It’s inevitable that you’ll have to be fairly strict when trying to cure your acne. The modern diet is full of so many dodgy ingredients like sugar and trans-fat that you’ll never get clear skin without restricting some of the foods on offer…
…but at the same time you don’t want to drive yourself mad. You don’t want to live a life completely devoid of any pleasure, living the dietary equivalent of a celibate monk’s lifestyle just to remove the spots on your face. The good news is that there are a few foods you can indulge in that are extremely tasty, yet will still not give you acne.
Here are five foods that will prevent you from going insane and are acne-friendly at the same time…
Organic ice cream
First let’s make it clear that milk is a controversial food in the acne world. It certainly does have some problems, such as the high content of IGF-1 which can cause your skin to get oily. However eating its derivatives as an occasional treat will not completely destroy all your acne efforts.
Organic ice cream is basically ice cream as it should be; it uses proper milk, fairly low amounts of added sugar, and it uses real fruits for its flavourings. Milk itself is a nutritious food regardless of whether it causes acne. It contains calcium of course but it also contains other minerals such as zinc and magnesium.
Then you have the fruits used, many of which will contain plenty of nutrients. It’s rather lucky that some of the typical fruits used to flavour ice cream are very nutritious; two classic flavourings are strawberry and raspberry and they are some of the healthiest fruits in existence.
You’ll notice that real ice cream looks and tastes a lot different to its highly processed counterpart. Many ice creams don’t even use milk anymore, and on top of that they are often full of acne-causing ingredients like trans-fats and tons of sugar.
Real ice cream will look far different; I had some proper strawberry ice cream at a restaurant last weekend and the difference was huge. Instead of being a generic pink colour, the ice cream had streaks of red running through it and you could tell that real fruit was used. It also tasted excellent and was leagues ahead of the generic ice cream from your local grocery store.
How much to eat – I don’t recommend that you eat it every day, especially if you are dairy-sensitive. Regardless of the fact that it is dairy, almost all ice creams will have at least some extra sugar added.
However you can certainly eat organic ice cream as a semi-regular treat, possibly once a week or even more. It depends on how you react to dairy and this food in particular. What’s certain is that eating organic ice cream occasionally is completely safe and won’t cause an explosion of acne.
Many acne patients have been heartbroken when they read that coffee could cause acne, but it’s actually completely safe. Coffee has been purported to lead to some of the root causes behind acne, notably insulin resistance and high cortisol (the stress hormone) levels.
However, those problems only occur if you drink extremely large amounts of it. Coffee does increase cortisol but if you only drink one or two cups per day, the effect will not be strong enough to cause acne.
Like chocolate, coffee also has plenty of benefits; it contains so many antioxidants that coffee is actually the number one source of them in the American diet.
It’s highly likely that you’ll soon see leading coffee brands proclaiming their goods to be “a great source of antioxidants” or something similar. That’ll be a good thing too if it gets customers to drink more of them.
How much to drink – as long as you don’t go overboard, you can drink coffee every day. As well as the antioxidants you’ll also get some extra B-vitamins and minerals from doing this, which is always good for your acne-curing efforts. I recommend that you don’t exceed two cups per day in order to prevent the cortisol increase, and also that you drink those cups in the morning. Drinking coffee in the evening is actually a big cause of insomnia as the same stimulating effect from caffeine can also keep you awake.
Most young people like to get drunk once in a while, and it also happens that most (though not all) acne patients are young. Therefore we have a dilemma: how can one get drunk without the damaging effects of alcohol? Alcohol has been linked to acne-causing problems such as…
One – impaired absorption of skin friendly nutrients, such as zinc.
Two – depletion of glutathione.
Three – production of inflammatory acetaldehyde.
Four – depletion of vitamin C.
The solution to the problem is red wine, which contains plenty of alcohol but also a ton of beneficial substances.
