The 7 Best Acne Fighting Foods To Clear Your Skin From the Inside Out
Acne is one of the more frequent health complaints that bring women of all ages to see me at my clinical practice. Although acne can seem impossible to treat, it is actually surprisingly easy to see fast and lasting results with a cleaned up diet and natural medicine. For years conventional medicine told us that diet has absolutely nothing to do with the health of your skin, however scientists are finally beginning to acknowledge that cow’s milk and high glycemic foods (aka sugar & white carbohydrates) do increase acne prevalence and severity. While large studies have focused mostly on the foods that make acne worse, there is less information available on which foods we should be including in order to avoid breakouts. The following acne-fighting super foods have helped many of my patients to reduce their acne symptoms. Try introducing these3 foods into your diet for one month to begin clear your skin from the inside out:
- Wild Fish: The typical Western diet contains too many omega-6 fatty acids, which are tied to inflammation. Eating more omega-3 fatty acids, such as those found in fatty fish (salmon) have been shown to help tame the inflammation that causes acne through the inhibition of pro-inflammatory molecules called eicosanoids and by maintaining the permeability barrier of the skin.
- Green tea: Studies show that green tea can help fight acne because it reduces excess testosterone via 5-alpha-reductase inhibition. Drink 3 cups of green tea throughout the day or take a high quality ECGC supplement (my favourites are by Genestra or NFH)
- Pumpkin seeds: The mineral zinc can reduce the effects of acne due to it’s ability to regulate oil production along with antimicrobial affects against p. acnes; the bacteria implicated in breakouts. It’s best to get zinc from your food, since high dose supplementation (more than 100 mg a day) can result in side effects and cause a relative copper deficiency. Eat 2 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds every night before bed to maintain adequate zinc levels & improve sleep.
- Probiotic-rich foods: Inflammatory acne is associated with altered microfloraand the following probiotic-promoting foods can reduce inflammation in the gut to reduce frequency of breakouts:
- Miso soup
- Chlorophyll: This super green is a great source of antioxidants, and has historically been used to cleanse the blood and digestive tract in order to reduce acne symptoms – add 1 tbs of liquid chlorophyll to a large bottle of water and drink throughout the day.
- Nuts: Studies show that deficiencies in zinc and selenium are linked to an increase in acne severity. Nuts are a great source this nutrients and I recommend that my patients eat ¼ cup of walnuts, almond, cashews or flax seeds daily.
- Broccoli: Broccoli contains an abundance of skin healing nutrients, like vitamins A, B12, B6, C, E, and K. This vegetable also contains a compound called sulforaphanethat helps detoxify the excess circulating hormones that influence cyclical breakouts. Eat 1 cup of broccoli daily (be sure to avoid raw broccoli if you have thyroid disease) and sprinkle broccoli sprouts on salads and blend into smoothies.
Looking to connect with a Naturopath in Oakville to develop a personalized acne protocol to clear your skin from the inside-out? Book your in-person appointment here.
*Note: online services provided by Dr. Sarah to those of you living outside of Ontario are delivered as a Certified Functional Medicine practitioner consult and not as an Naturopathic doctor appointment & as such they will not be eligible for reimbursement through private insurance.