Eating your way to clearer skin
Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States, affecting up to 50 million individuals annually. It is estimated that 40% of men and 54% of women older than 25 years have some degree of facial acne, and clinical facial acne persists into middle age (30s and 40s) in 12% of women and 3% of men.
Epidemiological evidence suggests that acne incidence rates are considerably lower in non-westernized societies. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in early June 2020 found a link between diet and adult acne. The study tracked the dietary choices of 24,542 French adults between November 2018 and July 2019. Individuals were categorized into three groups: people who had never had acne, those who had past acne (but not at present), and those who had acne currently. Individuals eating patterns were tracked using three dietary records (24-hour dietary record) at the beginning and every six months on a random basis.
Researchers found that compared with people who never had acne, those with current acne consumed significantly more milk, milk chocolate, snacks, and fast foods and fatty and sugary products (including sugary drinks such as sports drinks). People with current acne also ate significantly less meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, and dark chocolate. Researchers believe that a diet high in sugar (high glycemic diet) may raise circulating levels of insulin, hormones, and other chemicals that create oxidative stress and inflammation, which can lead to acne development. In previous studies, processed fruit juice consumption has been associated with increased acne severity, not with a protective effect.
According to experts, following a low-glycemic diet like the Mediterranean diet is linked to a decreased risk of acne. Low-glycemic foods include most fresh vegetables, some fresh fruits, beans, and whole grains, among other foods. A high dietary intake of fish may be associated with reduced acne risk and a reduced risk of severe acne.
The recipe of the week comes via Oldways:
Quinoa, black bean, corn, tomato salad
½ cup vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
⅓ cup quinoa
½ teaspoon cumin
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
1 cup fresh or frozen corn (about 3 ears if using fresh)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice (juice of one small lemon or lime)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons cilantro or parsley
2 tablespoons scallions (green onions) chopped)
½ teaspoon minced garlic
- Cook quinoa with cumin in broth for 12-15 minutes, until liquid is absorbed.
- Cool slightly, then transfer to a large bowl and add beans, tomato, and corn.
- Mix the last ﬁve ingredients (lemon juice, olive oil, cilantro, scallions, and garlic) to make a dressing, and stir into salad.
- Chill for 2 to 4 hours until ready to serve.
Notes: This salad is truly best in summer when you can use fresh garden tomatoes and corn. If you prefer, you can use bulgur (or any other whole grain) in place of quinoa. As with most grain salad recipes, the exact quantities of ingredients can be adjusted based on what you have available.