For years I never knew that my acne could have anything to do with my diet. I had acne on my face but I did not feel sick or unhealthy. So I pretty much assumed it was just a skin problem. One that would heal when ointments or medicated creams were applied to it. However, none of these medicated creams and ointments could heal my acne and give me clear skin. Even if someone had told me at that time that diet and acne are connected, I would have had no idea where to start.
However do think about it, if you eat in excess you will gain weight. If you drink in excess you will have a hangover the next day. Eating food that has gone bad will give you a tummy upset. People with allergies have reactions – ranging from mild to severe – when they eat or drink something they are allergic to. Yeah, I know that there will be people who will do any or all of these things and have absolutely nothing bad happen to them, but they are the exception. My point here is what we eat affects us directly or indirectly.
In the case of acne the reaction is not immediate and not direct. It may take years of bad eating habits to get acne. Since the effect is never immediate or direct, it may seem like diet has nothing to do with acne. In the case of a tummy upset you can be pretty sure and pinpoint exactly what it is you have eaten. This is never the case with acne.
Take for instance the islanders of Kitava island, which is off the coast of Papua New Guinea. Not one case of acne was found in the 1200 islanders above the age of 10 who were examined. Their diet is completely unprocessed and natural and consists largely of tubers, fish, fruit and coconut.
Acne is an inflammation. It is a sign that the inflammation levels in the body are high. In order to help you understand it better, look at inflammation as you would an empty glass. When we are born this glass is empty. As we grow older this glass fills little by little. As we eat processed foods this glass starts filling. Stress and our environment can add to this glass. Once the glass is full it is going to spill out and start causing problems. One of these problems is acne. Note that some people may not have acne but some other problem like eczema or maybe chronic colds or some other health issue. Excess inflammation, even if it does not cause acne, is never good for anyone and can manifest itself in a lot of ways.
Now we do not have any control over the environment we live in but we do have control over diet and stress. Eating a good, healthy and anti-inflammatory diet will help bring the inflammation down. But just as it took years to build up, it will take time to come down as well.
Sugar, dairy, processed and packaged foods, antibiotics are some of the things that increase inflammation. Fruits, vegetables, spices, herbs are foods that will help bring your inflammation levels down. Once your inflammation levels start going down your acne will start to clear. Dietary changes will be the biggest change you can make to start clearing up your skin. Done properly and consistently you will see a change within a short amount of time. In addition regular exercise also helps relax your body and bring down inflammation levels.