Many people with acne can tell you that different foods trigger outbreaks. Acne is just one example of how your diet can affect your skin. Science has not yet identified the reasons that certain foods affect the skin or why some people are more susceptible to reactions than others. Yet even in the absence of hard evidence, dermatologists, nutritionists and other health care professionals accept that your diet can link to the condition of your skin.
So put your Grande Vegas Online Casino gaming aside for a moment and read on as we summarize the diet and skin connection.
Acne is the skin condition in which skin breakouts that result from food intake is most frequently observed. Acne is a disorder of keratinization which involves the turnover of skin cells. When that turnover doesn’t occur properly the oil pores and glands trap sebum (your skin’s natural oil) and protein under the skin which leads to retained cells. The oils and proteins feed the bacteria that causes acne.
Dr. Ellen Marmur, professor of dermatology at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York explains that the cycle of skin renewal involves hundreds of steps. Since the skin is constantly under construction, the foods you eat are vital components because your skin uses nutrients and vitamins from food to repair and rebuild. But, says Marmur, “Food is only about 25% of the picture when it comes to acne.” The other 75% is influenced by sleep levels, hormones, stress and how you take care of your skin. So there are really no ‘super foods’ when it comes to acne prevention”. It’s all about good nutritional habits.
Skin Outbreaks and Food
To begin with, it’s important to drink enough water. Water flushes out toxins that cause skin problems and hydrates your body which leads to healthy skin. Drinking water is also essential for proper metabolism and regeneration of your skin. Don’t drink too much water though because that can dilute your blood which puts you at risk for seizures. Five to eight glasses of water per day is plenty (unless you are doing sports—then you need more).
If you are prone to skin outbreaks, Marmur recommends eating whole, low-fat foods. It’s best to avoid processed foods, chocolate, French fries, hormone-laden dairy products and meat and junk foods. It’s a good idea to follow a diet that’s heavy on fruits and vegetables because these foods appear to reduce inflammation and breakouts.
Foods high in specific vitamins and minerals are important for people who want to promote healthy skin. These vitamins and minerals include:
- Vitamin A – According to Dr. Marmur, Vitamin A helps to regulate the skin cycle and that’s an important element in preventing acne-causing protein and oil from getting trapped. One of the most effective and widely-prescribed medicines for acne, Accutane, has Vitamin A as its main ingredient. You can get your daily requirement of Vitamin A from foods like fish oil, leafy green vegetables (broccoli, spinach, kale), tomatoes, cantaloupe, mango, eggs, milk, beef liver, red bell pepper, yellow vegetables (squash, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, carrots) and salmon in your daily diet. If you are pregnant or nursing you should not take Vitamin A supplements or any medicines like Accutane that have high doses of Vitamin A in them if you are pregnant or nursing.
- Vitamins C and E – Vitamins C and E are antioxidants which have a calming effect on the skin. Vitamin C is found in high doses in citrus fruits, papaya and tomatoes. Vitamin E is found in high doses in nuts, sunflower seeds, olive oil, avocados and leafy green vegetables.
- Zinc – some studies indicate that people with low levels of zinc in their bodies are more susceptible to acne. It is believed that zinc creates an environment that is inhospitable to P. acnes growth. Foods that have a high level of zinc in them include wheat germ, Brazil nuts, almonds and turkey.
- Selenium – studies have shown that selenium, in combination with Vitamin E, may improve acne. Selenium contains antioxidant properties that, many researchers believe, help protect skin from free radical damage. Selenium can be found in tuna, salmon, garlic, eggs, brown rice, wheat germ and Brazil nuts.
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids – Omega 3 fatty acids have been found to support normal healthy skin turnover while they inhibit specific molecules that can lead to inflammation of the skin. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in salmon, sardines and other cold water fish, walnuts, sunflower seeds, almonds and flaxseed oil.
Foods to Avoid
Many sufferers of acne have a feeling for the foods that can cause acne outbreaks, especially oily foods and chocolate. Dairy products and simple carbohydrates are also suspect, though many people don’t notice that as much because such foods are so much a part of their daily diets.
Hormones in cow’s milk can trigger or worsen breakouts in some people says a study from the George Washington University Medical Center. The hormones increase androgens, androgens increase the production of sebum and that can lead to acne outbreaks.
Simple carbohydrates, as opposed to complex carbohydrates, have a high glycemic index and that can cause acne breakouts. The high insulin levels in these simple carbohydrates increase the same androgen levels as produced by cow’s milk which stimulates sebrm production to result in clogged pores.
If you are prepared to follow up on the link between your diet and possible acne eruptions, Marmur suggests that you keep a journal that documents both the food that you eat and your acne breakouts. Then, review the correlation to see if your diet is affecting your skin.