6 Foods Girls With Clear Skin Always Eat
Are you prone to hormonal breakouts that rear their ugly head right before your period? It turns out that your fate isn't just in mother nature's hands and what you choose to eat can actually help (or hurt) your symptoms. We tapped two nutritionists to give us the low down on how our diet affects our skin, particularly when it comes to hormone balance.
"How you eat can heal and restore hormone balance or it can completely throw you out of balance and keep you there," notes Elissa Goodman, certified holistic nutritionist. She explains that these dreaded breakouts are the result of our estrogen and progesterone levels dropping as we approach menstruation, while testosterone says the same so our glands produce more sebum—leading to oily skin which is a breeding ground for acne-causing bacteria. "Unfortunately, even women with healthy eating habits cannot fully change the relationship between hormones and outbreaks, but you can minimise them through a healthy diet and by maintaining a healthy weight." So for Goodman it's more about incorporating the following nutritious foods into your diet consistently rather than switching it up at different parts of your cycle.
Keep scrolling to see the exact foods that help balance your hormones to avoid hormonal breakouts at any part of your cycle.
"Healthy fats are great for your skin, your hearts, your brain, and your hormones." says Farah Fahad, a dietitian and founder of The Farah Effect. "Throw some coconut oil into your sugar-free matcha or sautée some broccoli with olive oil." Goodman also recommends getting a good dose of healthy fats from wild-caught salmon, grass-fed butter, and avocados.
This family of plants "may help to combat excess estrogen," says Goodman. Not only that but they boast excellent nutritional value essential to your diet at any point in your cycle. Goodman says to seek out kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, arugula, and collard greens.
"Probiotics assist in helping the body eliminate toxins (excess hormones) and waste," says Goodman. "Your skin is your largest organ and largest eliminator of toxins. By supporting digestion with probiotics, toxins are more likely to break down in the liver before they accumulate and overwhelm the skin." There are plenty of ways to incorporate probiotics into your diet. Fahad recommends fermented veggies, krauts, kimchi or kombucha, but warns, "just don’t drink too much as kombucha has hidden sugars."
"These herbs promote hormone balance and help decrease excess stress," explains Goodman, who says her favorite adaptogens are ashwagandha, rhodiola, and holy basil. Fahad also recommends maca or lucuma as healthy additions to your diet to work their magic.
As Goodman explains, omega-3s "are vital for proper cell function, especially for hormone function, as these are the building blocks for hormone production." She says to load up on rich sources of natural omega-3s like wild fish, flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts, and grass-fed animal products (but steer clear of oils high in omega-6 like safflower, sunflower, corn, cottonseed, canola, soybean, and peanut).
Goodman and Fahad both call out foods rich in vitamin B—like sweet potatoes, yams, and dark leafy greens—for balancing hormones. Goodman also recommends gluten-free whole grains and legumes.