Health Foods - Nutrition :
Healing Acne Naturally - Dietary changes that may offer help
For some reason, talking about changing diet almost always brings a cringe to people's faces - as they are happy to 'take stuff' but don't really want to make the effort to modify what they put in their mouths. However, if you are suffering from acne and it is cramping your lifestyle and sense of self-esteem, then don't you think it would be worth the effort to take the time to eat what your body needs to bring it back into a healthy equilibrium?
Our bodies are great for giving us feed-back when something is not right or out of balance and every person's system has a unique balance. So these dietary recommendations are worth trying out for a few months to see how your body responds. As you incorporate these changes it is important to emphasize 2 factors -
Drink 1-2 litres of (pure) water (water is not juice, a blue sports drink or tea or soft drink - just water) daily (the quantity will always depend on work load and climate temperature)
- Increase dietary fibre
'Slippery Elm' fibre is perfect here as it helps repair the digestive tract as it transits, taking excess debris with it. It comes in capsule form or in powder - one rounded off teaspoon twice a day in ½ cup of rice milk or water is good. Psyllium is also a good fibre for bulking out, same dose as the slippery elm. Note! You must take extra water if you are taking fibre - if you do not increase your water intake, the fibre will begin to dry out the bowel and slow down transit time of waste and may lead to constipation - so measure out your water intake each day and remember to drink it!
Foods to increase in the diet
Inflammatory skin conditions like acne will benefit from beta-carotene/pro vitamin A foods.
- Yellow, orange vegetables like carrots, winter squash, pumpkin
- Leafy greens like dandelion greens, chard & kale, beetroot greens, watercress; as well as seaweed, wild blue-green algae and spirulina. It's the chlorophyll in the greens that is responsible for purifying the blood.
- Sprouts like mung beans and alfalfa are great sprinkled over freshly stir-fried or roasted veggies.
- Lebanese cucumbers with the peel (or traditional cucumbers without peel) can be eaten in salads
- Always stir fry with an unrefined seasame oil and use it with moderation in salad dressings. Sesame is high in oleic acid which will help support your body during this inflammatory prone skin condition.
- Foods high in omega 3 are important for this kind of condition too, as they help promote an anti-inflammatory response- Fresh fish is great. Freshly ground flax seed is a good source of omega 3 as well, as an oil or as ground flax meal. The flax meal is also another fantastic bulking agent for your bowel as it contains natural mucilagous components as well as the good oils. Just remember to keep the meal or oil refrigerated as it will oxidize and go rancid. An oil should last around 6 - 8 weeks once you've opened it.
- Use goat's milk/products or rice milk during the healing period to give your system a break from dairy products.
- Alternate wheat products with millet, spelt, rice, corn, quinoa. Gluten in wheat products can sometimes aggravate the digestive tract so vary your breads, crackers, rice and pasta
- Have a diet that is varied in its vegetable intake and make sure that it is fresh, organic produce where at all possible, as it will contain more of the vital nutrients and minerals, and no herbacide/pesticide residue.
- Choose apple or pear juice over citrus or mango type juices. Apple and pear are 'cooler' on your digestion
- Small amounts of butter (organic unsalted where possible) is always better than margarine.
- Congee (cooked rice) is great for removing excess heat and damp out of the system.
Foods to avoid - Here we go!
- All Sweets (yes -everything with sugar and refined flour/pastry) (sugar causes heat - think 'red face')
- Commercially produced spongy breads- White flour (excessive, undercooked yeast)
- Overly Spicy foods (heat)
- Greasy/fatty/fried - trans fatty acids (heat)
- Citrus fruits and their juices especially oranges (they create heat)
- Mangoes (heat)
- The following seafood: Prawns/shrimp, herring, oysters
- Dairy foods (causes heat-damp) - most people don't have the enzymes to fully break down cows milk and the highly processed cheeses hold very little nutrition. If you want try some natural yoghurt now and then (2/3 cup twice a week) with a teaspoon of honey/real maple syrup or some fresh berries - remembering to keep your sugar intake low.
All these foods mentioned in the 'avoid list' put an extra burden on the elimination function of the liver and kidneys so by taking them out we are giving the system a break and allowing it to cool down and regulate back to a more balanced state. Anti-candida type diets help for extra meal ideas.
Article by Shauna Kendall