Hormonal Acne Diet Plan (best 7-day clear skin meal plan)
7-day hormonal acne diet plan: Best diet plan for clear skin. Find your acne triggers and learn how to eat when you suffer from hormonal acne.
Are confused about how to eat when you suffer from acne? Does it seem like everything could cause an acne breakout? Are you wondering why your hormones are so out of balance?
Most teenagers suffer from hormonal acne, but today more and more adults suffer from adult acne. This is mostly caused by the western diet that is rich in simple carbs and sugar. A diet that also causes weight gain and obesity.
Therefore, it is important to bring your body back to a balanced diet that fuels you and balances your hormones. I believe that many health issues are a result of our eating habits and to turn this statement around: The right nutrition can heal many health issues.
Today, I would like to introduce you to the best diet for hormonal acne that will heal your gut and balance your hormones naturally. You won’t always have to eat according to this diet plan, but it is a good start to clear up your skin. With time you will find what triggers your hormonal acne which will guide you toward creating the meal plan that suits your needs.
In the list below you will find foods that are good for your acne and foods that are not. There are two effects that can happen with certain foods causing acne: They irritate your gut or spike insulin levels.
Most of the foods that are bad for acne cause inflammation in your gut. If your gut is imbalanced, the stomach lining inflamed, your body cannot absorb important nutrients. Inflammation will trigger a hormone imbalance causing more acne.
The reason this clear skin diet plan avoids so many foods is to restore the gut lining and heal inflammation which in return will heal your skin and other symptoms that might occur due to an inflamed gut. Also note that low-level inflammation can play a role in other Western diseases.
Therefore, anything that can help fight inflammation is important in preventing and even treating these diseases. Some irritants are sugar, dairy, and gluten.
Foods that cause quick insulin rises have been commonly documented to cause acne issues. This expands beyond bagels and includes pasta, refined grains, white flour, and other acne-causing foods high on the glycemic index. This is one of the many reasons why Paleo-friendly carbs (like sweet potatoes) are a much better choice. (source)
Even if you’re not a diabetic, your diet affects your blood sugar levels. Some foods break down quickly, requiring your body to release more insulin to use up that fuel (in the form of glucose). Scientists have found that more insulin means more acne. In fact, researchers from Colorado State University found that a diet that leads to elevated insulin levels is involved in the production of acne. (Source)
“By far the biggest contributor to oily skin is hormones, including androgens like testosterone and DHT, and also insulin and IGF-1. These all stimulate the receptors in your sebaceous glands, which signals them to create more sebum. However you do NOT need to reduce all these hormones. It is best to focus on reducing insulin and IGF-1.” (Source)
Foods to avoid that raise insulin: whole milk, white bread, white pasta and rice, fast food, prepackaged foods, sugar… If you follow this hormonal acne diet plan below you automatically avoid any of these.
Sugar also spikes insulin levels—and more insulin means more acne. So the more you can lower your sugar intake, the clearer your skin will be.
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What foods help with hormonal acne?
Healthy Plant Oils
Coconut oil is the best oil to use for cooking when you suffer from acne. You can also use olive oil (extra virgin) but avoid canola, soy and other oils. You can read the reason why you should avoid canola oil here.
Probiotics and fermented foods
Fermented foods and probiotics will add beneficial microorganisms to your gut, the “good” bacteria, helping with digestion. Healthy gut flora and digestion will result in better skin, too. Here are some foods to include in your diet: yogurt with live cultures (no sugar added), sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, pickles, and kefir.
Omega 3: Chia Seeds, Wild Caught Salmon
While too much omega 6 can irritate your gut, omega 3 fatty acid has anti-inflammatory effects. Therefore, you should increase the foods with omega 3 fatty acids like wild caught salmon and chia or flax seed. This will help heal your gut and your skin. For acne sufferers it is recommended to consume wild caught Salmon 1-3 times a week.
“In fact, scientific research shows that drinking green tea helps reduce inflammation in the skin, which is well known for causing acne and that is because the green tea’s powerful antioxidants are between 25 to 100 times more potent compared to Vitamin C. in addition to that, green tea is also great for reducing insulin levels (therefore reducing the amount of sebum your skin produces) and for fighting acne caused by hormonal imbalances.” (54health)
Adaptogens are herbs used in ancient India. They can relax your body, balance hormones, and heal your body. You can add some adaptogens as a supplement in the form of pills or tea to boost your acne healing process. Here are some recommendations:
You can add these to the hormonal acne diet plan. If you get a powder simply add it to your yogurt-berry smoothie.
Eggs are rich in Vitamin A, D, B12, and B6 and contain zero carbs. This is a healthy snack for acne sufferers, as it won’t spike insulin, but will provide vitamins and protein. Vitamin A is an antioxidant that will help heal your skin. Vitamin D can reduce the production of sebum, therefore reducing oily skin.
