When it comes to battling acne, you'll be surprised how much your gut health can present itself on the skin. Although foods themselves can not trigger or cause acne, they can affect gut health resulting in an imbalance. The imbalance can result in hormone fluctuations that can cause inflammation, swelling, excess water retention, etc.
Here are our favorite foods that can help improve gut health and help combat acne:
1) Pumpkin Seeds - are high in Zinc. Some research has linked that consuming a healthy amount of Zinc in your diet can significantly reduce breakouts. Here's the real #skintea - Zinc can help control the release of male hormones (androgens) known to trigger acne and help the body absorb Vitamin A. We often hear about Vitamin A (Retinoids/ Retin-A) when talking about aging, wrinkles, and prematurely aging skin, but it's a critical vitamin for healthy skin.
Not a fan of Pumpkin Seeds: Try a shot of Wheat Germ or Turkey
2) Salmon - is known for being high in Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s help reduces inflammation in the body, which is great for acne-prone skin. Remember reducing inflammation can reduce pressure on the sebaceous glands - resulting in clogged follicles.
3) Mackeral - another fish high in Omega -3 fatty acids and Vitamin K. It's an excellent alternative to those looking to eat something besides Salmon.
Side Note: It contains high histamine levels; therefore, it may not be recommended for consumption by pregnant or nursing women.
4) Berries - are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber. Antioxidants are a MUST HAVE in any diet because they help neutralize free radicals. Great berries to add to your diet - raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries.
5) Kale - a dark, leafy green that is high in antioxidants, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K. Given it's rich in green color, there are high levels of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll can help reduce inflammation and help detoxify the body.
6) Sweet Potatoes - packed with Beta-carotene and rich in Vitamin A. On a nerdy tip, beta-carotenes convert to Vitamin A in the body. It's been linked that low levels of Vitamin A in the body can increase acne severity.
Not a fan of sweet potatoes? Opt to incorporate carrots or bell peppers.
7) Quinoa - is rich in Vitamin B, Vitamin B3, to be exact. Vitamin B3 is commonly known as niacinamide and is known to help soothe redness, inflammation, minimize irritation and dryness. It's a grain and healthy alternative to rice.
Not a fan of Quinoa? Try adding chia seeds, wild rice, or acorn squash.
8) Lemon - are high in Vitamin C, and although they will not cure your breakouts, they can significantly help. Vitamin C can help strengthen cell walls, reduce/limit scarring from breakouts, reduce wrinkles, and have natural anti-inflammatory properties.
Fun Fact: Adding lemons or lemon juice to water acts as a natural detoxifier. It naturally cleanses the liver to prevent a build-up of blood toxins. Drinking lemon water or adding lemon juice can cleanse pores, natural skin lighteners, and natural citric acid to help treat acne and pimples.
Try making the switch or incorporating foods on this list for at least six weeks. You'll notice an improvement in gut health and the appearance of your skin.