As a healthy food writer, I've heard before that certain foods can be sneaky acne causing culprits. In high school, a teenager I read loved to make the connection between oily foods and zits. And (many) years later, at Well + Good, a coworker wondered if she could eliminate her reoccurring outbreaks.
At the other end of the spectrum is registered dietitian Meg Hagar who is a 'Grecian goddess & # 39; anti-acne snacks, which include figs, olives, and a plum, certainly won't cause breakouts, he says.
I reached out to find out how this simple simple diet that is approved in the Mediterranean diet is connected to clearer skin. Hagar told me that the food combo has three important anti-acne factors. First, it is low-glycemic. "This means that it keeps the blood sugar from spiking too high. When that happens, a series of internal events can lead to excessive oil production," Hagar said. Second, it is high fiber. "Fiber is great for staying intact, but for acne sufferers who specifically support the body's natural detox processes are important," she says. "Fiber helps to promote bowel motility and having one or more good quality bowel movements daily is essential for healthy and clear skin." And third, Hagar says the snack is packed with protective and anti-inflammatory antioxidants and polyphenols, which help lower inflammation in general, including the skin.
Here, Hagar – along with two other experts – broke down why figs, olives, and plums in particular were like anti-acne fighting superstars.
"The fruits are also packed with inflammation and detox which promotes antioxidants," says Hagar. Registered dietitian Kayla Newcombe, RD, adds that whether fresh or dried, figs provide a range of minerals for skin health including potassium, an important electrolyte to keep hydrated. He also reiterated what Hagar said about the importance of fiber. "Getting enough fiber in your diet can help take away any excess hormones or poisons in your body, which in turn can lead to skin damage," he says.
Because acne is a direct response to inflammation, Hagar says that anti-inflammatory foods help prevent it, which includes olives. "Olives have a unique blend of powerful substances called polyphenol. Specific olive polyphenols have actually been shown to lower systemic inflammation in the body," he says. "Strong antioxidants and oils are good for the skin and hair, giving us a glowing appearance," adds dermatologist Amanda Doyle, MD. Newcombe points out that olives also contain vitamins A and E, which can help prevent pimples and keep skin soft.
Dr. Doyle, Hagar, and Newcombe all recommend plums for skin health for the same reason as olives: they are a great source of antioxidants and polyphenols. Newcombe explains that the deep purple color in plum skins comes from anthocyanins, a pigment that has strong antioxidant properties. "Anthocyanins give this fruit a glowing complexion to the skin by protecting your skin from damage, and helping to control inflammation, calming the redness of the skin," she says.
Another reason why plums are an anti-acne food is because of their high vitamin C content. "Vitamin C is important in supporting the skin's structure – think of the healing properties of skin scarring," says Hagar.
So don't have it: An easy anti-inflammatory snack. But another trophy the Mediterranean diet can add to its collection.
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