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Fighting pounds is one thing, but fighting acne can be a whole other battle. But this is a war a healthy diet can help with. So skip the sugary treats and trans fat snacks as your first defense, then load up on these acne-fighting foods.
1. Brazil nuts
This acne-fighting food is loaded with selenium and just one or two nuts fulfills your need for the entire day. Selenium is super important when it comes to your skin health because this mineral acts as an antioxidant, helping to decrease inflammation, known to cause acne. Help clear your skin by adding these nuts as an on-the-go snack or crush them and use as a topping for your oatmeal.
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Loaded with vitamin A and beta-carotene (a carotenoid that gives them their well-known orange glow), eating these veggies can help reduce acne and prevent blemishes by reducing inflammation and encouraging cell turnover (natural exfoliation). It also helps strengthen your skin’s defense against the bacteria that can cause unwanted flare ups.
Research has found low levels of vitamin A were associated with a higher severity of acne. The carotenoids are also helpful in protecting the skin from free radical damage from the sun. Carrots serve as the perfect crunchy snack to dip in hummus, or mix them with squash into the perfect warming soup.
3. Pumpkin seeds
These oval-shaped seeds are rich in phytonutrients, phytosterols and minerals including manganese, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc. Zinc in particular has strong antioxidant powers and also has been shown to reduce the production of sebum, known to be a root cause of acne. Use these little pepitas to top a salad, or bake them into these healthy muffins for an ideal start to your morning.
4. Green tea
This is a go-to for hydration and should be added to everyone’s routine as a healthy dose of acne-fighting antioxidants. Dehydration can cause swelling and puffy skin, and a slowed response to acne medication or skin treatments.
Proper hydration improves cell turnover, meaning you have more healthy new cells to improve your complexion. Green and black teas (unsweetened) will help you reduce inflammation. Sip on a mug of warm tea, or marinate white fish with tea to give it an antioxidant boost.
This fish is loaded with omega-3s, essential fatty acids that play a role in fighting inflammation and making your skin glow. They also help with weight maintenance and contribute to good mental health.
Research has actually shown communities with diets high in omega-3s have reduced rates of acne. Grill a filet for a quick yet impressive main course, or even add smoked salmon to your morning avocado toast.
Loaded with vitamin C and bioflavonoids, tomatoes are good for your immune system and also are amazing for your skin, because of these nutrients' powerful antioxidant properties.
We know antioxidants are those good guy compounds that fight those bad guy free radicals that cause inflammation (associated with the occurrence of acne). So start popping tomatoes instead of pimples. Add a couple of slices to your collard green wrap, or add some cherry tomatoes to this chickpea and broccoli rabe salad for the perfect make-ahead salad to keep in the fridge.