainer. Studies suggest that there might be a strong link between sugar and acne breakouts.1 However, this doesn’t mean that you’re going to get a pimple each time you indulge in a cookie.
Usually, it boils down to how much sugar you consume each day, more importantly, at one time. For instance, finishing a can of soda or eating an entire candy bar in one sitting is very likely to cause a spike in your blood sugar levels, and this may cause a breakout hours, sometimes even a few days later. If you eat a lot of sugar and suspect that it could be the main cause of your acne, try cutting down one sugary drink each day and see if you can notice any difference.
2. Cow’s Milk
Studies have shown a link between drinking cow’s milk and acne breakouts.2 Even though scientists are yet to confirm the exact reason, there are several theories that support this claim. Cow’s milk is known to cause a spike in blood sugar, which in turn increases your insulin levels. This may trigger an increase in production of oil on your skin. Also, most cow’s milk contains hormones that may cause an overgrowth of skin cells that can lead to blocked skin pores.
3. High-Glycemic Or Processed Foods
If you’re into foods like white bread, boxed cereals, white rice, potato chips, cakes, cookies, and candy, you might be at a higher risk of acne breakouts. These foods, once consumed, are digested and broken down very quickly by your body, triggering an insulin spike and increasing your blood sugar levels. This could result in plenty of hormonal fluctuations and inflammation, both of which are the main causes of acne.
Instead, try eating a diet that is rich in low-glycemic-index foods such as whole grain bread, vegetables, sweet potatoes, brown rice, etc.
Fast-food is linked to severe conditions like childhood asthma, and this is mainly because of the ability of such foods to cause increased inflammation in the body.3 Inflammation will definitely lead to pimples. So if you’re really desperate to prevent or control your acne, try going for some yogurt or a salad the next time you go to a fast-food restaurant.
5. Junk Foods
Junk foods are mainly targeted at children and teenagers and may be the main cause of acne breakouts in young children. These are manufactured with a deliberate addition of colors so as to make them visually appealing. Also, numerous flavor enhancements that are nothing but harmful chemicals are added to promote over-consumption of such foods. As if this isn’t bad enough, the high content of saturated and trans fats, sodium, artificial sugars, empty calories, and preservatives (which helps ensure the longest possible shelf life), make these foods the worst kind of diet offenders.
Avoid pigging out on french fries, candy bars, soft drinks, cheeseburgers, pizzas, and fried onion rings for these are going to worsen your acne problem, and cause a damaging impact on your health in the long run.
|↑1, ↑2||Danby, F. William. “Nutrition and acne.” Clinics in dermatology 28, no. 6 (2010): 598-604.|
|↑3||Ellwood, Philippa, M. Innes Asher, Luis García-Marcos, Hywel Williams, Ulrich Keil, Colin Robertson, Gabriele Nagel, and ISAAC Phase III Study Group. “Do fast foods cause asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema? Global findings from the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) Phase Three.” Thorax (2013): thoraxjnl-2012.|