The Best Foods to Eat to Clear Up Acne

by Crystal Welch ; Updated July 18, 2017

A teenager uses an acne cleansing pad on their face.

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The best foods to eat to clear up acne need to be part of a well-balanced diet to reap the greatest results. The best foods that clear up acne are rich in a variety of beneficial nutrients that help heal your skin while providing your body with optimal nutrition. The foods that are good for clearing up acne generally have vitamin A, zinc or Omega-3 fatty acids.

Rich in Vitamin A

According to Acne Care Tips, vitamin A is a key component of skin health. Retinol, a vitamin A derivative, is commonly found in a variety of over-the-counter skin care products. This antioxidant-rich vitamin has properties that can help your skin heal, thereby diminishing the appearance of acne. Foods that are rich in vitamin A include sweet peppers such as red, green and yellow varieties. Dairy foods are also rich sources of the vitamin. Eggs, milk, cream, hard and soft cheeses, and butter contain respectable amounts of vitamin A, according to Nutrition Data.

Rich in Zinc

Some of the best foods to eat to clear up acne are those containing zinc. Zinc is an essential mineral that has been shown to play a role in healing wounds and skin inflammation. By doing so, it can help to diminish the appearance of acne by reducing its breakouts.

Shellfish are particularly high in zinc. Mollusks, in particular, contain the highest levels of zinc. For example, a typical 3-ounce serving of cooked wild oysters contains 154 milligrams of the mineral. This same serving size will supply you with over 1,000 percent of your daily recommended allotment of the nutrient. Other versions of oysters that are zinc-rich include canned and raw varieties from all regions of the country. Peanut butter, wheat germ and varieties of boxed cereals can also contain large amounts of zinc, according to Nutrition Data.

Rich in Omega-3

In addition to keeping your cardiovascular system operating efficiently, Omega-3 fatty acids contain a wealth of antioxidants that can help keep your skin healthy and flexible, states the Mayo Clinic and Acne Care Tips. Foods rich in these fatty acids include finfish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, trout, smelt, tuna, herring and fish eggs. As an example, a 1-tbsp. serving size of the black and red variety of cavier (fish eggs) contains over 1,000 milligrams of the fatty acids, according to Nutrition Data.

Nuts and seeds are also rich sources of Omega-3. These include sunflower seeds, flax seeds, pistachios, peanuts, walnuts, butter nuts, cashews and pine nuts. If the nuts are made into butter (as in peanut or almond butter), they are also excellent sources of the fatty acids. Oils made from these nuts and seeds contain large amounts of Omega-3 as well. Other plant-based oils that are high in Omega-3 include canola, olive, cottonseed and vegetable.

Whole grains are rich sources of Omega-3 fatty acids. These include whole wheat and wheat germ, oats and oat bran, barley, quinoa, millet, and brown rice. In addition to eating the whole grains as is, they can be made into boxed cereals, breads, pasta, crackers and nutritional bars.


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About the Author

Crystal Welch has a 30-year writing history. Her more than 2,000 published works have been included in the health and fitness-related Wellness Directory, Earthdance Press and Higher Source. She is an award-winning writer who teaches whole foods cooking and has written a cookbook series. She operates an HON-code-certified health-related blog with more than 95,000 readers. Welch has a B.B.A. from Eastern Michigan University.