Do you struggle with acne? Medicated creams and lotions can work to an extent and covering up with makeup can make things worse. If you are looking for a long-term solution, eating the right foods can help your skin stay healthy from within.
Today we’ll be discussing 17 foods you should eat to get rid of acne and scars. Do you eat enough green leafy vegetables? What fruits are a must? Wait a minute, what is chocolate doing on this list? We’re discussing all that and more…
Let’s begin with acne’s worst nightmare – lemons!
Your skin is a multi-functional organ. It is constantly in contact with pollution, chemicals, and other environmental changes. That’s why it gets damaged easily. Lemons can lighten acne scars, increase collagen production in your skin and block free radicals. They are a powerhouse of Vitamin C and promote healing.
So when life gives you lemons, make a refreshing cup of lemon honey tea. Lemonade contains too much sugar! You can also try its citrus siblings like limes and oranges.
Berries are your skin’s dream team members.
Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries are loaded with powerful antioxidants. They have a high concentration of vitamins A and C that promote smooth skin. This is a perfect combo that fights skin aging, hyperpigmentation, and acne. Berries have a lower glycemic index and help fight inflammation too. Just blend them in your smoothies or top your yogurt bowls with fresh or frozen berries.
Let’s put carrots in the spotlight.
They are the healthiest snack when you are on the go. Carrots contain carotenoids that give the typical orange color. They work against acne, prevent blemishes, reduce inflammation, and are natural skin exfoliators. Add a side of roasted carrots to your meals. Or just have a bowl of carrot soup. But avoid carrot cake. Excess sugar and processed wheat flour can trigger flare-ups.
Moving along green tea is the boss.
Herbal teas are a great way to enjoy a refreshing drink. And the world has been especially gushing over green tea all for the right reasons. Sodas, juices, and other sugary beverages can be damaging to your skin.
Human studies have shown green tea to be a powerful anti-inflammatory. The same study showed participants who had green tea for 60 days experienced less oily skin. This reduced their acne considerably. So go ahead and give this drink a try for 2 months straight.
Let’s justify the quinoa craze.
This superfood works against damaged skin like a pro. If you have red inflamed rosacea-like skin then quinoa can minimize the symptoms. The niacinamide or vitamin B3 helps to rebuild the skin and reduce acne scarring, Another compound called ecdysteroid also has been studied to reduce acne scarring.
Quinoa is a great protein source for vegans as it contains 20 essential amino acids. Just mix it up with chopped onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, mushrooms, and zucchini to make a hearty meal. Don’t forget to top it with lemon juice and some seasoning.
Yogurt can zap zits.
This cooling food can soothe your irritated skin. It works especially well for people with fungal acne on the forehead or the jawline. Now, this is weird but an irritated bowel can often cause acne. Having other fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, and tempeh can also help.
Studies have shown having probiotics can reduce follicular inflammation and arrest the progression of acne. Try the plain variety over flavored. To make it more exciting just add chunks of fruit. But avoid yogurt if you are sensitive to milk products.
Make a green addition with spinach.
Acne affects almost 80% of people from the ages 11 to 30 in the United States alone. Having spinach can reverse this condition. It is loaded with dietary magnesium, calcium, iron, and antioxidants. It also contains vitamins A, C, and K that together enhance your skin’s potential to heal from acne scars.
Even if there is no active acne on your skin the scar marks can take a long time to disappear. Spinach can fortify your skin’s natural barrier and promote faster recovery. Mix it in your smoothies, salads, and blend them in dips and sauces. You can also substitute it with kale for a change. You will get equal if not additional benefits.
Tomatoes are superheroes of the skin.
Bumpy, pitted skin can be fixed by regular tomato consumption. It’s alright to eat fresh or canned tomatoes to get the maximum skin benefits. In fact lycopene, an antioxidant found in tomatoes that gives them their bright red color, is found to be more effective in treating skin problems after cooking.
Lycopene can stop the lipid peroxidation that is considered a ‘starter gun’ of acne. So don’t shy away from sliding tomatoes in your sandwiches, burgers, or having tomato soup.
Switch to whole wheat.
Are you a pizza lover? Most breads will have processed white flour as their base. Simple carbs can trigger acne. Simply switching to whole wheat flour can make a huge difference. Cakes, pastries and cereals can induce insulin-related skin inflammation. The cellular debris may block the hair follicles.
