I have discussed in past articles that there is a direct link between our gut and our brain. Our gut flora can have a big impact on our emotional state and how we deal with stress. And we also know that stress may cause skin issues such as acne1.
Another major factor in acne is diet. When we eat a diet full of processed carbohydrates and sugar it may cause insulin resistance that could potentially change the production of oily secretions from your sebaceous glands called sebum2. This oily secretion can then cause inflammation and acne on your skin2.
We also know that a diet full of sugar creates an imbalance in our gut flora. Those unhealthy bacteria in our guts LOVE sugar! Can you see how it all might be connected? Our skin, our guts, our brains, and our emotions are all influenced by our diet.
When comes to diet, we know that teens left to their own devices will almost always choose pizza and burgers over veggies and fish. Even my daughter has a hard time saying no to indulgences if presented to her…heck, even I have a hard time saying no. A poor diet coupled with changing hormones and stress from school, trying to fit in and BFF drama – teens are the perfect storm for an acne outbreak.
So how do we help motivate our kids to eat healthy, which might also help with their stress levels and prevent acne? Here are some tips I learned that will hopefully help my kids develop long healthy habits for life:
- Try having conversations with your teen about their goals instead of lecturing them. For example, your daughter is on the soccer team and is trying to balance homework, workouts, and social time. She is complaining about not having enough energy for her workouts and falling asleep doing her homework. Give her some healthy choices and talk to her about the benefits of those choices to help her gain energy. Don’t lecture to her when she is grabbing the chips.
- The best way to educate your children about a healthy diet is to model. You can’t eat pizza and expect your child to want broccoli.
- Fix dinner with your teen. When they learn how to cook healthy meals that taste good they take pride in that and then they are less likely to want grab the processed convenience foods.
- Don’t have junk food in the house. Sometimes I hear from my daughter that “we don’t have anything to eat in the house” because there isn’t junk food. When I hear this, I give off a list of things we have to eat that are easy to grab yet healthy. She then acquiesces and chooses one of the healthy choices.
We know that it can be hard to make the right healthy choices so make sure your child is also taking their vitamins and supplements to fill in the gaps. I always recommend taking a nutritional supplement like EpiCor whole food fermentate that helps strengthen your immune system and support a healthy gut microbiome.