The struggle is real. You’ve been told you’d grow out of your acne by now. How much longer do you have to wait for it to get better? Like most of you reading, I’ve been there. It’s definitely had an affect on my confidence. But instead of getting angry at our acne, what if we looked at it as a signal that something deeper is going on?
Acne, eczema, and other skin conditions are often signs that our gut is not functioning optimally. Many people experience hormonal acne, but hormones can also be out of whack if our gut isn’t running efficiently. The gut-skin connection is strong.
There are a lot of chemicals and inflammatory ingredients added to our foods that can damage the lining of the small intestines. For many, this inflammation causes skin flare-ups. Acne can also occur if your body is struggling to detox. Your liver and kidneys naturally detox the body on a daily basis. If they’re straining or you’re having difficulty going to the bathroom at least once a day, toxins will look for another way out, often through the skin.
What should I eat?
For starters, eating whole foods that are not packaged or processed is a big step towards clearer skin. Packaged and processed foods often have added ingredients, such as hydrogenated oils, fillers, chemicals, and more that can damage intestinal cell walls, cause inflammation in the body, and create difficulty detoxing.
In terms of whole foods, there are some that can help soothe inflammation and give your body the nutrients it needs to heal the gut and skin. Here are five foods include in your diet if you struggle with acne:
These have beta-carotene, a form of vitamin A, which encourages new skin growth and helps break down old skin cells. It also has antioxidants, which help with inflammation.
Salmon contains a lot of anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fatty acids necessary for healthy skin. It also has a lot of protein comprised of amino acids, which contribute to healthy hormones.
Berries have a ton of antioxidants to help with inflammation and cell damage (both skin and gut). They also have a lot of fiber, which helps keep your digestive system moving and detox pathways open.
Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, a mineral that helps maintain the structure of cell walls, keep skin clear, and provide antioxidant benefits.
In addition to having a lot of antioxidants, green tea also has an important phytochemical called polyphenols. These help with cell repair, inflammation, and anti-aging benefits. Matcha, a ground up form of green tea leaves, has an even greater amount of antioxidants than regular green tea. And who doesn’t love a matcha latte?
A great way to incorporate a lot of these ingredients into one meal is a salad:
Kale or any hearty green
Roasted sweet potatoes
If your skin is struggling it’s worth taking a look inside as your breakouts may be telling you there’s a gut imbalance. The skin is a window into your digestive and hormonal health. Let’s start paying attention to what our body is telling us and stop fighting against it.
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