Eliminating inflammatory ingredients like sugar and trans-fats can lessen the redness and visibility of existing pimples. Eating a variety of nutrients like antioxidants, zinc, and vitamin E can prevent them from forming in the first place. Healthy foods beat any facial cleanser or brush any day…
…and luckily, a healthy diet that’s well-organised can hardly tax your bank account at all. There are some expensive strategies; buying organic fruits for their antioxidants is great if you’re rich. However, some of the best dietary strategies ever cost either nothing or next to nothing. Read on and you’ll discover 13 of them.
Strategy 1 – eat pomegranate seeds
One serving of pomegranate contains roughly 20% of the RDA for vitamin C, which can boost collagen production and lower stress.
But where the pomegranate really shines is in being the most antioxidant rich fruit ever. Pomegranate has an ORAC score of 10,007 whereas the beloved blueberry scores just 4669.
Antioxidants are great because they prevent your sebum from oxidising, and mutating into a form that’s more potent at blocking pores. Pomegranate seeds can also inhibit the creation of cortisol, the stress hormone, and lower inflammation.
Pomegranates are extremely healthy, and cheap too. A 2-pack of large pomegranates can costs as little as 3$, and there’s enough seeds within to last for 10 days.
To get even better value, buy pomegranates with a deep purple skin. This usually gives the seeds a more intense colour too and it’s the antioxidants that provide the colour.
Strategy 2 – replace fruit juice with real fruit
Orange juice, apple juice and other commercial juices are all far too sugary – they contain all the sugary liquid with none of the fibrous plant matter to balance. Sugar is one of the biggest culprits behind chronic inflammation.
Apple juice, as an example, is often stored for up to a year to a year. The vitamin C and antioxidants degrade and degrade until eventually, the healthy benefits that the carton boasts of are non-existent.
Meanwhile, a whole apple will be fairly fresh and still packed full of nutrients. Apples contain about 10 grams of sugar per 100 grams, but the fiber content slows the digestion rate, rendering the sugar harmless.
Apples and oranges are both very cheap. For both, the juice is bad for your skin whereas the fruit is terrific. Switching to the real deal will cost nothing, especially not compared to the benefits you’ll get.
Strategy 3 – replace grains with potatoes
It’s a bad idea to eat too many carbohydrates, but you need at least 100 grams a day to provide energy for exercise. In the 21st century, it’s wheat products like bread and pasta that provide most of the average guy’s carbs. However, white potatoes are far better for your skin:
Wheat – high in gluten, a protein that’s known to cause inflammation and digestive impairment. Gluten is a problem for at least 8-10% of the population, and probably more. Contains a toxin called Wheat Germ Agglutinin, which is as tough as vulcanised rubber and thus gets treated to a particularly vicious inflammatory response. Contains minerals such as magnesium, but they are poorly absorbed.
Potatoes – completely safe aside from the glycoalkaloids, which are found in the skin and usually peeled off anyway. Rich in many b-vitamins. A terrific source of magnesium. 100 grams contains the full RDA for vitamin C. Nutritious enough to keep generation after generation of Irish peasants alive alone.
White potatoes are so cheap that getting your carbs from them rather than bread or pasta will cost nothing.
Strategy 4 – eat sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are just as healthy as regular potatoes. In fact, sweet potatoes are probably the most nutritious source of starchy carbohydrates of all time. 100 grams contains:
283% of the RDA for vitamin A – the single most important nutrient for keeping your sebum production on a leash.
25% for manganese – a little discussed mineral that helps to create antioxidants.
14% for potassium – an important mineral for regulating inflammation. Sweet potatoes are a better source than bananas.
7% for magnesium – useful for relieving stress, making antioxidants, and keeping insulin levels low. Good sources of magnesium are hard to come by.
Sweet potatoes are even better than white ones because they contain more antioxidants. Compared to bread and pasta they’re on a whole other level; sweet potatoes contain no significant plant toxins nor inflammatory compounds. Eating 100g per day can cost as little as $3 per month. Roast them in the oven to maximise the bioavailability of nutrients.
Even better, eat some avocado alongside them. Avocado can increase the absorption of plant-based vitamin A 4-fold. Avocado also has its own nutrients and doesn’t need to be bought organically (it has a thick husk).
