Skin Clearing Foods: What To Eat & Avoid
Ever wonder how some people have skin that looks so supple and young-looking?
Maybe they’re sleeping a full six to eight hours a day. Or perhaps they apply a gargantuan amount of highly-expensive skincare products over their whole body, day and night – like clockwork.
Will your lifestyle allow you to sleep at least six hours a day? Would you be willing to dish out the right amount of dough for all that delicious skin food?
Besides getting well-rested and taking care of your skin from the outside, you also need to eat the right kind of food. Achieve the perfect balance in nutrition (as best as you can), and I promise you it’ll make your skin glow from within.
Eat Foods Rich In Vitamin A
Vitamin A is an essential nutrient that aids in proper immune function and improves skin, eye, as well as reproductive health. There are two types of Vitamin A, retinoid and carotenoids. These are converted to retinol by the liver, where it’s either stored or distributed throughout the body.
Now, an essential role of retinol is to stimulate the production of new skin cells. That means when someone lacks retinol, it will manifest that deficit through visibly overly dry skin.
Foods Enriched With Vitamin A
Examples of foods enriched with vitamin A are as follows:
- Beef Liver
- Goat Cheese
- Sweet Potato
Eat Foods Rich In Vitamin C
From the foods you’ve read about above, you’ve probably realized that vitamins A and C go hand in hand in keeping your skin healthy. Vitamin C contains potent antioxidants, known as ascorbic acid; that helps your skin regenerate, thus repairing damaged cells.
These antioxidants reduce and even prevent damage to our cells by counteracting the production of harmful free radicals, keeping our cells healthy. Not only are antioxidants essential in fighting off early signs of aging, but they also help protect the skin from developing precancerous cells.
Food Enriched With Vitamins C
Now that you know how much vitamin C can help you get radiant skin and a healthy body overall let’s dive into the types of foods enriched with this vitamin so you can include it in your daily consumption.
- Sweet Yellow Peppers
- Chili Peppers
Eat Foods Rich In Zinc
Though you may not hear about it as much as calcium, magnesium, and iron, zinc is equally essential in maintaining a healthy body.
This less-hyped but essential mineral is responsible for maintaining your body’s healthy immune system, protein synthesis as well as healing wounds on your skin.
It gives your skin the same incredible results as it does to your sense of smell, taste, vision, and unsurprisingly, your libido!
If you want to know why your mom used to make you use zinc sunscreen whenever you went to the beach, let me tell you. The wellbeing of your skin depended on it.
Food Enriched With Zinc
You don’t need sunscreen for your skin anymore. You only have to eat enough zinc-rich foods. And since your body can’t produce or store this versatile mineral, you just have to make appropriate dietary changes and include them in your daily diet.
Examples of foods enriched with zinc include:
- Whole Grains
- Dark Chocolate
Probiotics are the most useful live and healthy bacteria that help maintain balance in the human body by controlling bacterial levels and preventing them from causing illnesses.
They most especially ease the digestive system by promoting a healthy bacterial balance in the intestinal tract.
You must be asking why skincare gurus are excited about probiotics. The latest secret going around is that these bacteria take care of your gut health and provide your skin with a flawless glow.
For the skin, probiotics work the same way. They maintain a healthy bacterial balance in the skin, offering relief against all breakouts and ugly flare-ups such as acne, eczema, and rashes.
They act as a protective shield making it possible for the skin to also deal with external damaging factors such as excessive sunlight. Apart from that, they prevent premature wrinkling and increase the skin’s hydration.
Food Enriched With Probiotics
Fermented foods and beverages naturally contain probiotics. And since these friendly microorganisms are your skin’s new best friend, you have to incorporate these fermented foods into your daily diet.
- Apple cider vinegar
- Cultured buttermilk
Foods To Cut Back On
While it’s an excellent idea to be aware of what food to eat for healthy and young-looking skin, it’s also necessary to be conscious of the foods to avoid to eliminate and even prevent acne, pimples, and blemishes.
Iodide is the ionic state of iodine, a trace element found in small amounts throughout the body. It plays a crucial role in the functioning of our metabolic systems as well as in regulating growth. It is naturally found in many kinds of seafood but is limited to crops planted on iodine-laden soils. For this reason, many governments have initiated the manufacture of iodized salts to combat the effects of iodine deficiency, which can then lead to goiter.
Research has revealed that iodine can be toxic to the skin. Since the body requires very little of it (only 150 mcg in adults), the body will naturally function to remove traces of it that are unnecessary. This excess mixes into the bloodstream and becomes eliminated through the oil glands. During this process of elimination, the skin becomes so irritated that it manifests into acne flare-ups.
Acne-prone individuals are more likely to experience this negative effect from such a potent acnegenic. Researchers have seen that using a few drops of potassium iodide on the skin can very quickly (just a week) result in eruptions. Even more so if the individual already has acne.
Foods Rich In Iodine
It is crucial to recognize the types of food that are rich sources of iodine. Since most types of cooking require iodized salt, it is equally important to become conscious of how much we put in preparing food.
