Peanut butter is so delicious, it practically makes me giddy. Not to mention, peanuts and peanut butter are also good sources of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. But, to my surprise, top nutritionists and skin care experts have said they’re actually responsible for making many people break out. So how come?
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As good as they taste, the oils in peanuts are very tough for the body to break down, which can put strain on your liver and make it very difficult to get rid of naturally. “The liver is one way to release toxins, and if the liver becomes overloaded, it slows down and its ability to eliminate waste is hindered,” says holistic celebrity nutritionist Nilli Grutman. “When the toxins can’t get out through the liver, they get ejected through the skin, which leads to acne.”
Celebrity aesthetician Nerida Joy agrees. “The oil in peanuts can really be a huge problem for acne,” she says. “It doesn’t break down well in certain people’s bodies, although it is a great protein. Macadamia nuts can also be a culprit for causing skin issues. Some oils are good for the skin, like those from avocados, but others, like peanut oil, aren’t. One reason is that it tends to be comedogenic, which means it has larger molecules that can clog pores. Think about it this way: You don’t see peanut oil in beauty products like you see avocado oil and others.”
If you think peanuts or peanut butter may be the reason you’re breaking out, try cutting them out of your diet in all forms for one month. Allow your skin to calm down, and then reintroduce them slowly to see if acne re-develops. If it you do notice the connection, you should try switching to another option like almond or cashew butter, which also have a better fatty acid profile (walnuts are good, too).
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To combat existing breakouts, look to these foods, which Grutman says can help clear up skin congestion: butter lettuce (thanks to its high chlorophyll content) and dandelion greens (a good liver- cleansing food). “When your liver is balanced and functioning as it should, your skin will be more healthy and clear,” she adds. “When I changed my diet, my skin really cleared up—it changed my life.”
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