Strategy 5 – drink more water
Getting hydrated is one of the most obvious yet overlooked strategies. Roughly 63% of the human body is water, yet it’s estimated that 75% of people are dehydrated. Dehydration has many consequences. The absorption of important water-soluble nutrients like vitamin C can be impaired, and one notorious consequence is a large increase in the stress hormone cortisol.
Assuming you have a clean water supply that isn’t contaminated with fluoride, simply drinking an extra two glasses a day can help tremendously. If your water quality is poor (you can find out on the internet), then simply invest in a water filter. It’s a one-time investment off about $20. Over the long run you’ll pay nothing and be saved from a bucketload of inflammatory pesticides.
Strategy 6 – buy organic celery
On the face of it, celery is not particularly nutritious. 100 grams contains far less vitamin C, vitamin A, and minerals than broccoli or lettuce.
Where celery shines is in its massive nitrate content. There are so many nitrates that celery powder is often used as an alternative to sodium nitrite for curing bacon.
Natural nitrates are converted to nitric oxide in the body. This gas is important for dilating your blood vessels and most importantly it plays a big role in wound healing.
Celery increases nitric oxide substantially, and therefore it can accelerate the healing of your old acne.
I eat two large sticks of celery per day and it gives me tremendous energy; I’m convinced that celery has hidden powers. It’s best to buy celery organically since celery is notorious bad for pesticide contamination. However, you’ll still spend as little as $5 per month if you eat one large stick per day.
Strategy 7 – avoid trans-fats
The much reviled trans-fat is one of the most inflammatory ingredients of all time. A trans-fat is usually a polyunsaturated fat that has an extra hydrogen atom forced into its molecular structure to increase its melting point. This is a factory process called hydrogenation. Hydrogenated trans-fats are found nowhere in nature – your body has no mechanisms for digesting them efficiently.
Hence, trans-fats are treated as bodily invaders and treated to a big inflammatory response. Trans-fats also block the receptor sites of omega 3s which are anti-inflammatory and good for your brain.
The solution? Avoid ingredient labels with trans-fats, hydrogenated fats, partially hydrogenated fats, or any similar words. Classic offenders are fast food like fries, donuts, ice cream, and popcorn. Margarine is the mascot for the trans-fat industry.
Strategy 8 – replace milk chocolate with dark
Milk chocolate is not the worst food in the world, but it’s far too sugary. Even Green and Black’s organic milk chocolate contains nearly 50 grams of sugar per 100 grams. Poorer milk chocolate also contains pesticides, soy derivatives, extracts from barley (which contains gluten) and more, making it an inflammatory bombshell.
Dark chocolate, on the other hand, contains far less sugar if the cocoa content is above 70%. Dark chocolate has several skin-related benefits such as improved insulin sensitivity and lowered stress. Cocoa can also be fermented by lactobacillus bacteria in your gut, which produces anti-inflammatory compounds. That cocoa itself causes acne is a myth which is not supported by studies.
Therefore, if you are looking for a confectionary treat, pick dark chocolate over milk any day. If you are addicted to chocolate, then dark chocolate will easily satisfy your cravings because it’s the compounds in cocoa that get people hooked, and dark chocolate contains more of it.
Strategy 9 – eat herbs and spices
Herbs and spices are a goldmine of nutrition. For some reason, most fitness fanatics are completely unaware of them. But look at the following foods:
Oregano – 5 grams provides an antioxidant score of 8765; a whole apple contains just 4000. Oregano contains an anti-inflammatory compound called beta-caryophyllin, and the oils in oregano can kill unhealthy gut bacteria like candida. Can also kill food-borne pathogens like E.coli, salmonella, and listeria. Broadly, oregano is superb for treating inflammation.
Basil – 5 grams has an ORAC score of 3053, as well as vitamins A, C, and K1. Contains a compounds called eugenol that inhibits an inflammatory enzyme called cyclogenase (COX). Basil can inhibit inflammation of joints associated with arthritis. Basil can improve the balance of your gut bacteria. There’s one strain of bacteria called Shigella that can badly damage your digestive functioning, triggering food allergies and inhibiting proper digestion of nutrients. Basil kills Shigella and many other deadly strains superbly.
