By Larissa Jordan
Clear, healthy skin is something everyone wants; however, many young people and adults alike still find themselves with less-than-perfect skin. What steps can you take to make your skin clearer? One way is to pay attention to your diet. Although no foods specifically cause or cure acne, there are foods and nutrients that can affect your appearance. Keep reading to find out why the foods you eat play a role in how your skin looks and what foods you should eat to keep your skin clear, bright and beautiful.
Why Foods Affect Your Skin
Many dermatologists will tell you that what you eat doesn’t affect your skin, but new research is showing the opposite. While hormones play a role in acne, foods and nutrients play a role in your skin’s appearance. For example, processed foods can have harmful effects on your skin, so with the proper nutrients and fewer toxins, you can reduce the amount of blemishes on your skin.
What Foods to Eat
The following are some foods and nutrients you should consume if you’re looking for acne remedies. And, of course, you should make sure to drink plenty of water to help flush toxins out of your body and keep hydrated.
• Vitamin A. Very high doses of this vitamin are sometimes used to treat acne. These doses are hard to fulfill through diet alone, yet, dietary vitamin A is important for healthy skin. Some foods rich in this nutrient are sweet potatoes, carrots, lettuce and cantaloupe.
• Vitamin C. This vitamin protects cells from free-radical damage. Bell peppers, oranges, kale, Brussels sprouts, strawberries and okra are all rich in vitamin C.
• Vitamin E. This vitamin helps protect cell membranes and guard against UV-radiation damage. Some good food sources include: almonds, spinach, broccoli, avocados and mangoes.
• Carotenoids. Carotenoid levels are known to be lower in acne patients. Consume more green- and orange-colored vegetables to get an abundance of this nutrient.
• Selenium. Selenium is an antioxidant mineral that delays aging by protecting skin quality and elasticity. Tuna, oysters, shrimp, brown rice, mushrooms and eggs are all good sources.
• Zinc. This mineral protects cell membranes and helps maintain your skin’s firmness. Oysters, lentils, peanuts, cashews and lima beans are all excellent sources of zinc.
• Lemons. Lemon juice cleanses the liver. Drinking it will also flush out your pores and keep your skin fresh and bright.
• Apples. Apples contain pectin, the enemy of acne. Eat the skin, which is where the pectin is most concentrated.
• Yogurt. Yogurt has antifungal and antibacterial qualities, making it useful for cleansing the skin and unblocking clogged pores.
• Whole grains. Fiber-packed whole grains can help prevent and reduce acne. Whole wheat, quinoa and millet are all fiber-rich.
When planning your diet, you’ll also want to consider your allergies and food sensitivities, which can reduce your body’s immune response sensitivity over time.
The majority of young people in the West and about 50 percent of adults over 25 are estimated to have facial acne to some extent. If you are one of these people, paying attention to the foods you eat really can have an impact on your skin. Why not consider what you eat and make a few changes to your diet? Perhaps your skin will clear up, and you’ll be able to put your best face forward with confidence in any situation.