The first is red wine’s wide array of antioxidants, and the second and perhaps most notable is resveratrol. You might have seen reports in the media proclaiming that red wine can cure heart disease, and that everyone can thus enjoy a glass or two with their lunch each day.
Resveratrol is the reason behind this; in this article we discussed how it has been linked to all sorts of health benefits, some of which can help your skin. It can increase the production of antioxidants in your body, as well as being an antioxidant itself, and is strongly anti-inflammatory.
Companies have observed the resveratrol craze and are now offering it in supplement form, but there’s no better way to get it than drinking red wine. The alcohol will still damage your skin, but the benefits should negate the harm so that red wine has an overall neutral effect.
The overall effect is probably positive actually, because plenty of studies have shown that red wine is beneficial for long term health. Therefore we can assume that the same actors could provide an overall acne benefit too.
How much to drink – like with coffee, one or two glasses per day is a good amount to drink. Any more than that and the harm from alcohol will begin to outweigh the benefits. Of course, some things are best not given up and there’s nothing wrong with getting extremely drunk one night, even if it does give you a few pimples. If you want to do that then red wine is by far the best choice. Note: read this article for the ultimate analysis of alcohol and acne.
It is pretty bad; fruit juice is basically a sugar bomb that offers only a few nutritional benefits, yet is masquerading as a health food.
Pomegranate juice though, is one of the very few that you can drink occasionally. It still has the problem of very high sugar levels, sugar which is not bound up in fiber and thus gets absorbed far too quickly…
…but it is also the most nutritious fruit juice there is and that will negate the harm to some degree.
In this article about pomegranates we discussed several studies showing that pomegranate has several key benefits for your acne. The studies show that pomegranate has anti-inflammatory properties and can reduce cortisol; therefore at the end of the article I recommended that you eat plenty of pomegranate.
What’s interesting though is that several of those studies were actually using pomegranate juice. You would normally expect any fruit juices to have a negative impact on health but those studies offer definite proof that pomegranate juice is not only safe but can also be healthy.
The strategy – with all that said pomegranate juice is still very high in sugar. Every single fruit juice is, so I don’t recommend that you drink pomegranate juice daily.
If however you are a former fruit juice lover who misses it on your new diet, then having a glass every few days will certainly not harm you. If sugar is low in the rest of your diet then it could actually help you.
Also remember to get a good quality brand; in other words, a brand that is free from added sugar. Make sure that the juice actually contains pomegranate rather than a scientific compound designed to taste similar to it.
In this article we discussed how cocoa, the primary ingredient in dark chocolate, is packed full of antioxidants which have the ability to prevent blocked pores. Cocoa also has the power to reduce high insulin levels, another big cause of blocked pores, and to provide a boost in your mood which will prevent you from getting stressed out.
Those benefits are particularly strong in dark chocolate as it has by far the highest concentrations of cocoa; milk and white chocolate contain much less and are far higher in sugar.
Dark chocolate does contain some sugar itself but nowhere near enough to give you acne. As for cocoa, there was one study showing that it could cause acne but the doses used were so high that only a superhuman could eat them.
How much can you eat – you can eat dark chocolate every day if you want; there are hardly any downsides to doing so.
Dark chocolate is only damaging in very high amounts, but the good news is that because dark chocolate is such a strong substance, you will struggle to eat that much anyway.
It’s hard to eat more than half a bar of 85% chocolate without getting a racing heartbeat and uncomfortable jitteriness. Therefore you’ll naturally be prevented from eating too much.
The one thing you do have to remember is to buy a bar that contains 85% cocoa or more; that will keep the sugar low and the cocoa high. Do that and you’ll have at least one extremely tasty food to enjoy each day.
There you have it. You don’t have to live a life of misery to cure acne; quite the opposite. As you can find out from this article, some of the tastiest foods on the planet can actually benefit your skin.
Of course you can still eat the really unhealthy foods very occasionally, but the foods above are ones that you can eat fairly often and still have clear skin.
Thanks for reading!