Pimples are particularly common in adolescence, are associated with hormonal fluctuations during this time, and usually subside and disappear by young adulthood.
All the conditions that cause acne are not yet known. Factors that cause acne include genetics, hormonal imbalances, and especially hyperandrogenism.
Pimples are caused by excessive sebum production in clogged pores and the overgrowth of certain bacteria such as Propinebacterium acnes. Pimples have also been linked to an overproduction of IGF-1, another hormone that has been linked to dietary production of sebum.
It is also known that there is a connection between acne and food intolerance, intestinal dysbiosis and stress. For this reason, it is very important to control and correct eating habits so that not only the skin but the whole body benefits.
How Does Diet Affect Acne?
The role of diet in acne control has been unclear for years. However, those who followed a diet without sugar or processed foods had fewer acne problems, and those who followed a Western diet had a lot more acne.
A diet high in high glycemic index foods and processed foods leads to increases in the acne-inducing IGF-1. IGF-1 hormone is defined as the main cause of acne.
What to eat and what to avoid for acne
The foods most associated with the development of acne are refined high-glycemic carbohydrates and dairy.
A low glycemic load diet, that is, a diet with reduced carbohydrates and whole foods, leads to a decrease in free androgens and insulin. A diet with both a low glycemic load and a low glycemic index lowers IGF-1 levels. For this reason, unrefined carbohydrates, like all whole grains and their derivatives, are recommended. On the contrary, it is not recommended to consume non-whole grain simple sugars, sweets, white bread, pasta and rice.
Milk consumption can also cause acne. Some studies have shown that this link only applies to the consumption of skim milk. The reason is related to the fact that milk consumption greatly increases insulin production within 2 hours of consumption. Therefore, milk should be limited in the acne diet. It doesn’t seem necessary to eliminate dairy products like yogurt, however, since using probiotics like those found in yogurt improves acne.
Omega-3 supplementation is known to help heal the inflammation caused by acne, thus calming the skin. For this reason, it is recommended to consume oily fish such as walnuts, oilseeds and salmon, which contain omega 3.
Whole grains and omega-3 rich foods as well as all vegetables, extra virgin olive oil and less sugary fruits (e.g. strawberries, kiwi, citrus fruits) should be favored against acne.
What to eat for breakfast for acne?
Skim milk in particular is known to be one of the foods that cause acne. For this reason, skim milk should not be preferred for breakfast to fight acne. Among the recommended drinks, preference can be given to green tea, which has anti-inflammatory properties. Some herbal teas such as burdock or dandelion can also help against acne.
Along with these drinks it is necessary to have a breakfast with a low glycemic index and a low load. You can opt for a porridge made with whole oats, walnuts, and flaxseeds, or a yogurt with low-sugar fruit and dried fruit. Wholemeal bread should definitely be preferred.
Foods that can cause acne
Sugar and all products containing it are among the foods to limit when it comes to acne. Pay attention to how sugar is contained in food. Many industrial products contain sugars such as glucose syrup, fructose syrup and fructose. These are simple sugars with a high glycemic index, so they should be reduced.
A brief distinction should be made about chocolate, which is often cited as one of the foods that cause acne. Milk chocolate and chocolates with added sugar can trigger acne breakouts, so they should be avoided. However, dark chocolate with at least 70 percent cocoa can be consumed in moderation even with acne.
At the same time, keep in mind that the refined carbohydrate group makes acne worse. Replace white bread with whole wheat or rye bread, pasta with other grains like whole wheat and quinoa, and rice with brown rice.
Another food that should be limited is skim milk. However, dairy products such as yogurt should not be restricted. However, choose high-quality yoghurts and, if possible, homemade ones.
Finally, be sure to limit poor quality oils. Contains omega 3, olive oil and skin-friendly avocado oils, but also other vegetable oils (corn, peanut, sunflower, canola, etc.) especially when exposed to high temperatures may help support inflammation. So limit fried foods as well. It is also recommended to completely stop drinking alcohol.
5 foods that help reduce acne
There are foods that can be considered a good help in the fight against acne thanks to their anti-inflammatory effects.
Here are 5 foods that help reduce acne:
1. Fatty Fish
Oily marine fish with omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, mackerel, sardines, and anchovies reduce inflammation. It is recommended to be consumed with the skin, which contains the highest concentration of omega-3 fatty acids, the anti-inflammatory fatty acids.
Among the oilseeds, flaxseed is the richest in omega 3 and is considered an anti-inflammatory food. They should be used freshly ground. It can be eaten for breakfast, it can be added to yoghurt as a spoon or two, for example.
3. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The staple of the Mediterranean diet, extra virgin olive oil is rich in polyphenols and vitamin E, components with anti-inflammatory properties that prevent skin inflammation.
4. Yogurt and kefir
Yoghurt and kefir are rich in probiotic microorganisms and their regular use ensures the balance of the intestinal flora. Probiotics increase insulin sensitivity and reduce the release of cytokines that cause inflammation in the skin. In addition, probiotics boost the immune system and are beneficial against all inflammatory diseases, including acne.
5. Green Tea
Green tea is also considered a helpful food in the fight against acne. Regular consumption of green tea is beneficial against acne as it has anti-inflammatory properties and supports liver activity.