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I’m sure we’ve all heard the saying, “You are what you eat.” As corny as it is, it’s very true, especially when it comes to your skin. I wish I would’ve taken this to heart when I was younger because, let me tell you- my skin has been through it. After many visits with my amazing nutritionist, plenty of research, and trial and error, I now understand what foods will make my skin amazing and what foods will cause breakouts and inflammation. If you suffer from stubborn acne, hormonal breakouts, and overall inflammation of the skin, read on, baby!
Dairy…We Need to Talk.
The first step to healing your skin from the inside out is cutting out inflammatory foods. A huge one is dairy. I know, I know- you need ice cream and cheese or you’re going to lose it! That’s exactly how I felt. If you want clear skin, I promise you that this is one of the most important things to cut out. There are SO MANY dairy-free options that taste just as incredible and won’t make your face erupt. If you’re hesitant to commit to the dairy-free life, try it for 90 days. After 90 days, dairy will be completely out of your system and you will see the results.
Refined carbohydrates are another food group that could be the cause of your acne. Refined carbs are basically sugar and processed flour that feed the bad bacteria in your gut. Yuck. When you feed this bad bacteria, it overpowers the good bacteria, and the results will be seen on your skin.
When you eat refined carbs, the hormone ‘insulin’ is released into your body to regulate your blood sugar. Insulin spikes cause the body to produce sebum, AKA oil, which will clog the pores and cause a breakout. Ever notice that after a night of eating lots of junk food your skin is especially bad the next couple of days? That’s your body reacting to the refined carbs!
The Magical Pill?
Speaking of bacteria in the gut, an extremely effective way to help heal your gut and combat the bacteria is by taking a probiotic. Probiotics help balance out your gut, making sure it is clean and healthy. Healthy gut = clear skin. My nutritionist recommended Terraflora to me and I have been so pleased with it. It’s my favorite probiotic I’ve tried, and I’ve been through quite a few! Try it out for yourself here.
Another game-changer is finding out which foods you are sensitive to. Everyone is different, and if you’ve already tried cutting out the basic inflammatory foods and are still struggling, I highly recommend a food sensitivity test. When eating a food that you have a sensitivity to you are creating inflammation within the body. This inflammation can then cause acne. Ask your doctor about getting one, and there are plenty of at-home tests as well. If you opt for an at-home test, make sure to do your research and buy one that is legit.
In my personal experience, this has been so helpful. I discovered I had a major gluten sensitivity. It was really hard- I live for garlic bread- but after not eating any gluten for 90 days my skin was WAY better. The only time my skin broke out was around my time of the month. Other than that, my skin was doing amazing!
Hormonal acne is the most stubborn. It’s what I personally have struggled with the most. A lot of the times it can be fixed with birth control or acne pills. I tried almost every kind in the book, but my skin would not give in. Then I heard a friend talking about the Plant Paradox Diet. Have you heard of it? I’m not gonna lie- it’s pretty strict.
The Plant Paradox Diet focuses on eliminating foods that produce sugar-binding proteins called lectins. Lectins cause serious inflammation that can lead to a lot more problems than just acne. After cutting out all of the “no” foods in this diet and eating only lectin-free foods, I saw incredible results within a month. I would recommend this diet to anyone who is struggling with hormonal acne because it has genuinely helped mine.
If you’re interested and want to read more about the Plant Paradox Diet, check out the link below:
So What Do I Eat?
There are many delicious foods to eat that will help your skin. The main foods you want to focus on are healthy fats and vegetables. To name a few:
- Avocado- This is a healthy fat, which your skin loves!
- Sweet potato- Lots of vitamin A
- Leafy Greens (spinach, kale)
- Broccoli- Zinc, vitamin C
- Soy (tempeh, tofu)
- Green Tea (Matcha is extra great!)
- Dark Chocolate- Packed with antioxidants
- Walnuts- Full of omega-3 and omega-6 fats
A great resource for finding healthy food is Thrive Market. Thrive Market is an online, membership-based market that lets you grocery shop from your couch! All of there products are 25-50% off retail prices, plus, when you sign up to be a member, Thrive Market will give a free membership to a low-income family, student, teacher, veteran, or first responder. Freaking fantastic. Get up to $20 in shopping credit when you purchase a Thrive Market Membership! (1 year and 1 month memberships available)
Overall, it’s about eating foods that are anti-inflammatory and support a healthy gut. Stick with eating these healthy foods! Do not give up, and you will see a difference. Need some recipe ideas? I’ve got you! Check out all of my recipes that highlight healthy ingredients that will make your skin glow.