Horrible heat, high pollution (despite odd-even), engulfing dust and allergens all around puts body's largest organ at stake - "your skin". People from all ages, encompassing puberty prone teens to hormonally disturbed pre-menopausal women to stress struck males suffer from them, the ugly zits.
These sufferers are perpetually on a lookout for over the counter solutions to cure those obnoxious pimples buying myriad of gels, creams, ointments and herbal concoctions burning a big hole in their pockets but to no accord.
If you've done everything under the sun to salvage your once beautiful skin, time now to revisit the cause, your daily diet. Interestingly, the cause is also the solution.
How diet causes acne
We've known for ages that fried and spicy foods like oil based pickles, samosas, chole bhature etc, are regarded as culprit for causing acne as oils clogs skin pores making them a breeding haven for acne causing bacteria.
Recent researches took the story ahead and proved that foods high in glycemic index (GI) indicates have a major impact on a person's blood glucose level. Foods like sugar-rich soda pops, white flour-based burgers, sugar candies, cakes, pastries, sweets and white chocolates elevate serum insulin levels which in turn stimulate sebum production leading to inflammation of skin causing acne. In short, foods that give you sugar rush trigger the production of hormone insulin to help absorb that extra sugar. To top it, foods that lack fibre and antioxidants make the breakouts inevitable.
Is daily diet the solution for combating acne?
Include low GI foods such as fibre rich whole grain & legumes, seasonal fresh veggies, citrus fruits, et al in your diet and following it to a T. Don't forget to hydrate; drink around two-three litres of water daily without fail for effectively flushing out skin irritants and acne-causing toxins.
Top it up with a daily dose of antioxidant-rich food to dampen the effect of inflammation-causing free radicals. And, voila! You get a flawless, glowing and acne-free skin.
Therefore, it's not only GI that matters but also the complete package of nutrients and how our metabolism works in fighting the acne demon.
Here are four skin-friendly foods to fight acne better:
Bursting with beta-carotene (a form of vitamin A) papaya is your go to food for achieving healthy skin. Papaya has a medium GI of 59 with low glycemic load is rich in many other skin-friendly nutrients.
Interestingly, both eating and using papaya as a face mask work wonders for your skin. Papain, an enzyme found in this fruit helps remove dead skin cells and breaks down inactive proteins, which rid the skin off of cellular debris.
It is quite low in sodium so it prevents leeching of water from human body and helps keep skin hydrated for long. Its potassium regulates blood pressure, thus help the body destress. Its high fibre contents bind cancer-causing toxins, clear the gut for better digestion and regulate pH of the body which helps the bidy to curb the growth of deadly bacteria inflaming skin.
While exfoliation is discouraged for acne cases, a thin layer of papaya face mask rejuvenates the skin.
Ayurveda right from Charaka's time holds "pitta dosha" or indigestion as crux of all skin related problems. A more recent scientific study proved intestinal microflora affects inflammation throughout the body also leading to acne breakout.
Thus, probiotics are a must in anti-acne diets to reduce inflammation in the gut, what better than widely and easily available yogurt to bank on. Yogurt reduces gut inflammation and oxidative stress tackling pimples.
To reap more benefits of probiotics, go for from kefir, kimchi salad, kombucha tea or simple dark chocolates. Remember, a clear gut means clearer skin. In addition, rich content of retinol (another form of vitamin A) normalises skin function in general, decreases sebum production and clustering of melanin granules thus, reducing the incidence of acne breakout and pigmentation.
3. Green tea
If your dermatologist has time and again advised you to give up on your cup of tea while treating acne, don't be disheartened.
Go for the next best thing - green tea. The polyphenols in green tea reduces skin inflammation, fights cancer-causing free radicals and kills nasty bacteria residing in skin pores.
EGCG (a powerful antioxidant) in green tea reduces the size of sebaceous glands reducing the production of sebum; these overactive oil glands are responsible for causing pimples. Drink more green tea or apply cooled, used tea bags on your face to get rid of those obnoxious zits.
Sardines, anchovies, tuna, salmon. Drooling already? These fish can give you a healthy skin. A natural source for omega 3, these fish improve the anti-inflammatory response in the body. The essential fatty acids like EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) or DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) are crucial nutrients to help attain healthy skin. Good news: these fatty acids act as natural moisturisers to make skin more supple and toxin free.
Vegetarians can resort to omega 3 supplements for healthy skin and anti-acne benefits. The lean proteins found in the said fishes helps in repair and rejuvenation of cracked skin cells curbing those ice pricks post acne episode.
Don't forget to choose the right food options. They can help you treat those nightmares called pimples from within. Make daily diet your anti-acne therapy before splurging on those exorbitantly priced skincare products. Invest in organic, low GI, vitamin A & omega 3-rich foods instead.
Eat right for a better, healthier skin.