For those looking to fight acne, a skin difficulty that may be the result of hormones, heredity and diet, your diet is one of the first things you can switch-up to lessen symptoms. Foods rich in antioxidants, found in most whole and unprocessed foods, as well as those high in anti-inflammatory compounds, nourish and soothe skin from the inside-out. Along with these foods and recipes to help with acne, it’s important to drink ample amounts of water every day. Combined, you’re left with a stellar recipe for softer, stronger, healthier skin.
Squash and Pumpkin
Searching for the glow? Beta-carotene-rich vegetables, such as squash and pumpkin, infuse the skin with nutrition, converting to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A also helps to absorb selenium, a powerful antioxidant that can help with acne.
Green Leafy Vegetables
High in vitamin E, beta-carotene, fibre and a range of phytonutrients, dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, collards and Swiss chard can help with acne. These nutrients all work to build healthy, clear skin. They’re versatile, too. Stir into soups, make a salad or toss with pasta — the sky’s the limit.
Red peppers contain more vitamin C per serving than an orange, a vitamin and antioxidant that works to strengthen skin walls and reduce acne scarring. Available year-round in grocery stores, red peppers are an ideal vehicle for dips like hummus or make them the main event.
Nuts contain an abundance of healthy fats that help to hydrate skin from the inside out. They also contain anti-inflammatory properties, which can help calm redness and inflammation, soothing acne.
Rich in omega-3s that can help to reduce skin inflammation and redness, for a clear complexion, salmon makes a tasty addition to any meal. It also contains a large amount of protein, which works to build new skin. Look for wild, Alaskan fresh or smoked salmon, for the best nutritional profile.
Containing a range of skin supportive antioxidants, vitamins and fibre, blueberries work on many levels to help acne. Don’t be afraid of frozen blueberries — all of their nutrients are locked in, making them a year-round skin saver.
A healthy digestive system means healthy skin. Nutrients are absorbed in the gut, including vitamins A, E and C, all of which, help with acne. Reach for yogurt with active cultures, kefir, miso, kimchi, sauerkraut and raw apple cider vinegar, or sip on a touch of kombucha as a healthy mocktail before dinner.
One of the richest and cheapest ways to get more skin-supportive vitamin E into your daily diet, eggs also deliver a punch of antioxidants, protein and healthy fats to nourish skin. Plus, eggs are rich in zinc, a mineral that helps to reduce acne flare ups.
Get the recipe for Shakshouka
Allison Day is a cookbook author, nutritionist (RHN) and the creator of the award-winning food blog Yummy Beet.