Can Nuts Worsen My Acne?


mixed nuts

While research has been carried out to show that some foods have been found to exacerbate acne, others may alleviate the symptoms.

While foods with a high glucose content and dairy products have a tendency to worsen breakouts, fresh foods such as fruits and vegetables can reduce breakouts.

But what about nuts? Could they make an acne problem worse?

Nuts – Giving Your Digestive System A Workout

One reason why nuts may exacerbate acne is because they require a lot of digestive system activity. Nuts contain large amounts of protein and fats and this takes your body a lot of effort and time  to turn them into components that it can use.

Since this process is a very slow one, your body’s immune cells might start to produce antibodies to counteract the problem. Those antibodies can irritate the skin’s sebaceous glands, and cause them to over-produce sebum. Excess sebum clogs up the pores, resulting in acne breakouts.

So, what do you do if you want to eat nuts but don’t want to deal with increased acne?

One way is to change how you eat nuts. If you soak them, it’s possible they may become more accessible to the digestive system.

Alternatively, you could roast them. This will get rid of much of their protein content.

Nuts Have Nutritious Value

Nuts contain a wide variety of vitamins which can help to counteract pimple breakouts. Viamins A, B6 and B3, E and C all fight skin inflammation. They also contain selenium and chromium which can combat acne.

Vitamin E is known for its hydrating properties and for its ability to refine the natural oils in the skin, while folic acid which is also in nuts fights free radicals, allowing your skin to recover effectively.

Chromium and selenium are also useful against acne. Selenium is a powerful antioxidant which improves the condition of your skin and reduces the appearance of old scars. It also gives your skin a boost against flare ups and irritation, tightening it successfully.

Zinc is another mineral in nuts which stimulates the immune system so your complexion can fully rejuvenate. Nuts also contain omega 3 fatty acids which can combat inflammation.

This means that, although nuts may raise some problems for your skin, it isn’t all bad news. They also contain many beneficial properties which could improve the condition of your complexion in the long run.

Could Nuts Be Triggering An Allergic Reaction?

At the present time, scientists are still unsure of the precise correlation between acne and what you consume, but it is generally believed that fatty acids, minerals and vitamins have a role to play.

In some cases, however, you may need to avoid eating nuts completely. Some people find that their acne is triggered by allergic reactions to nuts. You can work out if this is your problem by noting down every time you eat nuts, how much you consume and the way in which your skin reacted in the following days. You may then see a pattern emerging which indicates that you are experiencing an allergy.

Which Nuts Are Best For Acne?

If you love nuts and can’t bear the thought of avoiding them completely to protect your acne-prone skin, the good news is that there are certain types of nuts which may be more beneficial for your complexion than others.

Here, we take a closer look at which ones you should opt for, given the choice.

Brazil Nuts

brazil nuts

Brazil nuts are good for your skin because they contain a high level of selenium. This mineral improves the elasticity of your skin while it also battles infections linked to pimples.

Selenium also helps to reduce the redness which exists alongside acne and helps to create glutathione, a free radicals neutralizer.

Free radicals deteriorate the healthy skin cells, while lowering your immune system which is instrumental in acne development. Therefore, glutathione has a key role to play in combating acne breakouts.

Brazil nuts also contain vitamin E and fatty acids which hydrate your skin while allowing the natural skin oils to have an improved consistency. As a result, acne is reduced.

Pistachio Nuts


Pistachio nuts contain vitamins E, C and A together with folic acid and zinc.

Pistachios also have an influence on your insulin level which decreases the appearance of acne since it can control the blood sugar which circulates androgen, the hormone which causes acne. Shifts in blood sugar levels produce excess sebum which, in turn, triggers more pimples. If you add pistachios into your diet, your insulin levels can be better regulated and your skin can look healthier and blemish-free.

Vitamins E, C and A, folic acid and zinc are also potent antioxidants which enhance the natural ability of pistachios to guard against the development of acne by safeguarding your skin from damage by free radicals.

Cashew Nuts


Cashew nuts contain both zinc and selenium – two minerals which are very helpful in reducing acne and preventing further breakouts.

Selenium and Vitamin E work together as antioxidants to reduce inflammation in the skin, increase hydration and reduce the appearance of blemishes and scars.

Meanwhile, zinc can give your immune system a boost, promoting better wound healing and the growth of new skin cells so that skin which has been damaged by infection and acne can be renewed more effectively and swiftly.

Should I Avoid Eating Nuts To Protect My Skin?

You can clearly see that there are both advantages and disadvantages to eating nuts if you suffer from acne-prone skin and breakouts.

In general, however, unless you suffer from an acne as a result of an allergic reaction to nuts, you should be able to eat them in moderation without experiencing too many ill effects.

If you soak or roast the nuts before eating them, you should find that you experience fewer breakouts after consuming nuts, and if you choose the right nuts such as cashews, pistachios and brazils, you should find that your skin actually benefits from the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants they supply.


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