Eating more fruit is pretty much standard advice that your family doctor will dish out, and it’s a great way to improve your acne too. However, it’s a lot more complicated than simply grabbing any fruit from the shelf.
Firstly, if you pick fruit at random then you’re likely to eat too much sugar. That can give you acne by causing inflammation and inducing insulin resistance, so it’s important to pick a fruit where the sugar is low enough not to overpower the benefits.
Secondly, not all fruits are equal in the amount of beneficial substances they provide. Each different fruit contains its own array of anti-inflammatory compounds, pore-unblocking antioxidants, and healthy phytonutrients, and some contain a lot more than others.
A melon for instance, is not an unhealthy fruit. But it is significantly lower in bioactive compounds and enzymes than a strawberry and that makes it inferior to many fruits for clearing acne.
Therefore if you want to push your intake of acne-clearing compounds to the absolute maximum, you need to get informed on which fruits are the best of the best. Here’s a list of six fruits that rise above all the rest to be extremely useful for acne patients.
Number one – the strawberry
Out of all the fruits you can actually buy at your local marketplace, the strawberry is just about the best.
Like all berries your average strawberry contains a ton of antioxidants that are excellent at reducing free radicals in the human body. This study fed volunteers 500 grams of strawberries every day for one month.
The scientists then examined their blood for biomarkers of oxidative stress, and discovered that malondialdehyde, a commonly used biomarker of lipid peroxidation, had plummeted by 31.4%. This shows that strawberries are extremely good at reducing free radicals in the body, and from that we can conclude that their antioxidant power is extremely strong.
What this means for acne is that strawberries can prevent your sebum from oxidising. When sebum oxidises due to assaults by free radicals, it forms a highly comedogenic by-product called squalene peroxide. That means that strawberries can prevent blocked pores and take away acne’s chance of ever being born.
You can also enjoy their countless other benefits like reduced inflammation and their large amount of vitamin C. The strawberry contains nearly 100% of the RDI for vitamin C and studies have found that it is excellently absorbed by the human body.
Your body uses vitamin C for keeping the stress hormone cortisol down, and healing up your old acne faster. It’s one of the premier vitamins I recommend and the strawberry is an excellent way to get it.
Also remember that the antioxidants in strawberries are the type called anthocyanins. These give a naturally red or purple colour to foods, so it’s important to eat a strawberry that has its classic red colour rather than pink or green.
This study also found that strawberries can lose 10-15% of their antioxidants after just 6 days of storage. The strawberries will still be healthy for your skin after that time, but for maximum benefit you should eat them sooner rather than later and also, keep them at a cool temperature.
The best part is that strawberries only have 5 grams of sugar per 100 grams, so your skin can enjoy all their benefits without fear of a sugar overdose. This all makes strawberries particularly great; the raspberry contains just as many antioxidants and has just as little sugar, but it doesn’t have quite as much vitamin C.
Conclusion – if you are looking to increase antioxidants in your diet, then the strawberry is the best fruit you can eat. Seeing as that’s one of the main strategies an acne patient should follow, we can safely label the strawberry the greatest fruit of all.
Number two – the watermelon
The watermelon is one of my most recommended fruits as its acne healing powers are completely unique. It has good amounts of vitamin C, as do most fruits, but its standout feature is its ability to generate nitric oxide in your body. Red watermelon flesh contains high amounts of an amino-acid known as l-citrulline.
Once inside the body, this converts to l-arginine, one of the body’s main ingredients for the manufacturing of nitric oxide. That makes watermelon a stellar acne-clearing food because nitric oxide is vital for the healing of old pimples.
Studies like this one have consistently shown that when a human being has adequate or greater levels of nitric oxide in his system, his wound repair processes will be greatly accelerated.
You can obtain all these benefits simply from eating moderate amounts of watermelon flesh. You can eat the green rind too; being both a vegetable and a fruit, the entire watermelon plant is edible. Possibly the best thing about a watermelon is that 100 grams of the fruit only contains 6 grams of sugar.
I also recommend that you push the acne benefits to the maximum by picking a watermelon with properly red flesh inside. One of the other important compounds in the fruit is lycopene, an anti-inflammatory substance that is famous for being in tomatoes but is actually 1.5 times as abundant in watermelon.