Meat in moderation can be good for your skin, providing minerals and vitamins. It is important to mention that you should look for organic meat. If the animals were fed starches, soy, and antibiotics guess how their body reacted? Insulin spikes and high hormone levels (same goes for eggs) that end up in your body.
I also like to consume meats in moderation, getting my protein from chia seeds, probiotic yogurt, lots of beans, healthy complex starches, eggs, and vegetables.
Turmeric is anti-inflammatory, which means it helps with any inflammation in your gut or body and therefore also heal your skin.
You should consume turmeric with black pepper to increase the bioavailability by 2000% (Study). You can easily season your food with some turmeric and black pepper, or grab turmeric supplements that already include the black pepper (like this one).
Lots of Vegetables and some Fruits
Eat lots of vegetables to reduce inflammation in your gut, ensure an optimal intake of minerals and vitamins that help heal your skin and provide your body with energy and nutrients. Vegetables are lower in sugar than fruits so you should eat more of them. Only consume 1-2 fruits a day and stay away from banana and mango.
Starchy fruits are higher in sugar and can spike your insulin levels. Pick berries and a citrus fruit like kiwi or orange. Apples are fine too.
Other Skin Healing Supplements
Vitamn A, C, D, E, and K are important vitamins when it comes to healthy skin. Zinc, Selenium, and Collagen can also boost your skin health. Here is a supplement that contains most of these important skin vitamins and minerals:
Probiotics is another supplement that is often used to heal acne. First and foremost it will restore your gut flora as mentioned above, and heal your skin, too. You can easily consume probiotics with food, but if you can’t for whatever reason you can check out probiotic supplements here.
Vitamin E: There are some foods and the supplements above that contain vitamin E. It has been found that acne sufferers often show a Vitamin E deficiency (check the study here).
Antioxidants: A high sebum production and oily skin can also be helped by consuming more antioxidants. You will find some of these in the hormonal acne diet plan below, or you can add a supplement to your diet (this one for example). Spices, green veggies, dark chocolate, berries, and herbs are a great source of antioxidants.
Complex carbs take longer to break down than simple carbs and do not cause an insulin spike that messes with your hormones. Pick whole wheat pasta, brown rice, oats, potatoes, and sweet potatoes as your starch.
Complex, healthy starches provide energy and important calories to your diet. If you don’t eat enough calories you will actually cause more acne as your body could be inflamed.
Fiber is also good for your gut flora and digestion helping to reduce gut inflammation. More fiber will also help you stay full longer. Fiber rich foods are: lentils, almonds, chia and flax seeds, broccoli, black beans, berries and more.
Hormonal Acne Diet Plan
This hormonal acne diet plan cuts out gluten, dairy, and sugar, as these are the common causes of acne. Of course they won’t all cause your acne, but it is a good start to detox your body and heal your acne, then introduce the food groups back into your diet.
I would eat according to this example meal plan for 3-4 weeks to really see results in your skin. Then bring back gluten to your diet, but in moderation (and only whole wheat) and see how you react. If you stay clear for 1 week you should be fine. Then bring back another food group and see how you react.
This is a great way to find your acne triggers and get rid of hormonal acne for good!
This meal plan contains 1850 calories, if you feel like you need to eat more, simply increase the amount for each serving. Do not starve yourself as this can lead to inflammation.
Acne Fighting Tea
Make sure you drink a lot of water during the day to help heal your gut and moisturize your skin. I also like to make a special tea blend that helps fight acne:
- 1 cup of boiling filtered water
- 1 green tea bag
- 1 slices of ginger
- A dash of cinnamon (or turmeric)
- Some squeezed lemon
- a dash of apple cider vinegar (with “the mother” like this one)
- and some honey to sweeten it up (raw honey)
Let it sit for 10-15 minutes and enjoy. This tea also boosts your immune system.
Dinner 1: 4 oz wild caught salmon with dill weed and lemon juice, 1 cup brown rice with lemon juice and coconut oil, broccoli steamed 1-2 cups in garlic and olive oil
Dinner 2: 1-2 cups Sauerkraut, 1/2 cup mashed potatoes (with almond milk, salt, pepper, nutmeg), clean chicken wings, or breast (organic!) (season with paprika, salt, pepper)
Dinner 3: Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili. Get the recipe here. Don’t top with cheese or other dairy.
Dinner 4: Brown rice roasted vegetables power bowl. Get the recipe here.
Dinner 5: 4 oz wild caught salmon with dill weed and lemon juice, steamed sweet potato cubes (1 cup), 1 cup steamed asparagus.
Dinner 6: Brown rice veggie stir-fry. Get the recipe here.
Dinner 7: One Pot Quinoa Lentil Bowl. This recipe uses moroccan spice blend, but I would simply use turmeric, black pepper, and other spices you like to add that you already have at home.
If you would like a treat or snack, check out this chocolate chip cookie recipe without dairy, gluten, and refined sugar.