So stick to whole wheat products. You can try baking whole wheat bread or use whole wheat flour in your crepes and pancakes. You can even find whole wheat pasta, cookies, and biscuits.
Let turmeric do some magic.
Turmeric is traditionally used in many households in Asia. It has amazing antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal properties. Research says consuming turmeric or applying it to your skin can be equally beneficial. Curcumin, a bioactive compound, can be effective against acne, alopecia, dermatitis, sun damage, psoriasis, and vitiligo. A pro tip is to add a pinch of pepper while using turmeric. This ensures better absorption of curcumin.
Perfect your glow with almonds.
Almonds are the much-needed fuel for your skin’s defense against acne. You can enjoy these in multiple ways. Have them lightly toasted or slivered in your salads. You can also use almond butter over your whole-wheat toast or almond milk. You can try using almond flour and baking gluten-free bread too.
Almonds are a rich source of vitamin E. They prevent the leakage of sebum from the sebaceous glands of your skin. That’s how they prevent inflammation and reduce acne.
Get flawless skin with fatty fish.
Cut back on red meat as it’s full of saturated fats. Instead focus on anchovies, salmon, mackerel, and sardines. These fish are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. Now it might feel confusing as on one hand, we are trying to reduce fat from the diet and on the other, we are asking you to eat Omega 3 fatty acids. But these are the good facts that can actually enhance your skin quality. Studies have shown Omega 3 fatty acids can be used as treatment for acne patients.
Have 3 Oz of grilled fish every week to get maximum benefits. You can chop up some spinach leaves, berries, and salmon chunks and throw them in a big bowl. Sprinkle some almonds and enjoy this miracle salad with a light dressing.
Treat yourself with sweet potatoes.
When you stop eating artificially sweetened food you will be able to taste the natural sugars from vegetables and fruits. These potatoes have a mildly sweet aftertaste and a nutritional profile that can positively impact your skin. They are rich in antioxidants and have vitamins A, C, D, E, and B that can prevent acne.
Roast 1 sweet potato for 1 hour at 400 degrees. Cut it open and fill it with plain Greek yogurt, add some frozen berries and drizzle almond butter. This breakfast can kickstart your day and fill you up with balanced carbs, protein, fats, and fibers.
Get the care your skin deserves with flaxseeds.
A spoonful of flaxseeds is enough to boost your circulation. You can add ground flax seeds to your overnight oats or your protein shake. You can also add them to your fish, macaroni, dry pasta, whole wheat muffins, and healthy baked foods.
Studies have shown it can remove blemishes, improve the moisture-holding capacity of the skin, balance skin pH and help in wound healing. This is a complete package for radiant skin.
Our next pick is oysters.
Oysters have been consumed for centuries. Zinc is a micronutrient that ensures the proper functioning of your skin. Studies show that there might be a zinc deficiency in people with acne. Consuming zinc-rich foods or zinc supplements also improves the condition. Zinc is naturally available in oysters. It also helps to kill bacteria and stop inflammation.
Having oysters every day though, can cause nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and diarrhea due to excessive zinc intake. So if you really love oysters, hit up an oyster bar once in a while and enjoy the premium seafood.
Find a place for broccoli on your plate.
This cruciferous vegetable can be a total game-changer. Cruciferous vegetables are loaded with Vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants. Studies have shown eating more cauliflower, Brussel sprouts cabbage, and broccoli reduces inflammation.
Grill broccoli florets and spice them up with seasonings of your choice. Dunk them in dip to enjoy a quick snack. This may seem plain and simple but is definitely delicious. Even the fussy eaters will get on board with broccoli.
Lastly, get divine skin with chocolate.
Yes, you heard that right. Perfect melt-in-your-mouth chocolate can be a delight. But we’re not talking regular chocolate, we mean dark chocolate. It has minimal dairy and sugar, two major culprits of acne. Cocoa powder on its own does not have a strong potential for causing breakouts.
The flavonoids present in chocolate lowers your blood pressure and reduces inflammation. While there are studies that say chocolate can be a big no for people suffering from acne there are documented studies that also point out chocolate does not cause acne. So if you have been running away from your favorite dessert it might be time to dig dark chocolate. But remember moderation is the key.
Show some extra love to your skin by eating nutritious food. Afterall, you are what you eat.