Reducing Acne: 5 Foods That Help Prevent Breakouts

Acne is influenced by a number of factors such as age, genetics, stress, lifestyle, medications, and foods. While it cannot be "cured" by any sort of miracle diet, experts have recommended certain foods that can improve the quality of the skin and reduce the risk of inflammation.

Here are some of the foods that are worth giving a try:

1. Nuts

Pistachios and Brazil nuts contain vitamin E which can improve the vitality of the skin. Studies have shown that pistachios have a beneficial effect on the body by regulating levels of insulin which can lead to a decrease in acne. Apart from zinc, it also contains vitamins A, C, and E.

Brazil nuts, on the other hand, contain an antioxidant called selenium that may help improve acne by reducing inflammation. A study analyzed blood samples from 37 men and noted that those with acne had dramatically lower selenium levels.

2. Fruits

Apples, cherries, bananas, and raspberries are rich in vitamins that have skin-protecting properties. Red grapes can also be consumed along with the seed, according to Dr. Rachelle Wood, a registered nutritionist from Canada.

"The fruit and seed contain powerful natural chemicals and antioxidants that have been shown to treat inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema," she said.

Avocados are not only rich in vitamin E but also contain fiber and monounsaturated oil, which can help in stabilizing blood sugar levels and hormones. The fruit is also often used as a facial mask to refresh and moisturize the skin.

3. Vegetables

Most of the green and leafy vegetables are really good for the skin. Spinach, lettuce, kale, broccoli, and chard can make great additions to everyday meals as they are high in vitamins, antioxidants, iron, and calcium. 

While greens protect against free radicals that break down collagen, nutritionist and author Dr. Kellyann Petrucci adds that orange produce such as sweet potatoes and carrots can help in the restoration of collagen. A healthy dose of vitamin A can maintain the outer layer by preventing the clogging of pores.

4. Tea

Some have claimed that drinking spearmint tea helped diminish their hormonal acne to a considerable degree. One study has also suggested that it can reduce levels of androgen (the hormone linked to acne development) which may explain these experiences. 

Turmeric tea has also been recommended for its therapeutic effects and anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin, an ingredient in turmeric, may play an important role in targeting the bacteria that causes acne. The ingredient can also be used in the form of turmeric-based skin care products.

5. Whole Grains

Whole grains like quinoa may decrease the risk of acne as they are low on the glycemic index (GI) and rich in selenium. Another example is brown rice which provides protein, magnesium, vitamin B, as well as antioxidants.

A study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that a low-glycemic, high-protein diet helped in the reduction of acne in 43 male participants over a period of 12 weeks.