For those who have turned to nuts as a healthier snack than a packet of crisps, chocolate or cake, kudos to you. Nuts are a fantastic snack, not to mention a great garnish on top of yoghurts, desserts, sweets and even in drinks to give the added health benefit.
However, if you’re suffering from acne, nuts can stimulate your acne condition potentially doing more harm than good, even though you think you’re doing the right thing by eating this healthy snack.
Why could nuts be bad for acne
Studies have shown that nuts are high in Omega 3’s. Omega 3’s are an essential fatty acid – an EFA. EFA’s are critical to our diet, because we need these fats and vitamins to function and remain vital and healthy. They are called ‘essential’ because they can only be consumed through external sources – so through food and light. We don’t create these EFAs internally, so they must be ingested.
We need Omega 3’s to help us get to our goal of clear skin. The thing is, the Omega 3’s ingested through nuts, can be offset by the proportion of Omega 6 acids contained within the same nut. Generally speaking, there are three times more Omega’s 6’s in a nut, than Omega 3’s.
With a lack of Omega 3s being ingested, the imbalance can lead to clear skin because the EFA components of Omega 3s specifically work to balance the chemical skin components in the surface layers, and without the right mix, acne can flourish.
What should you do?
Now it’s not a ‘give up nuts forever’ situation, it’s just laying off the nuts until your skin rebalances its acid mantle. Once it is rebalanced, you will be able to start reincorporating nuts back into your diet to see how your skin responds. Start for 30 days without nuts, to see if this makes a difference.
Like I mentioned, you won’t have to do this forever, just in the short term to see if there’s a direct correlation. This is a two pronged approach though, you will need to work on reducing your Omega 6 intake, but bolster your Omega 3 intake.
Boost your Omega 3 intake
So how can you boost your Omega 3 intake and work your skin’s acid mantle back to equilibrium? You can start by incorporating some of the below food groups into your diet consistently:
- Fish, Cod liver oil
- Servings of fish (salmon, mackerel)
- Seaweed, Fucoidan, Kelp, Dulce, Seabuckthorn oil
- Flaxseed oil
- EFA Supplementations – I take 4 of these EFAs each day
Reduce your Omega 6 intake
So by eliminating nuts for a period of time, you’ll be able to reduce your Omega 6 intake. And I know what you’re thinking – I’ve already given up so much and now I won’t get to crunch on a healthy snack throughout the day, what else could possibly be left?! I’m with you and I hear you. So try swapping nuts for some of the below alternatives just in the interim to see if this agrees with your skin:
- Chia seeds
- Roasting sunflower seeds and pepita seeds will help give that ‘crunch’ satisfaction