What to Eat to Clear Up & Improve Your Skin
Diva - 19 Apr 22
Expert Diet Tips / Healthy eating habits for Acne-Free, Glowing Skin.
What is the buzz around your diet and your skin?
Our crazy hairstyles may have stayed in high school, but unfortunately for many of us, our acne decided to tag along into adulthood.
Most of us get at least the occasional breakout, not to mention deal with other skin issues like oiliness, dryness, etc. All of this can be so frustrating--especially when it seems that nothing works to clear your skin.
When working to solve acne and other skin issues, we often overlook the important role our diets play. Lucky for you and your skin, we’ve put together a list of the top nutrients you should be eating for clearer skin and the foods that can deliver them. We’ve even included a few to avoid, to make sure you’re not canceling out your good eating efforts.
Vitamin A is necessary because it prevents overactive sebum production. Sebum production is that oily sheen your skin produces.
In normal amounts, it helps protect your skin from bacteria, but as soon as it becomes overactive, it will create oily, acne-prone skin.
To combat this problem, get your vitamin A from liver, pumpkins, apricots, and spinach. If you just can’t stomach the idea of spinach, reach for the sweet potatoes instead, which will load you up on vitamin A and vitamin C. Bake one and top it off with veggies for a healthier lunch option bursting with flavour--and pretty skin nutrients, it turns out.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that not only boosts your immune system, but also produces clearer skin.
The good thing about vitamin C is that there are numerous foods that you can eat to get your fix--even for those picky eaters out there. Packed with vitamin C, strawberries and peppers are great for skin. In addition to strawberries and peppers, it is recommended to eat pineapples, oranges, and mangos, which are all great sources of vitamin C. Sounds like the makings of a fabulous fruit salad, eh?
Just like vitamin C, vitamin B works as an antioxidant for your skin. They flush out bacteria and help with the reproduction of new skin cells.
For your dose of skin-perfect vitamin B, we recommend including lean poultry, peas, beans and green leafy vegetables in your diet. If you opt for poultry, lean chicken breast or turkey will provide a dose of niacin (a.k.a. vitamin B-3), which can help to strengthen your skin’s barriers.
For clearer skin, it’s essential to make sure you’re getting enough zinc in your diet. Zinc controls oil glands.
Nuts, seeds, carrots, and poultry are great sources of zinc. Quinoa is also good for getting your zinc, especially if you’re looking to multitask with added protein, fiber and whole grains. Yeah, quinoa is definitely one of those superfoods you should be eating.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids help skin look lovelier by reducing inflammation and increasing your skin's moisture level--making it especially important for people with dry skin. Omega-3s will also help boost your metabolism and keep your joints and mucous membranes lubricated for an overall healthier body.
Fish (like salmon, tuna and sardines), flax seed and walnuts will all give you a dose of omega-3.
No, it’s not technically a food, but it’s an important part of your diet. Drinking more water will help to flush more toxins out of your body, reduce bloating, increase your skin's moisture level (and suppleness), while also increasing your metabolism.
Water gives you energy as it hydrates the cells and allows the organs to function optimally. It also flushes toxins from the body and encourages a healthy digestive system.
While you’re working to get glowing, clear skin, watch out for these complexion saboteurs.
Remember that everyone is different: while these may cause breakouts in some, they may not in others. From a dietitian’s standpoint, it is recommended removing caffeine, trans-fats and processed foods from your diet. And it makes sense that these foods would not only help your complexion, but your body overall. Really, when’s the last time you looked at a bag of chips or a plate of cookies and thought, “Surely this will make me healthier”?
You should also look critically at your intake of iodine-containing foods. “There is ample evidence that iodine worsens acne in those that have cystic acne. If you’re concerned about iodine affecting your skin, it is recommended watching your intake of iodized salt (check the levels in your snack food), seaweed, like the kind wrapping some sushi, and shellfish.
You should also reduce your sugar intake (it sucks, we know). There is new evidence linking insulin resistance and acne—and reducing your sugar intake can reduce insulin resistance. While concrete proof is still in the works, sugar does so many nasty things in the body anyway, it may as well be avoided in order to give your body as much strength as possible to let your skin fight for itself.
The relationship between dairy and acne has not yet been proven, but if you’ve tried everything else, it might be worth seeing how cutting dairy out of your diet impacts your skin. “Speculation has been made that the hormones in dairy foods, either added or naturally contained in milk-giving cows, can contribute to the hormone fluctuations seen in acne conditions.
Acne may also be the result of inflammation stemming from a dairy sensitivity, which many people may not realise they have. There can be a connection between sensitivity to dairy and the immune system in the body being bothered enough to cause sensitivity in pores. Inflammation is more involved in acne than many people give credit. So try going a few weeks without dairy to see if that helps cut back on acne flair ups.
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