Doctors have been telling us that food has nothing to do with acne; but I’m afraid this is all about to change. Although there aren’t many studies in demonstrating the correlation between acne and food, there’s one interesting study done in Australia many years back. In 2007, the Australia’s Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) University and Royal Melbourne Hospital Department of Dermatology conducted a test on two groups of guys.
One group was given a low-glycemic diet that consisted of lean meat and whole grains. Another group consumed a broad assortment of high-glycemic index foods that resembled the typical modern diet. These included soda drinks, potato chips, white bread, and snacks. After 12 weeks, the guys with low-glycemic indicator diet had their acne decreased by 50%. Based on the result of this evaluation, we can observe that there’s a strong connection between food and acne.
Good to know
Is it possible that changing your diet will improve your acne? And why avoiding simple carbohydrates can reduce the frequency of breakouts? When you feed yourself with higher carb foods, your blood glucose level increases dramatically. This activates your pancreas to release more insulin to bring down your blood glucose level. The increasing level of insulin will cause the sebaceous glands to make more sebum.
Sebum is the skin’s natural oil that keeps your skin hydrated and eliminates dead cells. It travels into the pores through hair follicles. When there is excessive sebum in the pores, the P.acnes bacteria will flourish and clog the hair follicles. Because of this, blackheads will grow. There’s another reason for the breakouts when consuming high glycemic foods. Insulin is one of those crucial hormones in the body. When there’s a spike in the insulin level, it is going to cause hormonal imbalance that also impacts other hormones. In cases like this, your androgen (male hormones) and growth hormones such as insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) will also rise. These hormones will cause your sebaceous glands to release more sebum that lead to acne.
How about lack in certain nutrients? Can this result in acne? According to Dr Susan C. Taylor, a dermatologist in New York, if you increase the consumption of healthful foods, it is going to help your skin. To put it differently, wholesome eating is needed for blemish-free skin. If you’re not eating enough healthy foods, then you might deprive your body of getting enough vitamin A, C, E, B6, B12, B1, zinc, and iron. These vitamins are important in keeping your skin healthy and acne-free. You may be skeptical now.
How would a daily healthy diet enhance your skin? A study was done on the tribal people in Papua New Guinea and Paraguay in 2002. Based on the documents in the Archives of Dermatology, these people ate only natural foods which they accumulated in the jungle and rivers. Surprisingly, they didn’t have some acne, probably because their diet was rich in fibers and high in nutritional value. Unlike the typical American diet, you notice that they did not consume a lot of sugary foods. You may blame your diet to the reason for acne. However, not every one will experience the exact same effects. Some sufferers may be allergic to certain foods while some may have no acne with the very same foods.
But you can be rest assured that a healthful diet can determine the status of your skin. If you take a look at your diet now, you’ll agree with me that many grains are processed. They’re lacking in fiber and essential nutrients to the skin. Furthermore, you probably don’t consume enough fruits and vegetables each day to supply your body with enough number of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. The rising part of processed foods in your eating habit, particularly those who have high degree of omega-6, will have a substantial negative influence on your skin.
What to do?
So how do you deal with shortage of nutrients in your diet so you can have clear skin? Obviously you will need to exclude certain foods that aren’t likely to help your acne and include foods that are beneficial for your skin. First, let’s talk about processed foods because the largest portion of your daily foods is mainly processed foods. Do you know that the molecular arrangement of raw and processed foods aren’t identical? When you eat processed foods, your body thinks they are foreign invaders.
The molecular structure of the processed foods has attracted about free radicals that are regarded as toxins. As a response, your immune system will produce white blood cells for protection. In short, you will need to restrict the intake of processed foods. By so doing, you’ll be reducing the amount of free radicals in your system. Allow me to refer back to the Australian research above; When you decrease the consumption of high glycemic foods, your acne might improve. So, prevent any carbohydrate with a high glycemic index.
Foods such as donuts, french fries, white bread and breakfast cereals should be cut from your diet list. What about sugar? Additionally it is a high glycemic load. So, abstain from any food which has refined sugar. Including candies, alcohol, carbonated and carbonated beverages. Remember sugar can raise your blood glucose level, which will trigger the production of hormones and insulin. This vicious cycle will cause more sebum to be generated, clogging your pores. Forget about dairy products. They might have a low glycemic load but they also contain plenty of hormones since the primary source comes from nursing cows.
Consuming dairy products can cause your androgen to grow and this will eventually cause acne. Avoid vegetable oils which are rich with omega-6 fatty acids particularly safflower, sunflower, sesame and corn oils. Too much omega-6 can lead to inflammation in the skin. If you did not already know, acne is an inflammatory reaction. As stated before, some victims have flare-ups after eating particular foods. The best way to spot those trigger foods is to maintain a journal. Monitor your skin condition once you have eaten certain foods for 24 hours. If that specific food causes breakouts, then avoid it.
Good to know!
You need protein for skin repair, effective detoxification of your liver and maintaining the hormone levels intact. Include salmon, lean beef, and whey protein in your diet. Since low-carb may prevent acne by restricting an insulin spike, you should increase the intake of vegetables and fruits. Not all carbohydrates are bad. You simply need to choose the ideal ones. Whole grains which contain complex carbs and a great deal of fiber such as millet, quinoa, brown rice, barley, rolled oats and buckwheat ought to be part your everyday diet. Furthermore, fibers are excellent in lowering the blood glucose level after meals.
Eat loads of antioxidant-rich foods that contain lots of Vitamin A and E. Blueberries, green tea, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, chestnuts, acai berries, pomegranates, purple carrots and black grapes are among the top sources of these very important nutrients. Increase the consumption of omega-3 fatty acid foods like salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, flax seeds, walnuts and evening primrose. In the American Standard Diet, the proportion of omega-6 into omega-3 is 20 to 1. By eating more omega-3 rich foods, you can close the gap. How can omega-3 benefit your skin? Omega-3 assists in skin renewal, protects the cells from toxins, boosts nutrient absorption at the cellular level and aids in elimination of cellular waste substances.
Additionally, it includes a high number of anti-inflammatory agents like eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) to minimize the incidence of acne. Zinc is another important nutrient for skin. It helps to stabilize the hormonal levels that could be effective in controlling acne. Some of the best sources of zinc are oysters, lean meats, poultry and pumpkin. Always drink lots of water. Water keeps your immune system functioning properly and modulates the removal of toxins. If you keep yourself hydrated your skin will look much better.