Acne plagues people all over the world. It can range from a mild, easily treatable annoyance to a severe blight causing emotional distress and permanent scarring. Breakouts form when hair follicles become plugged by an overproduction of oil or dead skin cells. This leads to an inflamed surface of whiteheads or blackheads, which can cause acne scars and red spots. Fruits and vegetables can play a key role in preventing and naturally treating your acne.
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Orange Fruits and Vegetables
Many orange vegetables and fruits provide high concentrations of the A vitamin, beta-carotene, which supports a healthy immune system, vision, and skin. Vitamin A has similar effects on skin as retinol medications, which are commonly used to treat acne, with fewer side effects. Vitamin A helps clear breakouts by drying excess oil and reducing inflammation. Vegetables and fruits that are rich sources of vitamin A include pumpkins, carrots, sweet potatoes, papayas, cantaloupes, apricots, peaches, nectarines and mangoes.
The powerful antioxidants in vegetables and fruits can prevent acne by helping to rid blemish-causing bacteria from your body. According to Mayo Clinic, a buildup of bacteria can cause pores to clog and erupt into breakouts. Antioxidants help kill bacteria and fight free radicals, which are one of the main proponents to aging. Therefore, antioxidants can help your skin stay youthful as well by preventing wrinkles caused by oxidation from the sun and air pollutants. Jonny Bowden, author of "The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth," lists blueberries as one of his top superfoods because they are have exceptionally strong antioxidants. Other fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants include leafy green vegetables such as spinach and kale, other berries including raspberries and blackberries, and apples, avocados and asparagus.
Fruits and Vegetables With Vitamin C
Vitamin C helps restore and build the collagen in your skin. This helps strengthen and rejuvenate your skin from the inside out. Vitamin C also aids in the production of new collagen, which helps prevent and heal acne scarring. Collagen also supports the capillaries that feed and nourish your skin helping to prevent acne. Citrus fruits, such as grapefruit, pineapple, oranges and lemons, are rich in vitamin C. Strawberries, guava, kiwi and blueberries also supply vitamin C, along with vegetables such as broccoli, sweet potatoes and bell peppers.
Other Fruits and Vegetables
Papayas are among the best fruits for exfoliation. They contain vitamin A and enzymes, which help cleanse your skin from within. Avocados help reduce dry skin that can clog pores and cause acne because they are rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids. Spinach and yellow and red peppers are rich sources of beta-carotene, which also helps alleviate dry skin and prevent and heal acne blemishes.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- MayoClinic: Acne
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Acne
- Office of Dietary Supplements: Vitamin A and Carotenoids Fact Sheet
- MayoClinic: What are the best foods for healthy skin
- Dr. Jonny Bowden: 10 Superfoods for Weight Loss
- BBC Good Food: Make your skin glow
- Amazon.com: The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth; Jonny Bowden