If you suffer from some form of acne, then you’re not alone! Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States, affecting over 50 million people every year. Within these 50 million sufferers are varying conditions of acne from chin and forehead relegated hormonal acne to the most severe forms of debilitating cystic.
No matter what type of condition, acne is emotionally damaging, skin-damaging, and can be life debilitating.
When it comes to managing acne, you have your pick of skin products, medications, and environmental factors to consider. On top of that, research has determined a slew of foods that can actually aggravate acne such as dairy, sugar, and greasy foods.
With that said, what about those healthy and nutrient-rich foods that can help clear up acne outbreaks or manage more severe forms of acne?
Luckily, there’s a slew of research indicating some plant-based foods that actually can help prevent, lessen, or manage acne outbreaks! The “anti-acne diet” includes complex carbs, — such as whole grains, legumes, and unprocessed fruits and veggies — inflammation-fighters, — such as zinc, vitamins A and E, and antioxidants — as well as low sugar, nutrient-dense plant-based foods — such as yellow and orange fruits and veggies, blueberries, tomatoes, brown rice, quinoa, pumpkin seeds, and your choice of nuts!
Basically, you’ve got the gamut of real, natural, unprocessed fruits, veggies, and grains to choose from. Here are a few anti-acne recipes to get you started and inspired!
We also highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help you get healthy! And, don’t forget to check out our Whole Foods Archives!
1. Hearty Mung Bean and Lentil Stew
Source: Hearty Mung Bean and Lentil Stew
This Hearty Mung Bean and Lentil Stew recipe by Robin Runner is a great weekly prep meal that also fights those acne outbreaks. Legumes — especially lentils — are rich in acne-fighting zinc, plus this stew calls for vitamin-filled tomato and anti-bacterial garlic.
2. Vegan Risotto with Mushrooms and Turmeric
This Vegan Risotto with Mushrooms and Turmeric recipe by Gabriela Lupu is filled with inflammation fighter pros such as turmeric and garlic. Plus, it’s based around brown rice, which is nutrient-dense and a great source of zinc and a bit of vitamin E to boost the health of your skin!
3. Chickpea & Lentil Salad
Source: Chickpea & Lentil Salad
When it comes to this Chickpea & Lentil Salad recipe by Stephanie Davies, you’ll find a slew of nutrients that aim to fight acne and improve the overall health of your skin! This recipe is rich in skin-boosting elements including lovely complex carbs (chickpeas and lentils!), as well as antioxidant-rich tomatoes!
4. Orange Chia Yogurt Bread
Source: Orange Chia Yogurt Bread
This Orange Chia Yogurt Bread recipe by Jessica Bose is not only a healthy breakfast bread alternative — both filling and super nutritious — but it’s loaded with skin-loving vitamin C, antioxidant-rich chia seeds, and whole wheat flour, which is that added complex carb that your skin will soak up!
5. Simple Homemade Pumpkin Seed Butter
This Simple Homemade Pumpkin Seed Butter recipe by Nikki Stokes is based around just one simple ingredient — pumpkin seeds! Pumpkin seeds are loaded with healthy fats — monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and a bit of saturated — as well as a slew of nutrients, most notably for your skin vitamin C and the mineral zinc!
6. Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup
Loading up on those antioxidant-packed, vitamin A, red, yellow, and orange veggies is a great way to help fight acne by protecting your skin from free radicals. This Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup recipe by Kristina Jug & Mita Bezensek is absolutely packed with antioxidants from red bell peppers, tomatoes, and cherry tomatoes.
7. Southwest Salad
Source: Southwest Salad
Another great vitamin A packed meal! This Southwest Salad recipe by Jackie Sobon loads you up on acne-frighting yellow pepper, orange pepper, grape tomatoes, plus you’ll also get a dose of leafy greens and nutrient-rich avocado.
8. Mixed Berry Pomegranate Popsicles
Berries definitely make the list of acne-fighting plant-based foods! Their color gives away a high antioxidant content, plus berries are filled with vitamin A, E, and C. This Mixed Berry Pomegranate Popsicles recipe by Sabrina Estafo calls on all the acne-fighting resources of blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and is naturally sweetened with pomegranate juice, lemon juice, and a bit of maple syrup.
9. Tahini Date Cookies
Source: Tahini Date Cookies
Even though you want to avoid refined sugar on an anti-acne diet, natural sugar in small amounts is still an okay food item! This Tahini Date Cookies recipe by Robin Runner is filled with lots of acne-fighting food — such as vitamin E filled almonds and antioxidant-rich dates — and sources natural sugar from oats, maple syrup, and those Medjool dates.
10. Roasted Sweet and Spicy Rosemary Pecans
Another great antioxidant-rich plant-based ingredient is pecans! Nuts are generally rich in vitamins and healthy fat, yet pecans rank high on the antioxidant list. This Roasted Sweet and Spicy Rosemary Pecans recipe by Gabrielle St. Claire is a great way to down these delightful nuts as a healthy dessert item. Tossed with vegan butter, maple syrup, and coconut sugar, these are sweet treats that are loaded with nutrients.
11. Carrot Coconut Salad
Source: Carrot Coconut Salad
Carrots are one of the best sources of an antioxidant called beta carotene — which gives carrots that lovely orange color — along with vitamin A. This Carrot Coconut Salad recipe by Rachael Campbell is a great way to make carrots the central dish, plus you’ll get vitamin-rich sesame seeds and antioxidant-filled currants.
12. Lasagna With Spinach and Mushrooms
This Lasagna With Spinach and Mushrooms recipe by Nikki Stokes packs a punch when fighting acne! Spinach and tomatoes are rich in vitamin A, garlic is anti-bacterial and it’s got that wonderful zinc, and opt for a vegan cheese to avoid that dairy.
13. Stuffed Squash
Source: Stuffed Squash
This Stuffed Squash recipe by James Wythe sources the beta-carotene antioxidants from that rich orange butternut squash flesh, as well as offers a dose of vitamin E. On top of that, you’ll pack the squash full of acne-fighting foods including pecans, garlic, lentils, cranberries, and spinach.
14. Beet Hazelnut Latte
Source: Beet Hazelnut Latte
When starting your day, think about rethinking that dairy-filled latte! Instead, try out this Beet Hazelnut Latte recipe by Gretchen Lidicker which is antioxidant-rich — thanks to those colorful beets! — and vitamin and … yes … more antioxidants from hazelnut milk.
15. Sesame Broccoli
Source: Sesame Broccoli
Broccoli is not only a cancer-fighting cruciferous veggie, but it also turns out that vitamin A, vitamin E, and antioxidant content makes it great at fighting acne as well. This super simple Sesame Broccoli recipe by Raymund Macaalay loads you up with broccoli tastily seasoned with soy sauce, sesame seeds, minced garlic, and sesame oil.
Learn How to Cook Plant-Based Meals at Home!
Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health, and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer and has many side effects.
For those of you interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.
Here are some great resources to get you started:
- Weekly Vegan Meal Plans
- Plant-Based Health Resources
- Plant-Based Food & Recipes
- Plant-Based Nutrition Resources
- The Ultimate Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition
- Budget-Friendly Plant-Based Recipes
- High Protein Plant-Based Recipes
- Plant-Based Meal Prep
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