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A Guide To Eating Nuts When You Have Acne

A Guide To Eating Nuts When You Have Acne

For many years, nuts have been considered to be the enemy of acne - believed to make acne worse and cause more breakouts. But recent research seems to point in the other direction of this, saying that this is not the case, and nuts have nothing to do with acne breakouts. In fact, this isn’t the case for most foods that are believed to cause acne. Many leading American scientists have found that, despite widespread rumors, your breakouts are not related to what you eat. Instead, more evidence points to the idea that acne is likely a result of your genes, especially your hormones like androgen and testosterone.

While acne can mostly be blamed on genes and hormones, researchers agree that what you eat still has an effect on your breakouts. Some foods, like fruits, vegetables, and lean protein can actually help keep you from having breakouts. Others, especially those that are high in glucose tend to make breakouts worse. But what category do nuts fall into?

Acne And Digesting Nuts

While nuts are a clean and natural food source, they can still be hard for your body to deal with. High in protein and fat, your body has to work extra hard to digest them into usable components. In fact, the process can be so slow and difficult, that your immune system can actually kick in and start producing antibodies to try and deal with the problem. These antibodies irritate your sebaceous glands, causing them to produce a lot of sebum. And it’s this sebum that clogs your pores and causes an acne outbreak.  

There are still ways to be able to enjoy nuts while you fight your acne - you might just have to change how you eat them. Soaking nuts is a great way to make them easier to digest, so your body doesn’t have to work so hard.  You can also roast them to help get rid of a large part of their proteins.

You can also change which nuts you’re eating. Cashews, Brazil nuts, and pistachios are rich in selenium and zinc.  Selenium is a potent antioxidant that helps you make glutathione to fight free radicals and strengthen your skin and immune system. When combined with Vitamin E, selenium can improve your skin and can even get rid of old scars.  Both it and zinc help to fight against irritation and breakouts, stimulate the immune system, and can even help tighten your skin for a younger appearance.

To add to that, there are contradictions as to whether or not nuts worsen your acne with the fatty acids that are found in then. Nuts contain high amounts of omega-6 fats, and this type of fat is not beneficial to us. On the other hand, other nuts such as walnuts, are also made up of omega-3 fats, and this kind of fat has been known to be incredibly successful in reducing inflammation.


The daily recommendation is to be taking three times as much omega-6 as omega-3, so it could be that the nuts you’re eating may be giving you too much of the latter. If you truly can’t live without snacking on nuts, you can increase your omega-3 intake by taking fish oil. You can also go for the Brazil nuts to boost your fatty acid levels.

Everyone reacts to certain foods differently, and it might just be that your acne is being caused by a mild allergic reaction to your favorite snack. If this is the case, the best thing to do is to cut down on nuts altogether. If you don’t want to do that, even if you suspect that nuts may be the culprit for all your acne breakouts, you can simply write down your bodily experiences soon after eating some nuts. You can start by recording the amount that you ate, then watching to see how your skin reacts. Try to see if you notice a pattern - your dermatologist can also help you with this. If you don’t notice a pattern, then feel free to continue enjoying your salty snack whenever you please!

The Verdict

As you can see, this is a topic with many different viewpoints. Eating nuts can have its benefits and drawbacks when it comes to whether or not they’re the cause or cure for your recurring acne breakouts. All in all though, just remember that everything is good in moderation - and that goes for nuts too. Pay attention to the way your body reacts to the foods you eat and limit the things that make your acne worse if you’re concerned about it. As a general rule of thumb, try to avoid sugary and fatty foods, carbs, dairy, alcohol, and other foods and substances that aren’t as good for us. Do these things, and you’ll be on your way to clearer, healthier skin in no time!