We live in a world that tells us in order to be beautiful, we need to be using creams, gels, getting chemically-based treatments or covering our face with makeup. What we’re not told is that what goes on underneath the skin is what ultimately creates a more youthful, beautiful glow.
Having acne as a teen, I suffered years of low self-esteem and confusion about why I couldn’t have clear skin when other people around me did. I never linked my high sugar intake and diet rich in dairy foods and refined grains to my skin. Later on, years of gruesome research led me to discover that I had the ultimate gift to clear skin right at my supermarket – but it certainly wasn’t found in the form of my sugary chocolate chip cookies or tubs of ice cream.
Having clear skin is as easy as ridding the diet of problematic, often allergenic foods like wheat and other gluten-containing grains, dairy, and all refined grains and sugars. Anything that causes an allergic reaction or that produces acidity in the body will usually lead to acne. Refined sugar and grains also raise the glycemic index which triggers excess insulin that also increases the likelihood of acne.
To get clear skin you want to eat foods that are rich in antioxidants, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, B vitamins, water, healthy fats, and naturally low in sugar. These foods will enhance your blood flow, reduce inflammation, and aid in healthy blood sugar levels.
Here are some of the best clear skin foods anyone can pack into their diet:
Broccoli is a fantastic source of Vitamin C, chlorophyll, and fiber. Chlorophyll is the best anti-inflammatory agent you can consume and detoxifies cells from the inside out. Broccoli is also low on the glycemic index so it keeps you full, which means you won’t be hungry as quickly as you would from eating refined grains or sugary foods.
Source: Pumpkin and Spinach Curry
Pumpkin is one of my favorite clear skin weapons! It’s rich in Vitamin A, with over seven times your daily recommended amounts and it’s rich in water to keep your skin hydrated. Pumpkin is also low in sugar and high in fiber. This means it’s low on the glycemic index and won’t spike your blood sugar. Try replacing potatoes and other higher starch foods with pumpkin. In just a week, your skin will probably look brand new!
Almonds contain Vitamin E, B vitamins, healthy fats, and protein. They can help keep your skin clear, moist, and provide the building blocks for collagen to keep your skin free from wrinkles. Be sure to choose raw, unsalted almonds since roasted varieties are often high in oils that may trigger excess sebum production in the skin that leads to acne.
Source: Skillet-Roasted Chili Carrots
Just like pumpkin, carrots are a wonderful source of Vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is a natural anti-inflammatory agent and reduces cellular damage. Carrots are also fairly low on the glycemic index and contain high amounts of fiber and Vitamin C. They’re also inexpensive, even in organic form, and one of the best humble everyday superfoods anyone could eat for clear skin and overall health.
5. Camu Camu Berry
Source: Ildi Papp/Shutterstock
If you’re into superfoods like me, camu camu berry is one to add to your clear skin list. This super berry is the highest documented source of Vitamin C in the world. Just one teaspoon of camu camu berry powder contains over 700 percent of your daily recommended amounts. Vitamin C helps repair cellular damage, is a natural anti-fungal aid, and enhances an overall youthful glow.
6. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are one of the best sources of plant-based omega 3 fats that you can consume in such a small serving. Omega 3 fats help fight inflammation that often leads to acne. You’ll often hear fish oil recommended for clear skin due to the omega 3 fats the oil contains, however, instead of consuming fish oil that’s from fish likely to contain mercury or toxins, why not just consume some raw chia seeds instead? They’re affordable, rich in protein and B vitamins, and contain fiber to stabilize your blood sugar.
This super sea algae is a rich source of Vitamin A, B vitamins, and one of the highest sources of chlorophyll on the planet. Spirulina is even the highest source of protein known to man, with just 4 grams in a tiny teaspoon! It’s fantastic for lowering your blood sugar and reducing inflammation. Use it in a smoothie to mask the taste and enjoy its beautifying, energizing benefits.
Source: Fermented Carrot Cake Oats
If you tolerate grains, oats make a great clear skin choice. They’re often recommended for dry skin but they can also help reduce acne as well. Oats contain specific compounds that reduce inflammation to the skin and they’re low on the glycemic index. If you don’t digest oats well or don’t like them, then brown rice, wild rice, and quinoa all make great second options.
9. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens are a foundation in any healthy regimen, including your skin. They’re packed with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, chlorophyll, B vitamins, and even protein. Consume them whenever you can, however, you can. Some great options that are easy on the palate include: spinach, kale, arugula, and romaine. Collards, turnips, and beet greens also make awesome choices.
10. Fermented Foods
Source: Cucumber Kimchi
One of the most important things to remember when eating for clear skin is the health of your digestive tract. Yes, fiber is important for keeping you regular, which will benefit the skin, but your internal bacteria are also important. Fermented and cultured foods like coconut kefir, coconut yogurt, raw apple cider vinegar, miso, kimchi, sauerkraut, and other plant-based, probiotic rich foods will help keep your clear skin by enhancing your good gut bacteria. Your gut is responsible for getting rid of toxins and when those toxins accumulate, they often come out through the skin in the form of acne. Adding just a few probiotic-rich foods to your day can make all the difference to your skin and digestion.
Remember to avoid all foods that dramatically raise your blood sugar when on the conquest to eat a clear skin diet. This might even include some fruits for a while, though some people tolerate berries and green apples just fine. Also, try to eat more natural, whole foods, drinks plenty of water, and have a low-sugar, probiotic rich green smoothie once a day. Your skin will probably clear up in no time, with no need for chemically-based gels and creams that just cover up what’s really going on inside.
Now, eat your way to clear skin- you deserve it!
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Lead image source: Skillet Roasted Chili Carrots