As we enter adolescence, our body goes through all sorts of changes, and a common side effect of these changes is acne. Experts believe that the main cause of acne is due to a rise in androgen levels (a hormone whose levels rise during adolescence). This rise in Androgen causes the oil glands under your skin to grow, and as a result, they produce more oil. Acne is very common with around three-quarters of people aged 11-30 experiencing it at some point.
There are things your skin needs to help it fight off acne. Keeping hydrated and replacing any lost nutrients, such as zinc, vitamin C and iron. Other key nutrients you should be trying to consume are antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids.
There are things you can do to help reduce the severity, frequency, and duration of acne. One of which is your diet. Below are some foods you should aim to eat to help your body fight off acne.
What You Should Include in Your Diet:
- Dark berries: They are full of antioxidants and packed with fibre.
- Unsalted nuts: Nuts are an excellent source of zinc and serve as the perfect travel snack.
- Pumpkin seeds: High in vitamin E, zinc and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. Combine these seeds with unsalted nuts for some added variety.
- Watercress: Full of goodness such as antioxidants and a range of needed minerals.
- Beetroot: High in vitamin A, potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin E. All of these combine to make beetroots an acne fighting superfood.
- Alfalfa (bean) sprouts: Contains calcium, folic acid, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, silicon, sodium and zinc. Also, it contains vitamins A, B-complex, C, E and K. It’s safe to say this is one powerful little sprout.
- Oily fish: Fish such as mackerel and salmon are filled with eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, which are both helpful in reducing acne inflammation.
- Drink lots of water: Keeping hydrated is not only good for your skin but also your brain.
- Green/Peppermint tea: Green tea is antioxidant-rich and peppermint tea great for your skin. As a bonus, it helps reduce stress and aids digestion.
A salad your skin will thank you for:
Ingredients (serves 6)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp orange juice
- 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
- Two large handfuls of watercress
- Four cooked beetroots, sliced or cubed
- One handful of pumpkin seeds
- Salt and pepper to season
- Combine oil, orange juice, and mustard (season with salt and pepper to taste)
- Toss beetroot, watercress, and pumpkin seeds together
- Before serving dress the salad (doing so too early will cause the watercress to go limp)
Hint: Replace the watercress with spinach and sprinkle some feta on top for a whole new salad experience.