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Diet And Acne

Diet And Acne

Acne has many origins: It can be caused by oil production, dead skin cells, clogged pores and bacteria. However there are other factors that affect acne like hormonal changes, certain medications, stress and very importantly diet. A healthy diet is the key to a healthy skin, clear and pimple-free skin. Certain foods by themselves do not cause acne; however the nutrients inside either reduce or aggravate acne symptoms. So here are the foods that worsen acne and foods that ameliorate it.

Foods that worsen acne:
•Dairy products: Dairy products coming from cow’s milk can increase breakouts because they contain hormones that elevate the levels of androgens, a male hormone. Androgens in their turn increase oily secretions of the sebaceous glands, called sebum, that cause breakouts.
•Simple sugars: Simple sugars such as chocolate, candy, carbonated drinks, bread, pasta, rice cause our blood sugar levels to rise quickly, consequently rising insulin levels. High insulin levels in the blood can trigger secretion of oil from the glands causing acne.

Foods that fight acne:
•Water: Water hydrates the body which excretes toxins that cause acne. So to prevent breakouts, drinking five to eight cups of water per day is advised.
•Vitamin A: Vitamin A containing foods regulate the skin cycle and have a property that helps the skin heal, which decreases acne. Good sources of vitamin A include carrots, fish oil, salmon, spinach, broccoli and sweet pepper.
•Zinc: Zinc reduces skin inflammation and creates an environment that is acne-unfriendly. Foods high in zinc include: peanuts, almonds, turkey, oysters and wheat germ.
•Vitamin E & C: These two vitamins complement each other in calming the skin. Sources of vitamin C include oranges, tomatoes, lemons, grapefruit and papaya. Sources of vitamin E include nuts, green leafy vegetables, olive oil, sunflower seeds, avocados and broccoli.
•Omega-3 fatty acids: These contain many antioxidants that decrease skin inflammation and keep a normal skin cell turnover. Sources of omega-3 fatty acids include: fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, tuna, trout and herring, nuts and seeds such as almonds, walnuts, peanuts, butter nuts, cashews and pine nuts, and plant based oils such as olive oil, canola oil, cotton seed oil and vegetable oil.
•Whole grains: Whole-grain foods are rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber. Their low glycemic index also decreases oil secretions from glands. Good sources of whole grains are: oats, bulghur, whole wheat, brown rice, brown pasta, brown bread, quinoa and popcorn.

Your skin tells a lot about your diet, so don’t forget to take good care of your diet if you want a healthy skin!

Christelle Bedrossian
Beirut, Lebanon

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Dietitian Christelle Bedrossian