The Anti-Acne Diet
Pustules, pimples and blackheads are the bane of acne sufferers’ existence. Antibiotics, prescription and OTC topical ointments and various therapies can help keep acne under control, but what about the most obvious measures–the substances you introduce into your body every day? Food affects all of the aspects of our health, including the health of our skin. Sugar causes the pancreas to make insulin, which in turn signals the sebacious glands to produce more sebum. Excess sebum is the ideal breeding ground for the evil bacteria acnes which clogs the pores and results in acne. So keep the sugar to an absolute minimum–and that includes alcohol. But what should you eat? Here are some skin-healthy foods that can improve your skin’s appearance and help do away with acne.
Water does a body good–very, very good. In addition to keeping you hydrated and all of your systems working efficiently, water keeps the skin healthy, helping to flush out harmful bacteria. Drink at least 64 ounces of water a day to help clear your skin.
Foods that promote inflammation of the skin and aggravate acne include vegetable oils and refined grains. The anti-inflammatory properties of certain foods, such as salmon, broccoli, beans, walnuts and flaxseed, help keep skin inflammation to a minimum. Antioxidants Antioxidants are nutrients and enzymes that help repair damage to tissues. Research shows that green tea may be the best source for antioxidants,containing an even more powerful punch than vitamins and minerals. Vitamins A, C and E and the mineral selenium are other antioxidants that are particularly helpful to your skin. Fruits and vegetables, particularly blueberries, red beans and potatoes, are rich in the vitamins; eat plenty of low-fat dairy products for a solid dose of the most effective of the three,Vitamin A. Selenium is found in Brazil nuts, shrimp, halibut, tuna and button mushrooms.
Foods for Digestive Health
If you have poor digestion, your acne may flare up more often and more severely. Consume digestive enzymes, zinc and B-vitamins to keep your digestive system in good order and reduce your acne. Digestive enzymes can be taken in pill form, or you can eat raw pineapple or papaya with each meal. Oysters, peanuts, lamb, roast beef and toasted wheat germ are all very high in zinc. For your B-vitamins, try turkey, tuna, lentils, bananas and potatoes.
Eat it or Wear It
In addition to eating foods high in skin-loving nutrients, you can wear them. A green tea skin toner has anti-inflammatory properties in addition to packing antioxidants. Place 2 teaspoons of green tea leaves in a container and pour 1/2 cup of boiling distilled water over them. Steep for 10 minutes,then strain. Apply the tea to your face with a cotton ball. Puree bananas,citrus fruits, watermelon and avocados to slather on your face for a vitamin-rich, moisturizing mask; leave on for ten minutes and rinse with warm water.
Eating a diet rich in vitamins and minerals benefits all of your organs,including your largest organ–the skin. If what you put in your body are overwhelmingly unprocessed, whole foods and consists mostly of fruits and vegetables, your good health will be reflected in your skin.