There are many foods that could cause acne that you might not be aware of, and some are from some pretty healthy sources. We all know we should avoid sugar, fast food, and many processed foods to avoid acne, but what about healthy foods? One tricky thing about health foods, is they don’t just affect our weight, hearts, and waistlines, but also our skin. Foods higher in natural acids, and natural sugars can cause acne in sensitive individuals. It doesn’t mean you can’t eat these foods, as many have benefits, but it simply means you need to watch your skin as you eat them. You may not react to them at all, or you may notice a huge difference once you remove them from your diet. These 7 foods that could cause acne tend to be the most common foods I see that people react to, but there could be others. If you notice acne out of nowhere after you introduce a new food, don’t automatically think just because it’s healthy that it won’t break you out. Always pay attention to your skin. Food has more of an effect on it than you think, and sugar and fast food aren’t always the only culprits.
One of my favorite foods in the world is grape tomatoes, but sadly, they are one of the most common foods that could cause acne. Tomatoes are rich in natural acids, plus high levels of Vitamin C. Many people actually promote Vitamin C and tomatoes for skin health, and they can help some people’s skin, but hurt others. My mother also can’t eat them, along with a friend I have. If you notice small red bumps or pimples after eating raw tomatoes, try not eating them for a week to see if it helps. It doesn’t mean they are bad for you, but you may just be eating more than what your skin can handle. I do fine with cooked tomatoes, so try those instead.
Strawberries are an acidic fruit that is commonly known to cause breakouts, along with it being very high in Vitamin C. The combination causes acne and small bumps, just like tomatoes do. Again, monitor your skin when eating them. I love strawberries and find that I tolerate them fine on occasion, but if I eat them daily, my skin lets me know! I switch to blueberries, blackberries and raspberries, which are all higher in antioxidants, fiber and polyphenols. They also help combat acne as a bonus.
Salsa is my favorite condiment aside from mustard, but I have to take it in small doses, which is hard! Salsa is just like tomatoes, whether it’s cooked or not. It’s high in natural acids and Vitamin C, which can all cause issues for sensitive individuals. It doesn't only cause acne because of the tomatoes, but also because of the vinegar and peppers it contains, which can irritate some people's skin in excess. The best way to eat salsa is on occasion. If it doesn’t cause issues for you, great! If it does, just do like I do, and keep it to a once a month treat. I do find that jarred or canned tomatoes or tomato paste works just fine for me though since the tomatoes are cooked well and the additional ingredients aren't added.
Oranges are also very high in Vitamin C and natural acids. Both of these can cause acne in sensitive individuals. Oranges are one of the healthiest foods you can eat, and available all year round. I personally love them myself, but have to eat them in small quantities. If you notice you’re eating a lot of them and have skin issues, try removing them to see what happens. You can always switch to another delicious fruit in the meantime!
5. Wheat Bread
Wheat is a major source of acne flair-ups, likely due to the gluten. If you’re sensitive to wheat, and not even allergic, wheat may still be the reason you’re suffering from acne. It can be problematic for the body on a number of levels. Many people tolerate it fine, but many also don’t. To avoid this issue entirely, just buy gluten-free bread, or better yet, cook whole grains like oats, quinoa or amaranth. All of these are much better for your body and your skin.
Dairy is a major food source of acne for most people. I actually don’t break out at all from plain yogurt, but I do with sugar sweetened yogurts and other forms of dairy, such as cottage cheese and milk. Yogurt and kefir’s probiotics might help your body digest the milk sugar known as lactose better, which could have a reason to do with why it won’t break you out, so long as you stick to the plain kinds, without added sugar. Yogurt and kefir are both by far the healthiest choices in the dairy department you can eat, but be sure to read the ingredients to make sure they only contain milk and cultures. Do note though, that all dairy is mucous forming in the body, which is the reason it tends to break people out. If you love dairy and your skin is breaking out, try non-dairy sources for a week and see what happens. I personally love almond milk myself! If you can’t even tolerate yogurt, there are many alternatives available.
7. Orange Juice
Who doesn’t love a huge glass of OJ, right? I know I do, but it is a big no-no for my skin! Orange juice is pure sugar and has no fiber from the oranges, even if you buy an unsweetened variety. It doesn't break you out only because it's from oranges, but also due to the added sugar in orange juice, which will almost always cause breakouts for people. Take a look at the back nutrition panel on the carton and you’ll see what I mean. Plain, unsweetened orange juice has no fiber, and over 20 grams of sugar, more than most candy bars, all in just one 8 ounce serving. That’s a lot of sugar, and sugar is the biggest culprit for breakouts. Plus, as I mentioned, oranges are rich in Vitamin C and natural acids, which are great for you, but may lead to breakouts in excess. All citrus sources should be monitored since they are rich in Vitamin C and acids, but oranges tend to be the most problematic for most people. Instead of orange juice, try some green juice instead! I know it isn’t the same, but it is much more energizing, calming and it’s fabulous for your skin.
Some of these foods might not bother you at all, and are by no means a definite reason for your acne. I do think they are all worth exploring if you’re having skin issues and have tried everything but removing these from your diet. Let me know what you think. Have any of these foods ever cause breakouts for you?