Relationship of Diet and Acne
What are the top foods that causes acne?
- Refined Grains and Sugars – get absorbed fast into the bloodstreams that spikes up the sugar and insulin levels in the blood and might contribute to the development of acne. Insulin increases the activeness of androgen hormones and makes skin cells grow faster by boosting the development of sebum. Examples of refined carbohydrates are products with white flour (desserts, pasta, white rice, bread, crackers, cereal), sodas, sugar-sweetened beverages and sweeteners (cane sugar, maple syrup and honey).
- Dairy Products – There is speculation on the relationship between milk and acne but there are some studies that have shown that milk increases insulin levels and hence worsen severity of acne.
- Foods rich in Omega-6 Fats – There are some studies that mentioned that omega-6 fats cause a rise in the level of inflammation and acne.
How diet can help with acne positively?
Apart from relooking your current diet, there are some school of thoughts that believe that some minerals and nutrients such as zinc and omega-3 fatty acids, incorporated in your diet can help with reducing acne.
- Zinc is a mineral which is said to be beneficial towards acne as it reduces inflammation and inhibits the growth of Propionibacterium acnes – a type of bacteria that plays an important role in the production of acne. This is supported by a study which showed that patients on oral zinc supplementation had a significant decrease in the number of acne lesions after four weeks. Hence, a diet that is naturally rich in zinc may improve acne and some examples of foods rich in zinc are oysters, beef, pumpkin seeds and cashews.
- Omega-3 fatty acids may also help with acne. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in a variety of sources such as fish, fish oils, flax seeds and chia seeds. It can help to reduce inflammation, inhibit growth of Propionibacterium acnes and reduce stress, which are all contributing factors towards acne (Kern, 2018). The effect of omega-3 fatty acids on reducing stress is especially significant in today’s context as stress is now a major contributing factor to acne as people struggle to keep up in this modern fast paced society.
What are some skin-friendly food options?
- Yellow and orange fruits and vegetables such as sweet potatoes and carrots
- Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach
- Whole-wheat bread
- Brown rice
- Pumpkin seeds and nuts
- Peas, lentils and beans
- Salmon and other kinds of fatty fish
Do take note that everyone’s body react differently. It takes time and patience to do some trial and learn more on what reacts positively to your body. Always consider any food allergies in your diet plan.