4 Anti Inflammatory Foods That Help Acne & Keep Your Skin Clear, According To Experts
It personally seems like I'm on an endless mission to figure out how to get the clearest skin possible. But since I'm not an expert in any sense of the word, it can sometimes feel like a shot in the dark when I'm trying to adjust my diet to clear up a breakout. Luckily, experts have identified some anti-inflammatory foods to fight acne, so you can start shifting your diet to get the glowing skin you've always wanted.
Now, "anti-inflammatory" is a mouthful of a word, but an anti-inflammatory food simply refers to something that fights chronic inflammation, which is when your body's defense mechanism in response to injury or harm lingers for too long, "leaving your body in a constant state of alert," according to Healthline.
And, believe it or not, anti-inflammatory foods don't just play a role in beating breakouts; they might even help you live longer, too. A new study, recently published in the Journal of Internal Medicine, looked at the diets of over 68,000 Swedish adults over a span of 16 years, and found that the participants who closely followed an anti-inflammatory diet had an 18 lower risk of dying from any cause.
But besides potentially extending your life, nourishing your body with foods that cut down on inflammation can potentially heal your skin, too. So what exactly do you need to eat to keep acne at bay? Definitely a whole lot of fresh foods. "An anti-inflammatory diet includes almonds, blueberries, tomatoes, olive oil, and salmon," Dr. Ted Lain, a board-certified dermatologist based in Texas, tells Elite Daily over email. "Essentially the Mediterranean diet is anti-inflammatory."
Don't be discouraged if your face isn't cleared up overnight, though. Dr. Lain says that it could take a few months for your body to adjust to the new food choices and balance out. So just keep adding these tasty new foods to your daily meals, and see how your skin reacts. Besides, these foods are delicious, so what can it hurt?
Probiotic Foods Like Sauerkraut
Loading up on anti-inflammatory probiotic foods can really help to fight off a nasty breakout, Debbi Burnes, founder of Sumbody and author of the book Look Great, Live Green, tells Elite Daily over email. Reach for pickled veggies such as sauerkraut, which is not only spectacular on a hearty sandwich, but also works wonders on the outside of your body.
Also great for a dose of natural probiotics? Burnes suggests pickled cucumbers, kefir, and tempeh.
Quinoa Will Kick A Breakout To The Curb
According to Hadley King, M.D., a dermatologist based in New York City, quinoa can help keep your acne at bay because its complex carbs help to keep your blood sugar stable. "Foods with a high glycemic index, like processed carbohydrates and foods high in sugar, cause your blood sugar to spike," she tells Elite Daily in an email. This can affect your hormones, she explains, and it can increase sebum production, which can contribute to breakouts. Eating plenty of quinoa will be sure to balance all of that out over time.
Pumpkin Seeds Have An Essential Mineral Your Skin Needs
If you're already looking forward to picking out the perfect pumpkin for your fall jack o' lantern, you're totally in luck, because the cute decoration can double as an acne-fighting food.
"Selenium [aka an essential mineral in the body] deficiency has been linked to acne," Dr. King explains. And while you can take supplements to boost your body's selenium levels, you can also go the natural route and fill your diet with whole foods that already have the essential mineral in them. King recommends roasting your leftover pumpkin seeds for a selenium-rich snack, but if you're not a huge fan of seeds, foods like spinach, halibut, and Brazil nuts should also do the trick.
Salmon Has The Healthy Fats Your Complexion Craves
What can't this powerhouse fish do? Seriously, its list of health benefits is about a mile long.
Dr. Lain explains that the seafood is an important part of an anti-inflammatory diet — but that's not all. According to Posh Spice herself, eating salmon every day can be a great (and delicious) way to tackle acne , as she told The Edit back in 2016 that the healthy fats in the fish are crucial for clear skin.
Of course, what works for Posh Spice may not work for you, and the same can be said for any of the foods on this list. Be sure to talk to your own dermatologist about which skin remedies are right for you, but in the meantime, don't be afraid to introduce these foods into your diet if you haven't tried them before. Like I said, they're pretty darn tasty as is.