Thyme – a great source of vitamin A and C. Contains a compound called thymol which increases the activity of omega 3 fatty acids. Also has a variety of mood boosting, stress-busting compounds.
The best part is that high quality organic herbs can be bought in bulk all over the internet. You can buy oregano, basil, marjoram, ginger and more from amazon and many other websites, for as little as 2$ per month supply. You can apply the herbs to whatever food you want, to strengthen your body against acne excellently. If you live in Britain, realfoods.co.uk is a great source of bulk organic oregano and basil.
Strategy 10 – buy fish from the fishmonger
The herring is spread far and wide throughout the Atlantic Ocean, tons are being fished by sailors everywhere, yet stocks are still doing excellently. Consequently, they are very cheap. You can buy a whole herring for just 2$ at your local fishmonger. From that fish you’ll obtain plenty of high quality protein, tons of immune system regulating omega 3 fatty acids, lots of calcium from the tiny bones inside, and magnesium.
All this comes with a price equal to the poorest cuts of rump steak. That steak is likely made from cows in a confined agricultural feeding operation (FCAFO) where the cows are diseased, fed pesticide-laden corn and soy, and lower in nutrients thanks to not being fed the grass they need.
Therefore, switching from downmarket beef to fresh fish will cost nothing and could improve your acne tremendously.
Strategy 11 – switch from white sugar to brown sugar
Sugar is sugar and too much will always trigger an inflammatory response. Nevertheless, some types are far better for your skin than others.
White sugar is nothing but highly refined cane sugar, with every other nutrient stripped away to create pure sweetness. Brown sugar meanwhile, is still nearly 100% sugar but still contains trace minerals and fiber. Brown sugar digests more slowly and produces a smaller spike in blood sugar and insulin.
They are both as cheap as sand, so simply using brown sugar rather than white in tea, coffee, cakes, or whatever else is a good free strategy. The improvement will only be small, but when curing acne, the phrase “every little helps” applies in full force.
Strategy 12 – never cook plastic in a microwave
Do you like to cook pasta ready meals in a microwave? Or perhaps broccoli in a plastic dish? If so, then this could be a big cause of your acne.
All plastic packaging and all plastic full-stop contains chemicals called phthalates used to increase flexibility and durability. Phthalates are notorious for triggering inflammation and they are known endocrine disruptors too – they can disrupt the functioning of hormones like insulin and estrogen.
When you cook plastic in a microwave, the heat causes these chemicals to leach into the food, ready for you to eat. It doesn’t matter what plastic you use because all plastics contain phthalates by their very nature. They often contain BPA too.
Therefore, you should transfer any ready meals like pasta into a glass or ceramic dish before cooking them. Vegetables should be cooking in a glass dish too, or better yet, you could steam them in a pan, which is far better for maintaining the vitamin C.
Strategy 13 – pick wild fruits
Fruits are often terrific for your skin. Their standout features are their antioxidants and their wide array of phytonutrients like quercetin, rutin, kaempferol, and many more. But they’re some of the worst foods for pesticides too. Apples, strawberries, raspberries, and grapes are all sprayed with far too many carcinogenic, hormone disrupting, brain-damaging chemicals for me to recommend the conventional version.
The solution? Pick wild fruits! The most common is the wild blackberry, which can be found across Europe and North America by roads, in woods and on the edges of fields. Wild blackberries are especially high in antioxidants, which you can identify from their rich and bitter flavour.
There’s no chemical contamination as long as they don’t grow by a polluted main road. Best of all, they are completely free. Wild apples are very nutritious too, as are wild strawberries and raspberries if you are lucky enough to find them. In fact, almost all wild fruits are the equal of their commercial counterparts, and frequently, they are even higher in nutrients and antioxidants.
Don’t go insane and pick a poisonous berry, but if you live rurally, wild fruits are an opportunity that I urge you to take advantage of. You could also buy your own raspberry or strawberry seeds and grow them in your back garden. Or you could grow potatoes, which is very easy to do.
These strategies may sound like small fiddle, but by combining three or four of them the improvement in acne could be massive.
Replacing wheat with potatoes is a particularly excellent one. They’re especially great if you can’t afford the best vitamin and mineral supplements.
Additionally, there are several lifestyle related cheap tricks you can use, which we covered in this article.
Thanks for reading!