When we want to look for examples of good health and clear skin, we can look at the science, and we can look at the people who are actually living healthy lives.

A great place to start when looking for ways to get healthier is to look at centenarians (people over 100 years old).

The one thing all centenarians have in common (and the one thing that will help your acne the most) is…

There are a lot of different diets out there. And there’s a lot of people living over 100 that eat differently. But there’s one thing that almost all of them have in common.

One thing about centenarians is that they love to cook.

This is probably the single most important step to good health. Cooking your own food is so important that it is almost a prerequisite for a long disease free life. Cooking for acne will be one of the best things you can do for your skin.

If you rely on processed foods, packaged foods, or restaurant foods, you are setting yourself up for suboptimal health. Lurking in these packages at the grocery store and on top of these plates at the restaurant are hidden sources of sugar, gmos, trans fat, vegetable oils, salt, pesticides, herbicides, chemicals and toxins that contribute to your acne and health issues.

You don’t need to forgo restaurants forever (especially the healthy ones), but if you really want to feel and look your best, you should cook 90-95% or more of your food. I suggest cooking 100% of your food for at least 30 days just to see the dramatic shift it can make in your health. You just don’t know what’s really in your food when you eat out.

The main reason to avoid eating out at restaurants is…

The reason why you should cook mostly all of your food is because you need to know what you are eating. If you leave it up to restaurants, you have the chance of them putting things on your food that don’t agree with you. I recently heard an example of this from a friend who needs to eat gluten free. She called the restaurant beforehand and asked if they had any gluten free options. They said that their chicken salad was gluten free, so that’s what she ended up ordering. Then the meal came and there was a dressing on the salad. When she asked about the dressing, it turned out it had wheat in it! This is a perfect example of why you need to be extremely careful about what you order when out at restaurants. If she didn’t ask, she would have eaten gluten at the restaurant and had a bad reaction because of it.

Another problem is that restaurants can cook their food in fat that is filled with free radicals that cause inflammation in your body. You might get something healthy like a salad with salmon only to find out that the salmon was cooked in refined canola oil. Remember, acne is an inflammatory disease and the goal is to reduce inflammation as much as possible.

If you eat out at restaurants, or eat food that you don’t make yourself, you HAVE to ask what the ingredients are to make sure that you don’t get hidden sources of inflammatory foods like sugar, gluten, gmo corn, gmo soy, or hidden sources of food that you’re sensitive to.

So now that you know you should be cooking the majority of your food, you need to know what to eat and the best way to cook it.

What you should be eating and cooking to heal your skin.

You now know that you need to be cooking the majority of your meals. As for what to eat, your foods need to be as anti-inflammatory as possible.

The most anti-inflammatory foods for acne are:

  1. Leafy greens
  2. Vegetables
  3. Berries and other lower sugar fruits
  4. Sprouts (alfalfa sprouts and broccoli sprouts for example)
  5. Mushrooms
  6. Grass fed and pasture raised liver* (beef or chicken)
  7. Wild seafood
  8. Sprouted beans if you can handle them
  9. Pasture-raised chickens
  10. Spices like turmeric, rosemary, ginger and others

*Liver is nature’s most concentrated source of preformed vitamin A, which is a very helpful nutrient for acne sufferers.

Grass fed and grass finished beef are OK too, but specifically for acne, I don’t recommend too much of it. Eliminating the processed foods while loading up on fruits and vegetables is the real important thing here. The reason I don’t recommend red meat is because acne is many times a result of excess androgens, and red meat might increase your androgen levels, which could trigger greater sebum production. If you really want to test your hormone levels and see if you have excess androgens or estrogens, you can get something called a DUTCH test, which is a comprehensive hormone test.

So the foods I just mentioned are the main anti-inflammatory foods that should comprise most of your diet. There are also other foods that can be ok to eat, but shouldn’t be mainstays in your diet. These include sprouted oats and other gluten-free grains like buckwheat. Organic sprouted nuts and seeds are also healthy foods.

You may want to experiment with eating only the vegetable and fruit recommendations in the list above as a cleansing period before adding in the animal food back into your diet. Many people have healed their acne with a plant-based diet. With saying that, many people have also healed their acne with a paleo diet. No matter what you do, understand this…

The main thing that you need to know is that no matter what you eat, it should be a real, whole food.

I cannot stress this enough. This is the ONLY thing that every healthy diet has in common, no matter if it is paleo, vegan, vegetarian, mediterranean, or anything in between.

If you want to truly be acne free and live a long, healthy life, follow the J.E.R.F. model.

JUST

EAT

REAL

FOOD

(and cook it yourself!)

I wish I could say it was that simple and that was all you needed to clear acne…But as you know, acne is a hard beast to tame.

Once we’re eating real whole foods, that is when we need to move into how much of each type of food we should eat. The list above is a pretty good place to go to when dealing with acne. For your convenience, here is is again.

  1. Leafy greens
  2. All other Vegetables
  3. Berries and other lower sugar fruits
  4. Sprouts (alfalfa sprouts and broccoli sprouts for example)
  5. Mushrooms
  6. Grass fed and pasture raised liver (beef or chicken)
  7. Wild seafood
  8. Sprouted beans and lentils if you can handle them

What you want is to consume 80% or more fruits and vegetables (numbers 1-5 and 8) and 20% or less meats (numbers 6 and 7).

Organic, sprouted, gluten-free oats and other organic, sprouted, gluten-free grains like rice and buckwheat can be healthy but they aren’t as healthy as the other foods in the list. Same for organic sprouted nuts and seeds. I recommend sticking with real, whole vegetables over grains and nuts and seeds.

A note for nuts and seeds

Don’t go overboard with the nuts and seeds! It can be tempting, I know. I used to eat half a jar of almond butter at a time after my workouts. The problem here is that nut butters are high in inflammatory omega 6 fats, so too many of them shift the balance of anti-inflammatory omega 3 to inflammatory omega 6 fats in your body. If you were to find an almond tree in nature and crack open the shells yourself, you would have maybe a handful of almonds – not the crazy amount that we eat when we eat spoonfuls of nut butter at a time.

With the list above, eat the foods in that particular order to help your skin the most. We should be getting in as much leafy greens as we can and eat as many vegetables as we can as well. Things like carrots, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, onions, garlic, sweet potatoes and other vegetables provide us with phytochemicals and nutrients we can’t get anywhere else. Making green smoothies and green juices are extremely helpful because blending or juicing helps to break down the cell walls of the plants and make them easier to digest. Berries and low glycemic fruits can provide antioxidants to combat free radicals. Cucumbers are some of the best skin-healing foods around. Sprouts are filled with enzymes that help digestion and contain more nutrients than their parent vegetable form. Mushroomsare untapped powerhouses of nutrition that hardly anyone eats. Liver from pasture raised chickens or grass fed beef has more nutrients in it than any other food on earth. Wild seafood such as wild salmon provides us with tons of anti-inflammatory omega 3 fats that help our skin and our mood and memory. Sprouted beans/lentil/legumes can be a healthy source of protein and fiber. Some people have trouble digesting them, but if you don’t, they shouldn’t be a problem. The same thing goes for sprouted or raw organic nuts and seeds.

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