Could an Anti-Inflammatory Diet be the First Step to Clearer Skin?

Many of us are already aware that a diet rich in fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains is the key to a longer, healthier life, but did you know that eating certain foods could also help to improve your skin?

‘An anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle is pivotal for improving skin health. I noticed many years ago that when I was assisting patients with their health challenges (a lot of these are inflammation based) that their skin improved as well.’
Wendy Dumaresq, Natural Health Practitioner

 Inflammatory Acne

What is Inflammation?

Inflammation is an immune response. Our bodies use inflammation to help us fight against sickness and in most cases it’s a necessary component of the body’s healing process. Without inflammation, wounds would never heal.

Sometimes inflammation can become chronic, affecting our long term health and well-being.

Signs of chronic inflammation include:

  • Extra weight around your waist
  • Chronic tiredness
  • Digestive issues
  • Skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis or a red, blotchy appearance
  • High blood glucose levels
  • Allergies
  • Facial puffiness or puffy under-eye bags
  • Gum disease

Source: Mind Body Green

Recent research has also highlighted the link between inflammation and acne, showing that inflammation can influence acne at all stages of its development.

 Inflammatory Gut Pain

How the Right Diet can Help to Fight Inflammation

According to Frank Lipman M.D., anti-inflammatory foods are rich in antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and nutrients, which help the body to fight against inflammation as well providing it with ‘essential components that support optimal function’.

While there are many foods that fall under the ‘anti-inflammatory’ banner, not every food will work for every person.  

‘Many of my patients have not done well with common grains such as wheat, rye and barley’, says natural health practitioner Wendy Dumaresq. ‘After trialling less common grains such as buckwheat, quinoa, millet and others they can find that their aches and pains have diminished, their digestion is better and their energy improves.’

 Anti Inflammatory Ingredients

Anti-Inflammatory Foods that may Help with Skin Health:

Thankfully many of the anti-inflammatory foods that could help to improve the appearance of our skin are available at your local grocery store. Here are four awesome ‘skin health’ foods you can add to your diet tomorrow:

Brazil Nuts
Brazil nuts are very high in selenium, a trace mineral and powerful antioxidant. Selenium is known to help fight acne by decreasing inflammation when combined with vitamin E and zinc. It can also help to fight free radicals, which can damage cells and lead to premature ageing.

Grapefruit
Grapefruits are full of vitamin C, which is also an antioxidant.

‘Grapefruit has excellent astringent and exfoliating properties that are perfect for oily or acne-prone skin,’ says dermatologist Elizabeth Tanzi, MD.

Grapefruit also increases the pH of the skin, which may help to reduce acne.

Spinach
Dark, leafy greens are some of the best anti-inflammatory foods in our grocery store. They are rich in chlorophyll, an antioxidant that may help to reduce and slow down cell damage.

Spinach is one of the highest water-content foods at 92% water, which means it can also help to replace moisture in your skin.   

‘Consuming fruits and vegetables that are high in water more efficiently rebalances the water in your system because these foods are surrounded by molecules that help deliver the water they contain into cells more easily,’ says Dr Howard Murad, professor of medicine at UCLA

Blueberries
Referred to as ‘little blue dynamos that hold the key to better skin, hair and health, it’s hard to overlook blueberries when it comes to choosing foods that could benefit skin health.

Blueberries are rich in antioxidants and have been found to help reduce acne and fight the signs of ageing by aiding in the production of collagen and neutralising free radicals. They can help to strengthen blood vessels and heal broken capillaries(3).

Other Anti-Inflammatory Foods That You may Consider Adding to Your Diet:

Olive oil

Other leafy greens such as broccoli, kale and collard greens

Nuts including almonds and walnuts

Fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines)

Celery

Beets

Tomatoes

Pineapple

Tumeric

Coconut oil

Chia seeds

Hot peppers

Green tea

Cinnamon

Dark red grapes

Avocado

Coconut

Dark chocolate

Anti Inflammatory Foods

Need Some More Dietary Guidance?

Finding the right diet for your own skin may involve some trial and error, or a consultation with a dietary health practitioner. While experimenting with which foods to add to your diet, it’s also recommended that you reduce your intake of certain foods.

 ‘A diet high in sugar and high-glycemic index (GI) carbohydrates such as white rice, pasta, bread and sweets have now been shown to cause inflammation in the body that can make the skin age much quicker,’ says dermatologist Dr Stefanie Williams

 

Here are links to some diets that may help to reduce inflammation and improve the appearance of your skin:

7 Day Meal Plan to Banish Acne
https://www.byrdie.com.au/meal-plan-acne/slide5

Mediterranean Diet
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/mediterranean-diet-meal-plan#section2

Natural Health Practitioner Wendy Dumaresq’s Anti-Inflammatory Diet Plan (included in her book)
Radiant Women – Natural Healing for the Three Stages of Woman

Dr Perricone’s 28-day Anti-Inflammatory Diet
https://foreveryoung.perriconemd.com/dr-perricones-28-day-anti-inflammatory-diet.html

 

 

Have you found a food that’s helped to improve the appearance of your skin? We’d love to hear about it and any favourite recipes you have for skin health.

 

 

Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. If symptoms persist, we recommend that you see your GP or dermatologist.


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