Clear skin is a topic that is close to my heart. For most of my late teenage years and throughout my early 20’s, I suffered from pretty severe acne. I felt like it affected all parts of my life – work, social, relationships…there were some days when I didn’t want to leave the house and I definitely would not be seen without makeup.
In my late 20’s I switched to a plant-based diet and started focusing more on my nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. The change in my skin was amazing. And still is to this day! My skin is clear and healthy and I no longer need any makeup or cover up. I am grateful every day for my clear skin and know that what I eat plays a huge role in my skin’s health.
Now you don’t have to switch to a plant-based diet to clear your skin but focusing on healthy, whole, fresh foods will make a significant difference in reducing or eliminating your acne. Your skin is your largest organ. Not only is it affected by outside elements but also greatly affected by what is going on inside. Like every other organ in your body, it needs good nutrients, minerals, and vitamins for optimal health.
Acne is a form of inflammation that can be caused by many different factors. We are all different so not one thing will work for everyone - however, the following foods all have nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that reduce inflammation and are healthy for your skin.
Staying well hydrated is one of the best things you can do for the health and clarity of your skin. Try starting your morning with a big glass of water before having anything else – this helps flush out toxins and refresh your skin after sleeping. Continue to drink fresh water throughout the day.
Dark, leafy greens such as kale, spinach, and swiss chard help clear impurities from the body, which can encourage breakouts. Eating more fruits and vegetables overall can naturally help clear up acne by reducing inflammation and providing essential nutrients.
The more antioxidants you can eat, the better - especially if you struggle with acne. A diet rich in antioxidants can decrease mild to moderate acne. Deep coloured berries are full of antioxidants and are delicious - try blueberries, blackberries, cherries, and raspberries.
The typical standard diet contains too many omega-6 fatty acids, which are tied to inflammation. Eating more omega-3 fatty acids, such as those found in walnuts, hemp seeds, flaxseed, and avocados can help reduce inflammation and improve acne breakouts. Read More - The Skinny on Healthy Fats
Green tea is rich in polyphenols (super antioxidants) which increase blood flow and oxygen to the skin, improving its look, feel and most importantly, health. It is great for reducing inflammation - aim for at least 2 cups a day. Learn about Matcha Green Tea - What is Matcha Green Tea & Why I Drink it Everyday
Bell peppers are rich in vitamin C - a major vitamin for clear, healthy skin. Snack on one raw cut up with some hummus or chop it up in your salad.Other great sources of vitamin C include mangos, broccoli, leafy greens and citrus fruit.
Pumpkin seeds are an amazing plant-based source of zinc - a mineral that is needed for the body's defensive (immune) system to work properly and plays a role in cell health. It helps to fight and heal acne. Sprinkle them on your salad, oatmeal or eat them as a snack.
Being mindful about adding in these skin healthy foods can really help heal and clear your acne. Remember what you put in your body affects every cell, including the skin on your face so choose your food well and your body will thank you for it.
Kim is passionate about teaching others how to eat mindfully and live vibrantly. A series of chronic health issues gave her the motivation to learn about the relationship between her health and her diet. After embracing a plant-based diet and figuring out how to maintain a social life, enjoy travelling and ensuring she was getting all the correct nutrients and minerals - Kim realized how great she felt and how happy she was in her lifestyle.
She founded Picky Diet to share this with the world so that they might realize that they too can live happy and healthy with only a few small changes. A graduate of the Health and Nutrition Coaching program from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, she is a Board Certified Integrative Health & Nutrition Coach and works with both individuals and corporations on nutrition and whole-body wellness.