Using nutrition as an approach to manage acne is nothing new. There are a lot of myths around food and pimples though, as well as a lot of research.
As Newcastle naturopaths who take an evidence based approach to treating clients, we will focus on the things that have been shown to be effective in the treatment of acne.
We break down treatment of acne into 5 steps:
- Eliminate foods that aggravate
- Support healthy skin function
- Reduce inflammation by adjusting diet
- Support immune function to reduce infection risks
- Support healthy digestion and elimination pathways
That all sounds great in theory but what does it mean for you and what you are actually eating??
We want you to focus on the following things in your diet:
- Avoid high GI foods
- Focus on low-moderate GI foods
- Increase fibre
- Drink 2L filtered water per day
- Increase wild caught seafood to meet omega 3 fatty acid intake
- Reduce consumption of processed and sweetened foods, added sugars and refined carbohydrates
- Increase zinc foods: oysters, pumpkin seeds
- Increase vitamin A foods: carrots, pumpkin
- Increase antioxidant intake: dark coloured berries and leafy greens
- Increase liver support foods: broccoli sprouts, beetroot, dandelion greens
- Eat a rainbow. Aim for 40+ plant foods across a wide colour spectrum to meet your vitamin and mineral needs
- Increase nuts and seeds like Brazil nuts, cashews, macadamias, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, linseeds and sunflower seeds.
- B3 foods: avocado, chicken, broccoli, capsicum
- Eliminate alcohol as it exacerbates acne
- Reduce or eliminate spicy foods if it is your trigger
- Increase whole grains: Quinoa, buckwheat, black rice, millet
- Eat a moderate amount of lean meats and eggs
- Eat foods that contain silica: e.g. the stem of silver beet
- Make chicken and beef broth to consume natural collagen
- Limit hot drinks as they promote acne rosacea
Sounds yummy right??
In a nutshell, we are focusing on real foods, and limiting processed stuff!
Supplement wise, there are a few things that we can incorporate into your plan for more support in terms of nutritional medicine.
A specific type of collagen called verisol helps the structure of the dermis and can improve skin integrity. Detoxifying powders including broccoli sprout powder can be very useful in helping support the bodies elimination pathway and remove excess hormones and toxins.
Probiotics and prebiotics to support a balanced microbiome can have anti-inflammatory and immune modulating effects. We can utilise fermented foods as part of your daily regime, as well as targeted supplements like PHGG and Lactobacilli species. Probiotic species might be affective topically as well, so a skin food mask based on yoghurt that also has clay to draw out impurities is a great addition.
Lastly, vitamin B3 can help improve skin structures and reduce inflammation, so having some foods containing niacin everyday to make sure your body meets its needs for that specific vitamin, is a worthwhile focus.
Naturopathically, we like to support you holistically, so as well as helping you incorporate this diet, we would probably prescribe a customised herbal tonic and help support you making choices about healthy skin care and stress management.
Having sessions in our Infrared sauna can help support your body detoxify and may improve the time to heal from flares.
We have had great success at helping people improve their skin with acne in the past. As always, our Newcastle naturopaths will look at your individual needs and help you with a plan to meet your goals.
Book your free 20 minute assessment below to find out how we can help today.