In this blog post I’m just going to list a few foods that may help with acne, may prevent wrinkles, may improve the elasticity of the skin, reduce redness and increase collagen. I am always looking for foods that reduce redness, inflammation and aid in acne and acne scaring.
Obviously cleaning up your entire diet is in need in order to create a healthy environment within your body. It may take a very long time to notice changes with your weight, with your autoimmune disorder symptoms, with your hormonal mood swings and with your skin but that doesn’t mean it’s not working. Everyone’s body is different and the rate and ways at which our bodies respond to certain food is very different. You can’t reverse years of toxins and damage to your body over night…the same way that you don’t get a six pack and toned biceps over night, your hormones don’t balance over night. It’s a process that you need to continuously work on everyday- the more effort you put into it and the more time you put into your body and your health; the more benefits you’ll reap.
There are obviously foods that improve skin tone, complexion and overall “skin health” but there are also certain foods that worsen certain skin conditions (eczema, hives, acne, etc.) and should probably be avoided as much as possible if you are someone who is suffering from any skin conditions or unwanted blemishes.
Foods to avoid:
- Dairy- dairy is an inflammatory food which can worsen skin conditions. Most dairy is also pumped with artificial hormones which will affect your bodies natural hormones. Acne and other skin conditions are often due to hormone imbalances.
- sugar- replace refined sugary foods with foods (fruits, veg, whole grains, protein) that is nutrient dense. Sugar can worsen acne, wrinkles and other blemishes and marks on the skin. (be aware of protein bars- you may think they re healthy but their sugary content quickly spikes the blood sugar levels and often worsens skin).
- processed foods- the better the quality of your food; the better your skin health and overall health
- non organic food- organic foods have a higher vitamin and mineral content. Pesticides can irritate the gut and cause irritable bowl syndrome, leaky gut and increase stress on the digestive system which will then effect the skin.
- artificial sweeteners, flavourings and colourants- these are just chemical concoctions that should not be put into your body.
- caffeine- caffeine can dehydrate the body which leaves the skin looking dull. Caffeine also increases the level of cortisol (stress hormone) in the body which will affect the skin.
- gluten can cause inflammation, up to 40% of people are sensitive or intolerant to gluten. Many don’t know that they are. Removing gluten from your diet can have a positive effect on your complexioned you are intolerant to it.
- bad fatty foods, hydrogenated fats, fried food
Foods are not the only thing that can affect the appearance of your skin; stress is just one other example that reflects negatively on the skin. Adaptogens are special herbs, roots, powders, superfoods that help the body reduce stress. To read my full post on adaptogens and what each one does click here
Smoking, too much sunlight and pollution can induce ageing, blemishes, sun spots and wrinkles as well.
Best foods to eat more of:
- Kidney beans-kidney beans are high in zinc which help attack zits. zinc is shown to be as effective as antibiotics in clearing zits. Zinc also helps maintain the sebaceous secretions from the sebaceous glands in the skin.
- Steel cut oats are very good for maintaining low blood sugar levels. spikes in the blood sugar secretes androgens- the hormones that contributes to wrinkles.
- green tea and matcha powder is very high in antioxidants and helps reduce redness of the skin
- cocoa powder- can reduce inflammation and is also a rich antioxidant. if you apply a cocoa powder mixture to the skin, the caffeine in the cocoa can reduce puffiness
- pomegranates are rich in polyphenol antioxidants which helps regulate the blood flow to the skin which can make it look more rosy. it is said to be able to reduce wrinkles when applied to the face
- foods that are rich in selenium (eggs, fish, tomatoes, broccoli and brazil nuts)- selenium protects against sun damage and skin cancer and is a very strong antioxidant.
- WATER- probably the most NB. Water hydrates the skin and prevents sagging and wrinkles it also flushes out toxins. If you are someone who often forgets to drink water; have a 1 litre bottle with you at your desk the you can see. If it’s there and we see it we are instantly reminded or put a reminder on your phone.
- healthy fats- omega 3s and 6s are essential fatty acids that the body can’t produce on its own. Increasing your omegas causes the body to produce more anti inflammatory compounds which will help the skin, especially with eczema and psoriasis.
- some anti inflammatory herbs; turmeric, rosemary, red pepper, ginger and cumin.
- Eating fermented foods will also help with acne because of the love probiotics in them. I’ve found that having a glass of kombucha a day has helped reduce my acne.
- Also some speculate that stevia increases the level of estrogen in the body. If you are someone who already has a hormone imbalance, this may tip the scales even further so be aware of that. I don’t think my blemishes are caused by stevia. I’m still doing more research on this.
- adding some fermented foods to your diet might reduce your sugar cravings and keep your gut happy. Fermented foods such as kefir, kombucha and kimchi have been shown to have many health benefits. i enjoy drinking kombucha as a beverage. I love the taste. I have also recently started adding kefir to my smoothies. kefir can also be used as a skin moisturizer and can be applied directly to the face. It is very high in probiotics so both consuming it and applying to the face will help with acne.
- adding a hydrolyzed collagen powder supplement to your diet will also increase elasticity in the skin and strenghten hair, skin and nails. I love adding collagen to my smoothies, mactha lattes and bulletproof coffee.
- A special herb I recently came across which is extremely good for skin health (acne, eczema, psoriasis) is neem leaf powder. It can be taken internally or mixed with water to make a paste and applied to the skin. I have been mixing it with kefir and using it as a face mask about 3 times a week. I wash it off once the paste has dried. It has reduced redness and inflammation. It is also good for stomach ulcers and is an extreme anti fungicide and antibacterial powder.
TURMERIC CHALLENGE: Mix 1tsp of turmeric with two pinches of black pepper in lukewarm water (I do half a glass). I am going to do this for ten days to see what it does for my skin. For more info on this see the highlight reel on my Instagram page @jordyns_channel (link below) or just take turmeric capsules everyday.
I’ve done a good amount of research and experimenting on my own skin and the biggest factor for me, is stress. When I’m totally relaxed my skin is better. Sometimes we don’t even realize how stressed we are or how the stress is affecting us. Finding a way to de-stress is extremely important, not just for our skin but for our bodies as a whole. For me yoga, cupping therapy, acupuncture, baths, meditation are some of the things that help me relax. The best way to learn about what affects YOUR skin (because we are all different) would be to do an elimination diet where you eliminate possible inflammatory foods and notice how your skin reacts without these certain foods in your diet. I would also increase the level of foods that improve skin into your diet and see if that makes a difference. Lastly, I’d focus on a relaxing regime that works best for you.
I hope this post provided a small guideline of what foods to look out for, avoid and consume more of. For more healthy recipes and health food ideas — instagram @jordyns_channel Click here