Foods That Cause and Prevent Acne

Most of us at some point in our lives fall victim to the pestilence of acne. Acne is caused when excessive oil and bacteria clog pores and hair follicles, leading to the infection or inflammation of skin. Two common factors that trigger these conditions are hormones and stress, but did you know diet also plays an important part? Studies show eating certain foods can worsen acne while others help to reduce it.


Foods to Avoid

Refined Sugars and Carbohydrates

bread rolls

Refined sugars and carbohydrates raise blood sugar levels and fluctuate the hormones that increase skin cell production. As a result, sebaceous glands secrete more oil and clog pores. Examples of these highly processed foods are:

  • White Bread
  • White Flour
  • Cookies
  • Potato Chips
  • Frozen Pizza

Milk

glass of milk and pitcher

Milk's primary function is to stimulate hormone growth in young mammals, that's why it is known to increase levels of acne. It also helps produce insulin, which raises blood sugar levels. Though it is a great source of calcium and an immunity boost, too much milk can cause extreme fluctuations in your body.

Spicy Foods

bunch of red and green chili peppers

Spicy foods raise your body temperature, which can inflame your skin and cause acne to flare up. If acne is a persistent problem for you, it's best to limit consumption of spicy foods in order to reduce aggravating your symptoms. Foods that can flare up acne are:

  • Chili peppers
  • Hot Sauce
  • Excessive Garlic and Onions

Foods to Eat

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

raw fish on a plate

Omega-3 is a type of fat known to suppress inflammation in the body. Perfect for treating acne, asthma, and joint inflammation, Omega-3 fatty acids are mostly found in fish and nuts. A few examples include:

  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Walnuts
  • Flaxseeds
  • Canola Oil
  • Soybean Oil

Probiotics

berries and nuts in yogurt

Probiotics are often beneficial because they deliver healthy bacteria that break down harmful substances in our bodies. In addition to helping eliminate acne, they also help with digestion. Foods that have been fermented and even certain cheeses are all high in probiotics.

  • Yogurt
  • Pickles
  • Kimchi
  • Mozzarella
  • Gouda
  • Cottage Cheese

Green Tea

three cups with green tea

Green tea is filled with natural chemicals known as polyphenols. These chemicals act as antioxidants which help eliminate bacteria and other waste from our bodies. Green tea also reduces inflammation and has been proven through research to destroy cancerous cells and prevent heart disease. Studies on green tea are still ongoing, but there are numerous reports on how this unique beverage does wonders for our health.

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