Much has been said about the subject, but now there's scientific evidence to prove that diet affects the state of your skin, particularly concerning acne.
A study published in 2007 by Australian researchers showed that men aged 15-25 with mild to moderate acne experienced dramatic improvement upon switching from the typical American diet to a healthier one of lean meat, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
The state of their acne improved by more than 50 percent! That says something about eating healthy.
What to avoid
Here are the top five culprits that cause breakouts. Try this experiment- avoid them for a week, and observe the changes to your skin.
Scientists aren't yet sure why cow's milk causes acne, but there are several theories. This milk spikes blood sugar, which can increase inflammation that leads to pimples. Also, it increases insulin levels, which stimulate the production of sebum.
Milk also contains growth hormones that encourage the overgrowth of skin cells, thus blocking pores.
Some scientific studies suggest that there may be a link between sugar intake and breakouts. The important thing is how much sugar you're eating at a particular time.
If you take a candy bar and a soda, you're spiking your blood sugar levels, and you could experience a breakout hours later.
These types of foods break down quickly in the body, raising blood sugar levels and causing an insulin spike. They trigger hormonal fluctuations and inflammation, which encourage acne.
Such foods include potato chips, white bread, processed breakfast cereals, white rice, cakes, pretzels, cookies, etc. Eat low glycemic-index foods instead, like whole grains, sweet potatoes, vegetables, and most fruits.
Junk foods also cause hormonal fluctuations and spike blood sugar levels. Limit your intake of such foods, drink lots of water, and eat healthier food to help your body stay balanced.
What to eat
Eliminating the damaging foods listed above will likely give you clearer skin, especially if you were regularly consuming them in large amounts before. If you're already eating healthy, is there any way to get the upper hand on acne?
Research is in the early stages, but particular foods may help.
FISH OR FLAXSEED
The conventional Western diet contains excess omega-6 fatty acids, which contribute to inflammation. Consuming more omega-3 fatty acids can help tame inflammation and improve acne breakouts. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids include walnuts, flaxseed, and fatty fish.
Green tea has antioxidants that protect against environmental stressors.
Several studies show that zinc may reduce the effects of acne. Eat more veal liver, oysters, toasted wheat germ, roasted pumpkin and squash seeds, roast beef, and dried watermelon seeds.
Many fruits contain beta-carotenes, which naturally help in balancing skin oils and reducing inflammation.
Dark, leafy greens also help remove acne-causing impurities from the body. However, be careful when juicing since the consumption of too much sugar interferes with insulin production.
Probiotics reduce inflammation in the gut, which may help lessen acne. A 2011 study showed that intestinal microflora might trigger inflammation throughout the body, which can lead to breakouts.
To get probiotics in your diet, try kefir, miso soup, sauerkraut, yogurt, dark chocolate, tempeh, microalgae, pickles, kimchi, and kombucha tea.
The Sole Toscana Beauty Team