This post is part of "Understanding Acne" Series.
You are what you eat. This has been the age-old saying of our elders. In this world, full of unhealthy fast food and packaged food, the choice to eat healthy can be a hard one. Although there is nothing wrong with eating junk food once in a while, the problem arises when junk food becomes a daily affair.
In 2010, research was conducted to see if eating unhealthy food really affected our skin or not. And surprisingly, the answer was yes. Although to not a great extent, food rich in saturated fats, unhealthy carbs, lactic acid, oils, salt and sugar can wreck your skin in many ways.
Why does junk food affect us? Top Foods to Avoid!
It is because your stomach, which is delicate in itself, takes a longer time to break down complex food. And since these food do not break down easily, nor do they have any substantial health benefits, our stomach cannot absorb the required nutrients.
Take, for example, milk. According to dailynutrition.ca, people drinking unfermented milk suffer less than people who ingested fresh milk. Fermented milk has something called ‘lactoferrin’ in them that helps the body, whereas raw milk has lactic acid to higher content that ends up disturbing the digestive system.
These food items raise a number of problems in the body, such as cholesterol, diabetes and so on. Hence, it is very important to eat well so that the body is in a balanced state most of the time. A balanced body means a balanced skin barrier that doesn’t suffer from any inflammation, acne or dryness.
What can we do to prevent damaging our body and skin?
When we choose to eat smart, we can get a jumpstart to a healthier body and skin. There are foods which are proven to help to keep your skin problems in check. They help in cleaning your body inside out, boosting your immunity to make you more resilient and delivering plenty of antioxidants for that beautiful glow.
Here are the top food ingredients that can help you in your fight for acne:
- Flaxseeds: Flaxseeds are rich in Omega-3 fatty acid, the component required for healthy, buoyant skin and energy. They help in keeping acne in check.
- Ginger: Ginger is a wonderful ingredient that not only aids in digestion but also soothes your skin. It can also reduce acne scars, as it has natural, anti-inflammatory properties.
- Green tea: This particular tea is choke full of antioxidants that cleanse your stomach and purify your blood. It also calms your acne down.
- Juices: Juicing is a great way to keep your acne and pimples away because it helps in ingesting more fruits and vegetables. Simply put your items in a juicer and blend them well. Add a bit of spice and honey for added flavour and you are good to go. Foods rich in beta-carotene and fibre are the best items to juice with, such as carrots and beetroots.
- Probiotics: Probiotics help you detox your digestive system, which means your guts will be working well, absorbing good nutrients. This will clear out your blood, and in turn, reduce inflammation inside your body. Go ahead, have a bit of pickle, but make sure they are not vinegar based.
There are also certain food items that you should avoid because they have been known to contribute to and trigger acne:
- Lactose rich food: Yogurt can be fine for certain people. However, milk, in its actual form, is not. Milk has lactic acid, a known cause of acne. If you have intense acne problems, try to give up milk completely. Instead, opt for almond or soy milk.
- Sugar: While sugar is not totally avoidable, it raises your blood sugar level, yeast overgrowth and hormonal fluctuations, which can lead to inflammatory acne. If you suspect that your pimples are due to sugar, try to cut its intake as much as possible from your diet. If you have a sweet craving, grab some dark chocolate instead. It contains beauty boosting antioxidants.
- Gluten : Glutten sensitivities are prevalent and contribute to inflammation and stomach imbalances, which trigger reactions to the skin. Opt for glutten-free bread or pasta which are thankfully available in the market.
There are no hard and fast rules to acne, and sometimes your acne may not even be food related. It is important to find out information about your body before cutting off or adding anything to your diet. Learn more about acne in our Understanding Acne series.