Studies have shown that the lycopene content increases hugely as the fruit ripens. This one found that when the flesh changes from white-pink to just pink, the lycopene content jumps up massively. Not only that, but the lycopene gets even more concentrated as the watermelon grows redder. Therefore you should pick a fully ripe watermelon to eat for maximum skin clearing benefits. Some fruits are actually worse when fully ripe, like the banana, but the watermelon is much healthier.
Takeaway – the watermelon is a good source of anti-inflammatory compounds and nutrients. However its best feature is its ability to accelerate the healing of your old acne.
Number three – the pomegranate
The biggest acne-advantage of the pomegranate is that out of all the fruits available on the market, it has by far the highest concentrations of antioxidants. 100 grams of pomegranate contains roughly twice as many antioxidants as the same amount of blueberries, 2.5 more than strawberries, 2 times as much as raspberries, and far more than fruits like grapes or bananas. That again means that pomegranates can hoover up the free radicals in your body and prevent them from blocking your pores.
Like strawberries, the pomegranate is extremely rich in anthocyanin antioxidants. This makes a ton of sense seeing as the pomegranate has such a dark colour. An interesting fact is that the anthocyanins in pomegranate are also known by scientists to be what’s responsible for its strong flavour.
Occasionally when I buy pomegranates from the supermarket, I will open them up to find that the seeds have far less colour than usual. Sometimes they are pink rather than the intense purple they usually are…
…and without a single exception, every one of those pomegranates has been significantly less flavoursome than usual. That just goes to show that colour is an extremely useful way to tell how healthy a pomegranate is. From my experience, a pomegranate with darker skin almost always has darker seeds as well. Therefore I recommend that you buy those in order to maximise the acne-busting antioxidants.
Not only is the pomegranate an antioxidant juggernaut, but it also has a ton of other powerful properties like being anti-inflammatory, inhibiting the production of stress hormones, and containing vitamin C.
The pomegranate is a healthy food for just about every acne patient, but possibly particularly good if you are stressed out. They do contain rather high amounts of sugar for fruit, but on my recommended acne diet one high sugar fruit is permitted per day.
Takeaway – the pomegranate is one of the best antioxidant fruits in the business and for that reason, it is a great way to reduce your acne.
Number four – raspberries, blueberries, blackberries…
Just about any berry is an extremely acne-friendly piece of fruit. They are all low in sugar, except the blueberry which contains 10 grams per 100 grams. They are all rich in the classic fruit compounds that can improve acne; antioxidants and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients.
Not only that, but they are also so rich in various other enzymes and compounds that they can have profound effects on other health conditions that cause acne. Raspberries have been shown in this study to treat insulin resistance, due to a healthy substance known as raspberry ketones. That means there’s less insulin in your bloodstream, and that causes your sebaceous (oil-producing) glands to be less active.
Then you have the large vitamin C content of literally all berries, as well as other nutrients like calcium and magnesium. Given that berries are widely acknowledged to be some of the most complex fruits in existence, it is highly likely that they still have undiscovered acne benefits.
I personally recommend that you eat at least one type of berry if they are available to you. I particularly recommend eating wild blackberries if you can find them. The village where I live is literally full to the brim with wild blackberry plants, they grow by the roads, there’s hundreds of them in the woods.
You can find them just about anywhere and when I ate a ton of them last summer, I felt an all-round improvement in my health. The main improvements in my skin I noticed were that my skin was not as oily, and that the tone was a lot better. Wild blackberries are also very bitter, which indicates the presence of high levels of anthocyanins.
As for commercial berries I highly recommend that you buy them organically. While berries are the best of the best when it comes to nutritional fruits, they are also the worst of the worst of all foods, not just fruits, when it comes to pesticide contamination.
Numerous carcinogenic, inflammatory, and hormone disrupting chemicals have been found on just about all non-organic berries. This study also found that organic raspberries are significantly higher in the antioxidants that treat acne.
Number five – citrus fruits
…but they can also detoxify excessive estrogen from the body. In the modern world, estrogen dominance is an enormous problem. You might hear people talking a lot about chemicals in various consumer products such as shampoo, and one of the things these chemicals all have in common is that they are estrogenic. We are all absorbing far too many estrogen mimics on a daily basis…
…and the problem for acne patients is that when estrogen gets too high, it pushes progesterone levels down. And when progesterone gets too low, DHT will get pushed up. That causes acne by inducing a huge increase in sebum production and blocked pores. It’s not enough to simply avoid all these estrogenic compounds; you also need to eat specific foods and take supplements that can remove estrogen from the body.
