SUPER FOODS FOR ACNE
Is acne killing your self-esteem? Don’t worry as you are not the only one. Research has shown that during adolescence close to 90-100% of the population has at least an occasional whitehead, blackhead or pimple—regardless of race or ethnicity. In most cases, acne begins between the ages of 10 and 13 and usually lasts for 5 to 10 years.
Acne is mostly due to the way skin reacts to hormonal changes. The skin contains sebaceous glands that naturally release sebum, an oily substance that helps protect it. During puberty, raised levels of the hormone testosterone can cause too much sebum to be produced. This happens in both boys and girls. The sebum can block hair follicles. When dead skin cells mix with the blockage, it can lead to the formation of spots in which bacteria in the skin multiply, which can cause pain and swelling beneath the blockages.
It is the hormonal changes, genetics, stress levels and skin type that depend on the frequency of your flare-ups. Foods like sodas, burgers, pizzas, chocolates, cakes, biscuits, samosas, vada pav etc which are high in sugar and white flour cause a spike in your insulin levels, leading to excess cortisol production which is responsible for acne development. Any kind of psychological or physical stress also raises blood cortisol levels. So keeping the cortisol levels under control is a crucial factor. You can keep your cortisol levels low by following a proper healthy diet, yoga, exercise, listening to your favourite music, getting enough sleep and having a positive attitude in life.
Let’s focus on the top 10 foods which can actually help you prevent acne or fight the existing ones:
1. Flaxseeds: these contain a good amount of omega 3 fatty acids which can reduce inflammation in our body that can trigger cells to clog pores and potentially cause acne. They are wonder foods for the skin and body. Have 1-2 tablespoon of flaxseeds in your soup, smoothies, shakes/day to up your omega 3 intake.
2. Avocado: is an excellent source of Vitamin E which that protects the skin from free radical damage caused by poor diet and environmental toxins. It a boosts your immunity to fight back those nasty bacteria causing red bumps on your beautiful face. It keeps your skin supple and free of blemishes. Other rich sources of vitamin E are almonds, walnuts, peanuts, olive oil etc.
3. Alfalfa sprouts: though may look like grass, they are power-packed with vitamins like A, C, K etc. and minerals like zinc, selenium, copper etc. which help to detoxify the liver, flush out toxins from the body and give you clear, glowing skin. The super nutrition content, combined with the high amounts of chlorophyll, make this herb an extraordinary healer. You can steam then and add it into your soup, salads, sandwiches or juices.
4. Kiwi: has 3 times more Vitamin C than an orange. Vitamin C may not directly cure acne, but contributes to a strong and healthy immune system which helps you to eradicate any sort of infection. It also is necessary for the formation of sturdy cell walls, collagen and elastin, keeping the cell skin cell structure intact and promoting healing of the affected cells and scars. You can also opt for other vitamin c rich foods like oranges, lemons, bell peppers, amla, guava etc. since your body does not store this water-soluble vitamin, you need to get enough of it from your daily diet.
5. Carrots: are filled with beta-carotene which gets converted to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is the best antioxidant for the skin. It improves skin texture and maintains healthy skin cells. You can also get your
Vitamin A from tomatoes, sweet potato, red and yellow bell peppers, cantaloupes etc.
6. Sunflower seeds: are rich in selenium which in combination with Vitamin E works wonders to protect the skin from bacterial damage. It reduces inflammatory damage to the skin, preserves skin elasticity and controls acne development. Other foods rich in selenium are brazil nuts, fish, shellfish, mushrooms etc.
7. Pumpkin seeds: are good sources of zinc. Studies have shown that zinc deficiency can weaken the immune system making one prone to any kind of infection. Hence zinc in your diet can help you prevent flare-ups and protect skin from any bacterial invasion. Other foods rich in zinc are sesame seeds, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, chickpeas, wheat germ etc.
8. Coconut Water: Nothing better than coconut water to cleanse your blood because it resembles your blood plasma. It has a great deal of potassium and other minerals to help detoxify your cells and improve your skin health. Don’t forget to eat that coconut meat which is loaded with good fats for great skin.
9. Beetroot: This is a super cleanser and makes sure your throws out all the toxins from your gut thanks to its high fibre content and the antioxidants in it make sure your skin cells are protected so that you don’t have ugly acne episodes.
10. Spinach: The might green leaf which is so famous for all its health benefits. A great source of vitamin A, C, folate and minerals to help your skin survive harsh conditions and protect it from external and internal damage. Spinach also has cleansing properties which make total sense if you have acne-prone skin.
We all understand the pain and stress you go through when we see new zits and pimples popping up. Integrate these 10 foods in your diet to stay vibrant and skin healthy- heal yourself with the right food.