Does Your Diet Affect Acne (Foods You Need to Eat and Avoid)?

When it comes to home remedies for acne treatment, there are several crucial points that you need to concern. In general, your diet and some changes of lifestyle habits should be on your top list. In fact, there are also a lot of issues and opinions about the role of lifestyles and diet in triggering pimple flare ups. Let’s explore these issues on the following section!

Does your diet really affect acne?

It is clear that all foods you eat can affect your entire health, including for the health of your skin. But unfortunately there is still no clearly answer about how far your diet can help prevent or trigger acne.

This is reasonable since diet is not the single factor behind the pimple flare-ups. Furthermore, there are few studies to analyze this issue, though many experts do believe that diet has an effect.

So, does what you eat have an effect? Yes it does, but again diet (particularly poor diet) is only one of many components behind an acne flare-up – as noted before. In fact, about more than 25 percents of all acne cases have a connection with diet.

How does a pimple form? Make it simply, medically acne is considered as a kind of disorder of the skin cell’s turnover, a condition called keratinization. Naturally, skin turnover is needed by the body to keep the health and elasticity of the skin. But sometime the mechanism of skin turnover can go improperly which then eventually can lead to retained cells.

The accumulation of these retained cells can clog the opening pores of the skin and block the skin’s oil glands. This condition can put your skin at greater risk of having more oil (natural oil of the skin called sebum) and protein that trapped into the opening pores which then can give more foods for natural bacteria on the skin called P-acnes to become overgrowth.

The clogged opening pores also can lead to the decreased volume of oxygen in the skin. These can create a great combination to trigger a pimple. See in-depth information about how fast acne grows on this section!

There are hundreds of mechanisms and steps needed in the process of the skin renewal’s cycle, and again foods that you eat are only one of the crucial components to support this process.

Skin is one of many parts of your body that is continuously under construction. And your body needs plenty of vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients from foods that you eat to support the cycle of this renewal.

It’s true that diet has contribution. However, you should not overestimate the role of diet in affecting the health of your skin and your chance of having a pimple.

Many experts also believe that about almost 75 percent of your chance is affected by other factors such as;

  1. the area or home where you live (environmental factors such as air pollution),
  2. the quality of your sleep (whether or not you have plenty of good sleep every day),
  3. how well you cope with stress (see also the link between acne and stress),
  4. skin care factor (whether you have good /poor skin care),
  5. and the hormones of your own body.

So, don’t only focus to your diet when it comes to acne prevention. Because in fact, there is no any super food that can be powerful enough ‘alone’ to prevent pimple flare-ups!

In general, unhealthy foods (particularly such as high in saturated fats, dairy products, simple sugars, junk foods, French fries, and other acne-triggered foods) should be restricted – particularly if you have many sites of acne-prone skin. Because they may have an effect in triggering your acne!

Does eating chocolate cause acne?

You may ever hear that chocolate will make you break out – but, is it true or only a myth? Well … the answer of this question is not fully understood and still debatable. While some experts say that there is a link between chocolate and acne, others don’t!

Moreover, not all people notice any acne flare-ups when they are going with diet high in chocolate – in other words, the answer may vary from person to person.

Overall, there is still no adequate scientific evidence to confirm the connection between pimple flare-ups and eating chocolate. But if you have acne-prone skin, chocolate may be one of foods that should be restricted in your diet.

You can try eliminating chocolate in your diet and then see whether this idea helps the improvement of your acne. If there is no significant improvement, your habit of eating chocolate may have an effect, but there might be other factors that have much more contribution!

How about with eating almond – does it also make you break out?

This opinion is completely only a myth. Instead, eating almond moderately can help improve the health of your skin and may also help reduce your chance of having pimples.

Almonds are high in healthy fats called ‘monounsaturated fats’ and vitamin E (both are good nutrients for your skin). As well we know, the skin needs to have a balance level between alkalinity and acidity to keep healthy. And monounsaturated fats are good for your skin since it can help improve the balance of skin pH – according to a Dutch Study.

Moreover, almond is not only great choice for your wide variety of healthy fat sources. It is also can help improve the mechanism of your blood sugar metabolism (helpful to reduce the risk of diabetes) and decrease the level of LDL ‘bad cholesterol’ (helpful to reduce your risk of having cardiovascular diseases).

However, it also contains saturated fats (in very smaller amounts) – therefore, you still need to eat it in moderation!

Does eating meat cause acne?

There may be no any direct link between meat and breakouts, but for better result it’s much more recommended to choose meats high in omega-3 fatty acids instead of others that contain only bad fats (saturated fats).

Omega-3 fatty acids are not only good nutrient to improve the health of your heart but also can help reduce your chance of having breakouts.

This healthy fat can help control leukotriene B4 production. Leukotriene B4 can trigger the over production of sebum which then will put you at greater chance of having inflammatory acne. Salmon, avocados, flaxseed oil, and walnuts are some healthy foods high in omega-3 fatty acids.

So, what are best foods for acne-fighting [summary]?

Again, there is no any food that can be powerful enough to prevent acne if it works alone. Other appropriate steps (such as having a good stress management, getting plenty of sleep, having good care skin, regular exercise, etc) are needed to provide your best chance in preventing breakouts.

diet_really_affect_acne_illustrationIn general, the following are common nutrients and diet recommendations for breakouts-fighting:

  1. Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water /day (about 5-8 glasses of water /day or more if you are an athlete)! We all agree that there are a lot of functions of water that we drink to help the body keep functioning optimally. It can help hydrate the body (the basic thing to maintain the health of the skin). Being hydrate means you provide a better chance for your skin to flush out more toxins from the skin and also to get a better regeneration & metabolism of skin cells.
  2. Get plenty of selenium from your diet. It can be found in garlic, eggs, salmon, tuna, brown rice, and wheat germ. Selenium with vitamin E may work together in improving acne.
  3. Choose ‘smart fats’, particularly such as omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats – as noted before!
  4. Full your diet with plenty of vitamins! When it comes to acne prevention and treatment, vitamin E, vitamin C, and vitamin A should be on your top list! Both vitamin C and E can work synergistically to provide a calming effect on your skin. Then for vitamin A, it can help regulate and maintain the skin cycle. Though these vitamins are good for the entire health, you need to consume them moderately.
  5. Zinc! Some statistics show that some people with breakouts are also being at lack of zinc. More research may be needed for a clearly answer, but experts believe that zinc can help create environment that make P-acne bacteria to keep under control (not overgrowth). Almonds, wheat germ, and Brazil nuts are good sources of zinc.

And what are specific foods you should avoid when you have breakouts?

When you have acne flare-ups, there are two major groups of foods you need to restrict or avoid if necessary – they are simple sugars and dairy foods.

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