The good news for orange lovers is that citrus fruits are some of the foods that achieve this the best. The orange is the richest source of a compound called calcium d-glucarate that has been shown to have potent estrogen detoxifying properties. On top of that, oranges are literally full of other compounds that have been linked to lower estrogen levels; these include naringenin, d-limonene, quercetin, hesperidin and more.
Therefore oranges are a fairly unique fruit, and are useful for just about everyone. Excessive estrogen is affecting men as well as women these days, so it’s not just women who can reduce acne by sorting out this hormone.
Takeaway – citrus fruits are a stellar source of vitamin C, but are also a great fruit to eat if you suffer from estrogen dominance.
PS: oranges are great. But orange juice is not acne friendly at all and should be avoided like the plague.
Number six – pineapple
Pineapple is one fruit which can never be excluded from an acne-clearing list, for its power is rare. Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain, a protease which breaks down proteins. Papaya in papaine is similar, and when eaten alongside protein-rich foods like steak, both fruits will enhance your absorption of any acne-friendly nutrients inside them.
Zinc in beef, selenium in salmon, magnesium in eggs – eat pineapple and all will clear your acne with no obstacles in their path. Amino acids like glycine will also be better absorbed.
Eat the richest, most nutritious pineapple flesh on earth, and your tongue will start fizzing and your fingertips will very strange indeed. You might panic, but that’s a sign of its protein dissolving properties in action. Pineapple’s merciless assault on acne doesn’t stop there, for it’s also loaded with vitamin C, at 79% of the RDI. It almost matches strawberries. Pineapple is much weaker than average for antioxidants, with an ORAC score of 385, but it’s a nice bonus nevertheless.
So why does pineapple beat papaya? While papaya is slightly richer in vitamin C, with 101% of the RDI, pineapple’s bromelain is highly anti-inflammatory as well. It’s even used by sportsmen to keep their joints calm after a gruelling cycling or running session. Meanwhile, YOU can use pineapple for keeping your acne calm. Papaya almost made the list, but pineapple is just superior.
Use logic, and you’ll deduce that you can make your food more appetising and acne-friendly too. Just as bromelain breaks down proteins in your stomach, so too does it prematurely digest protein in steak and eggs. Squeeze pineapple juice over your steak and you’ll make it more tender and juicier than ever.
A small warning though – never use neither pineapple nor papaya topically! Many acne patients have embraced papaya in particular, boasting that papaine can dissolve dead skin cells, exfoliate your face, and cause a flush of blood and circulation. It does, but the downside is massive damage to the skin barrier. Pineapple and papaya belong in one place – your mouth.
Never ignore vitamin C!
This article should teach you a key principle of clearing acne. In one way or another, you have to get enough vitamin C. You have to eat plenty of the fruits above, or take a supplement to be sure.
Case in point: this study observed that compared to healthy patients, acne patients had an average of 40% less vitamin C in their bloodstream. That’s a pretty shocking result.
Personally I’ve noticed massive improvements in my skin tone from taking vitamin C. It’s far more even looking and old acne marks have healed far faster. If you’re stressed out then vitamin C is a miracle. If you have old acne scars which you need to heal it’s better, because it constructs collagen proteins which build new skin cells.
It’s up to you how to get your vitamin C requirements. Personally I take a supplement and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. The supplement I prefer is this Navitas Naturals Organic Camu Camu Powder, which is produced from concentrated camu camu berries from Peru. It’s derived from a whole food and hence very well-absorbed, not to mention chemical free.
Another natural and effective option is this Garden of Life Vitamin Code Vitamin C.
Don’t think that you have to eat all these fruits every day. In fact it’s wiser if you don’t in order to prevent your sugar intake from adding up. Also remember that eating individual foods is not enough to cure your acne, no matter how strong their individual powers are. You have to focus on other issues like stress, reducing sugar intake, controlling your hormones, and many more.
Nevertheless, these fruits are fantastic for your skin, and including them is a great way to boost just about all the problems that can manifest themselves as acne.
Thanks for reading!