Blueberries have attained the status of “superfood” thanks to the rich, potent mix of antioxidants it contains, such as vitamins A and C, flavonoids and anthocyanins. According to Deborah A. Klein, registered dietitian and author of “The 200 Superfoods that Will Save Your Life,” blueberries rank first on the list of the top 40 antioxidant fruits and vegetables in the world. These antioxidants can be beneficial for acne; however, more research is necessary to prove this benefit, and you should seek advice from a dermatologist.
All antioxidant foods such as blueberries are also anti-inflammatory as they reduce the free radical damage that increases inflammation in your body. Nicholas Perricone, a dermatologist and author of “The Acne Prescription,” indicates that an anti-inflammatory diet is a key nutritional approach to alleviating acne. With that in mind, eating blueberries regularly may help to banish blemishes.
Fruits, Insulin and Inflammation
Another benefit of blueberries and other fruits for acne is that they help to keep blood glucose and insulin levels stable, due in part to their high-fiber content. When insulin increases, it sets off a chain of reactions detrimental to acne. For instance, it boosts inflammation levels and speeds up skin cell production, according to Mark Stengler, a naturopathic doctor and co-author of “Prescription for Drug Alternatives.” Therefore, lowering insulin levels is also another goal you should have if you’re trying to reduce inflammation that contributes to acne.
Blueberries are available raw, frozen or dried, as well as in supplement form as powder, liquid extract or in capsules. It’s always best to eat whole foods and turn to supplements as a last resort. The American Dietetic Association recommends that adults consume at least 2 cups of fruits daily; blueberries can help you to meet this minimum daily recommended amount. However, you shouldn’t make blueberries the only fruit you eat; a wide variety of fruits and vegetables provides more of the nutrients your body and skin need.
No research confirms the benefits of eating blueberries for acne. You’ll be a better judge of the effects of eating these fruits on your skin. However, in general, adding these foods to your diet won’t hurt either. The one exception is if you’re allergic to blueberries, as food allergies may play a role in adult acne, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Consult your dermatologist for more advice on treating acne.
- “The 200 Superfoods that Will Save Your Life”; Deborah A. Klein; 2010
- “The Acne Prescription”; Nicholas Perricone, M.D.; 2003
- “Prescription for Drug Alternatives”; James F. Balch, M.D. et al.; 2011
- American Dietetic Association: Healthy Eating for Women