April showers might bring May flowers, but they can also bring acne! As the weather grows warmer, your skin will likely get shinier and more oily. Dry, cracked hands will become a thing of the past and, soon, you might spy a few pimples on your face, back, and chest.
Luckily, there are ways to soothe your skin and nix acne before it turns into a full-blown breakout – and they all start from within. Rethink your diet and eat foods that reduce acne, not encourage it. Here are just a few to add to your grocery list this spring.
Nutty, crunchy, and oh-so-tasty, walnuts are great for overall health and wellness. On top of providing your body with fiber, energy, and protein, walnuts also offer omega-3 fatty acids and a good deal of vitamin B. These essential nutrients are responsible for boosting skin health and can minimize fine lines and wrinkles as you age. Add a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt to taste.
Acne is an inflammatory disease at its core, so eating foods that fight chronic inflammation is a great way to prevent breakouts and keep your skin smooth. Luckily, most berries contain antioxidants, which reduce inflammation, free radicals, and oxidative stress. Add a handful to salads, smoothies, or yogurt parfaits to reap the benefits. You can even eat them by the handful if you’re in need of a light and refreshing snack.
Speaking of yogurt, Greek varieties are highly effective at fighting acne. These yogurts contain live, active bacteria cultures called probiotics, which improve gut health and reduce inflammation. Greek yogurt also goes under a fermentation process that decreases the levels of growth factors in milk, making it a safe and healthy option for people with lactose intolerance.
Many processed foods contain unhealthy fats, including full-fat dairy products, take-out, and baked goods. Eat too much of one or another, and you may end up with oily skin or breakouts. That’s why it’s best to fill up on foods like salmon, which contain healthy fats called omega-3s. These nutrients reduce inflammation and improve acne symptoms. They’re even good for your teeth and can prevent periodontal disease as you age.
Like berries, spinach is high in antioxidants and can add an acne-fighting boost to practically any diet. This leafy green is easy to incorporate into salads, smoothies, omelets, and even muffins if you chop it into tiny pieces. Spinach also contains vitamins and minerals like zinc, vitamin A, and vitamin E, all of which aid in reducing inflammation and warding off breakouts.
People with irritable bowel syndrome or sensitive stomachs might want to avoid eating legumes. However, if your tummy can handle beans, adding navy beans to your diet could dramatically improve your skin. Navy beans contain copper, a nutrient that helps you produce collagen to improve skin strength and elasticity. Eating one cup will provide nearly one-fifth of your daily copper intake. Enjoy a serving or two for faster and more effective results.
Chi-chi-chi-chia! Did you know you can use chia seeds for more than growing chia pets? The small but mighty seeds have become a superfood in recent years thanks to their ability to keep you feeling fuller longer. However, they’re also a good source of omega-3s, fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals, all of which promote a clear complexion and glowing skin. Make chia pudding with the seeds and some milk or add a tablespoon to yogurt parfaits, smoothies, and baked goods to reap the benefits.
You know what they say. You are what you eat! If your diet mainly consists of greasy, oily foods, your skin will likely exhibit the same qualities. However, if you fill up on fresh, bright, and crisp foods, you’re more likely to experience flawless skin – or at least fewer breakouts and blemishes.
Adopt an anti-acne diet by slowly incorporating the above products into your meals. Soon, adding a bunch of spinach or a scoop of yogurt to your plate will become second nature, and you’ll have glowing skin to show for it.
Cover Photo: ROMAN ODINTSOV
Inside photo: Nataliya Vaitkevich