The Best Acne-Fighting foods

May 19, 2017 By Sarah White No Comments

The Best Acne-Fighting foods

While acne is considered normal in adolescence it can be absolutely devastating when it persists through a woman’s 20s, 30s and even 40s. Beautiful skin truly does come from within and it’s impossible to achieve clear glowing skin without changing the foods that you put into your body and 100% of my patients see improvements in their skin by simply making a few dietary changes.

For years conventional doctors and pharmaceutical companies told us that diet has absolutely nothing to do skin health, however medicine is finally beginning to acknowledge that cow’s milk and high glycemic foods (aka sugar & white carbohydrates) do increase acne severity. While large studies have focused mostly on the foods that make acne worse, there is less information available on which foods we should be including in the diet in order to avoid breakouts.

While acne is considered normal in adolescence it can be absolutely devastating when it persists through a woman’s 20s, 30s and even 40s. Beautiful skin truly does come from within and it’s impossible to achieve clear glowing skin without changing the foods that you put into your body and 100% of my patients see improvements in their skin by simply making a few dietary changes.

The following acne-fighting super foods have helped many of my patients to reduce their acne symptoms. Try introducing these seven foods into your diet for one month to begin clear your skin from the inside out:

Wild Fish:

The typical Western diet contains too many omega-6 fatty acids, which are tied to inflammation. Eating more omega-3 fatty acids, such as those found in fatty fish (salmon) have been shown to help tame the inflammation that causes acne through the inhibition of pro-inflammatory molecules called eicosanoids and by maintaining the permeability barrier of the skin.

Green tea:

Studies show that green tea can help fight acne because it reduces excess testosterone via 5-alpha-reductase inhibition. Drink 3 cups of green tea throughout the day or take a high quality ECGC supplement (my favourites are by Genestra or NFH)

Pumpkin seeds: 

The mineral zinc can reduce the effects of acne due to it’s ability to regulate oil production along with antimicrobial affects against p. acnes; the bacteria implicated in breakouts. It’s best to get zinc from your food, since high dose supplementation (more than 100 mg a day) can result in side effects and cause a relative copper deficiency. Eat 2 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds every night before bed to maintain adequate zinc levels & improve sleep.

Probiotic-rich foods: 

Inflammatory acne is associated with altered microflora, and the following probiotic-promoting foods can reduce inflammation in the gut to reduce frequency of breakouts:

    • Kefir
    • Sauerkraut
    • Miso soup
    • Tempeh
    • Kimchi
    • Kombucha

Chlorophyll:

This super green is a great source of antioxidants, and has historically been used to cleanse the blood and digestive tract in order to reduce acne symptoms – add 1 tbs of liquid chlorophyll to a large bottle of water and drink throughout the day.

Nuts: 

Studies show that deficiencies in zinc and selenium are linked to an increase in acne severity. Nuts are a great source this nutrients and I recommend that my patients eat ¼ cup of walnuts, almond, cashews or flax seeds daily.

Broccoli: 

Broccoli contains an abundance of skin healing nutrients, like vitamins A, B12, B6, C, E, and K. This vegetable also contains a compound called sulforaphane that helps detoxify the excess circulating hormones that influence cyclical breakouts. Eat 1 cup of broccoli daily (be sure to avoid raw broccoli if you have thyroid disease) and sprinkle broccoli sprouts on salads and blend into smoothies.

If you have more questions, or if you live in Oakville and are interested in your own holistic skin health protocol you can book your first visit online here.

This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your Naturopathic doctor or primary care physician. Do not use the information in this document for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. Always speak with your Naturopathic doctor before taking any medication or nutritional or herbal or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your health care provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read online.


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ABOUT SARAH WHITE

Dr. Sarah White is a Naturopathic Doctor, Integrative health expert and the founder + CEO of This Doctor’s Kitchen — your evidence-based resource for all things health and wellness. Dr. Sarah takes a food-first approach to health with a focus in fertility, longevity and natural beauty. She is recognized as an expert in women’s hormones, thyroid health and anti-aging. Dr. Sarah is a published health author with features in Elle Canada, Best Health, EcoParent & Whole Family magazine.