Note that not all seafood contains significant amounts of iodine. Many tests have revealed that shrimp, sole, red snapper, and even shark hold deficient levels of iodine. However, kelp is notably a very high source of iodine. It would be best for acne-prone individuals to stay away from it entirely and watch for it in vitamins and minerals consumed.
Here’s a rundown of foods with significant amounts of iodine:
- Salt (Iodized, Seasoned, Sun evaporated)
- Seafood (Salmon, Squid, Crab, Sole)
- Seaweeds (Dulse, Kelp, etc)
- Cow’s Milk Dairy
- Canned, frozen and packaged foods
- Food from fast food restaurants
- Lunch meat
These foods have high iodine content within. However, you must include their low-iodine substitutes in your diet plan to avoid compromising the wellbeing of the other internal functions of your body. They are:
- Peanut butter to Almond butter
- Iodized salts to Non-iodized salts (kosher or sea salt)
- Cow’s milk products to Almond milk, coconut milk, or rice milk
- Non-organic meat to Free-range lean meat products
- Seafood (kelp, squid, crab) to Freshwater fish (catfish, lake trout)
If your stomach has ever been turned off by the above list of foods, relax! There are other foods with well-balanced iodine content. You don’t need to cut back on them nor substitute them for anything else. They include:
- Chocolate to organic dark chocolate
- Sweets to dried fruit
- Margarine to butter
Avoid Foods High In Vitamins B7 (Biotin) & B12
Too much Biotin and B12 cause acne or breakout. For instance, high levels of vitamin B12 affect specific individuals’ germ activity, making them more prone to a pimple breakout.
It affects the activities of the bacteria on the skin that react by inflaming into acne.
On the other hand, an overdose of vitamin B7 (Biotin) triggers skin reactions such as flushes, welts, rashes, and itchiness.
Although an overdose of these vitamins can backfire on the skin, do not avoid them entirely because a deficiency of these can harm the body and the brain.
Biotin (Vitamin B7)
You probably consume this water-soluble vitamin more frequently than you realize. For instance, whenever you eat vegetables, nutritional drink powders, cereals, nuts, yeast, egg yolks, and soybeans.
This vitamin is also known as Biotin and is a common ingredient in beauty products such as shampoos and conditioners. You’ll also find it in hair, skin, and nail supplements.
Unfortunately, the body cannot make this vitamin on its own. You, therefore, have to get it from eating natural foods or taking B12 supplements.
If you want to include this crucial vitamin into your diet, you’ll have to remember to put animal products such as meat, dairy, and breakfast cereals in your daily shopping list.
You can also get it when you take multivitamins.
Avoid Foods High In Androgens
You can easily take care of your skin by adopting good food and lifestyle strategies. The reason is, the food you eat plays a role in the release of sebum and hormones that produce oil, which clogs pores, making them inflamed and influence an acne eruption.
Some foods to watch out for are those that are rich in androgen. A surge of these hormones contributes to the development of acne through the production of sebum, or oil.
But what are androgens? They are male hormones, commonly known as testosterone － their production increases when you consume a lot of animal food proteins and saturated fats.
Below are some of the foods with high amounts of androgens:
While many variables influence the regulation of androgen levels in the body, it ultimately boils down to maintaining a healthy and nutritious diet. That means eating a low-fat and high-fiber diet, such as:
- Licorice root
- Vegetable oil
Consider Potential Trigger Foods
For obvious reasons, we all prefer to avoid acne breakouts, even if it requires us to drop the tastiest foods. For a long time, researchers have proven that giving up citrus, dairy, and sugar is the best thing we can do for our skin.
For instance, studies show that eating such foods spike blood sugar levels, which, in turn, cause an increase in oil production. Acne erupts because oil clogs the pores on the skin, causing inflammation.
Therefore, letting go of other high-sugar level foods such as cookies, soda, fruit juice, ice cream, candy, white bread, and pasta can offer relief for problematic skin.
Although dairy seems harmless and healthy to the body, the iodine and the hormone in most dairy products aggravate acne. This insulin-like growth factor in cow’s milk stimulates the inflammation of skin cells, clogs the pores and causes pimples.
Therefore, do not find safety in believing that since ice cream is a dairy product, it’s safe to eat!
Eat Food That’s Good For Your Skin
What you eat will eventually show up on your skin. If looking at your skin makes you decide to step up your diet game, then you must be in dire shape.
After you get over the guilt of indulging in too many skin-threatening foods, it’s time you start biting into what will boost your collagen, fight wrinkles, and give you a flawless glow.
Fast-forward; learn to listen to your body. Find out what nutritional values your body is lacking and act on it.
However, you must know that this is going to be a long journey, and making tweaks on your diet routine won’t be easy. Take it slow by experimenting with each food. For instance, keep a food diary and look for the connection between each bite and the breakouts.
Don’t rush into locking down a specific diet. Make gradual changes, one at a time. By doing so, you will be more likely to perfect it in the process.
Ensure you don’t go back to the previous diet, though. This habit could trigger a breakout in 48 hours. You’ll have to start all over again, and that’s not going to be easy!
You might find that changing what you eat is cheaper than medication and dermatological fees. But, even while you get medical help, complementing it with dietary modifications will give you healthier skin.