Your diet affects your health. Health disorders including common skin problems such as acne are often attributed to inappropriate diet. Acne occurs when dead skin debris, oil and dirt clog the skin pores or hair follicles. It creates a condition conducive for the bacteria to multiply, leading to infection of the hair follicles. The pus-filled lesions or pimples that appear at the sites of the infection may leave behind hard-to-treat scars.
Overproduction of sebum, excessive proliferation of the follicular cells or keratinocytes and heightened activities of the Propionibacterium Acnes bacteria are the main factors associated with acne breakouts. Several studies have highlighted a close relationship between acne and diet. Intake of certain food substances increase the risk of acne breakouts, whereas there are several food products that help in inhibiting conditions that lead to acne. Hence, modifications in diet can help in treating acne naturally.
Diet For Treating Acne
Consume Vitamin A Rich Vegetables And Fruits
Vitamin A is an essential nutrient for the skin. Apart from the liver, the sebaceous glands have a high concentration of vitamin A. Vitamin A ameliorates acne primarily through two mechanisms. Firstly, the anti-proliferative effect of vitamin A helps is arresting over-proliferation of keratinocytes.
Secondly, by inhibiting the pro-inflammatory activities triggered by the P. acnes bacteria, vitamin A helps in reducing acne flare-ups. The best sources of vitamin A are yellow and orange colored vegetables and fruits containing beta-carotene such as carrot, sweet potato, pumpkin, apricot, papaya, cantaloupe and peaches and green leafy vegetables.
Eat Foods With Vitamin D
Vitamin D rich foods are beneficial for people susceptible to acne. Vitamin D is essential for the health and function of the immune system. It is needed for the synthesis of two antibacterial proteins defensins and cathelicidin that help in strengthening the innate defense mechanism of the sebaceous glands.
Hence, vitamin D helps in preventing acne by suppressing multiplication of the P. acnes bacteria. Fish, cow’s milk, eggs and mushrooms are good sources of vitamin D. You can also meet a part of your daily vitamin D requirement from foods fortified with vitamin D.
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Eat Fatty Fish
Fatty fish is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Several researches have highlighted the anti-inflammatory effect of omega-3 fats in fighting acne breakouts.
Studies suggest that an imbalance in omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in the modern western diet, by boosting production of inflammatory factors, increases the risk of inflammatory acne. Apart from fish oil, omega-3 fats are also found in flaxseed oil, walnuts and soybeans.
Low Glycemic Diet
In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in July 2007, an Australian research team reported that a low glycemic diet helps in alleviating the symptoms of inflammatory acne. In a low glycemic diet, approximately 45 percent of the daily calorie requirement should be met through carbohydrates, 25 percent from protein and the rest from healthy fats.
Too much sugar circulating in the blood pushes up the level of insulin and insulin-like growth factors in the blood. Insulin-like growth factors tend to stimulate secretion of androgen hormones, thereby leading to overproduction of sebum and increasing risk of acne outbreaks.
Drink Milk In Moderation
The hormones present in cow’s milk induce production of insulin-like growth factors and sex hormone binding globulin that stimulate excess sebum secretion. Hence, people susceptible to acne outbreaks should limit their daily milk intake to 3 glasses per day.