- Fish Oil: Fish oil is full of anti-inflammatory omega 3 -fatty acids especially eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Make sure to get a reputable source of fish oil that is free of mercury. Aim to get 3,000 mg per day. Eating fish up to 2 times per week has a comparable effect. Check out Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch to make sure you are eating sustainable fish.
- Whole Grains: Whole grains have both fiber and antioxidants known to combat acne. One caveat is that people tend to have wheat or gluten sensitivities, which can also be inflammatory and a contributory cause of acne. Always look for organic whole grains, and if you are avoiding gluten stay away from wheat, spelt, kamut, rye, barley, couscous and more.
- Turmeric: Also known as Curcuma longa, the active ingredient, curcumin, has been well researched for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is a yellow powder found in curry. Incorporate turmeric into soups and vegetable cooking.
- Ginger: Ginger is in the same family as turmeric and has many of the same antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also a wonderful digestive remedy, optimizing digestion is important for clearing the skin.
- Green Tea: This popular beverage has been touted for its amazing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The constituent EGCG, epigallocatechin-3-gallate, is known to suppress inflammatory chemicals in the body. In addition, green tea promotes the growth of beneficial flora such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria that are important in gut health and overall immune health. Also, green teas can contribute to reduction in abdominal fat. Topical green tea has been shown to be both anti-aging and treat acne flares.
- Nuts: A handful of raw nuts provides both mono- and poly- unsaturated fats, vitamin E, sterols, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory ingredients that not only are heart healthy but also stabilize blood sugar and have an overall positive effect on the skin. In order to make raw nuts most digestible you can soak them in water and also bake them on low heat. Walnuts are very high in omega 3-fatty acids.
- Purple/Deep Red Foods: Foods that are purple/deep red such as blueberries, bilberries, dark cherries, purple carrots, pomegranates, acai, purple sweet potatoes, purple cauliflower, black grapes, and beets contain the powerful antioxidants anthocyanins. Anthocyanins bring blood flow to the skin, which is great for moving lymph and detoxifying the skin.
- Green Foods: Green foods are an abundant source of magnesium from chlorophyll a nutrient that many Americans are deficient in and that is very important for many biochemical reactions in the body. Also greens create a health promoting alkaline environment in the body
- Eggs: Eggs are a natural source of omega 3-fatty acids when produced by chickens that eat a traditional diet of greens, seeds, and insects. Unfortunately, today many eggs are high in pro-inflammatory omega 6 fatty acids due to chickens that are routinely fed corn and grains in factory farms. Look for organic eggs that are labeled omega 3 containing on them to get the anti-inflammatory benefits.
The foods mentioned in this article are great way to put out
the fires of inflammation in the body that can be contributing to acne
flares. In addition, applying
topical antioxidants directly to the skin can calm and soothe inflamed skin. Check out Leaf People’s Green Tea Serum
and Antioxidant Cream packed with potent antioxidants.