Why Eating Bananas May Be the Culprit of Your Breakouts

It’s a long-held belief that fruits are a part of a healthy and balanced diet. There is a long list of benefits that are attributed to almost every fruit and it might sound bizarre to hear that fruit has side effects. Such is the case with bananas which can cause you to have acne breakouts. While eating a banana itself will not cause acne, the high sugar content in it can. Now, not all whole foods are created equal and the bananas in your beloved daily smoothie may be causing acne flare-ups because of their high sugar content. 

Why Bananas Cause Breakouts in Some People

Bananas are a rich source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, manganese, potassium, and fiber. Bananas are also packed with glucose, which is basically sugar. While high sugar content makes bananas a good instant energy-boosting source, they can also cause acne breakouts in acne-prone skin.

Here’s How Bananas Can Wreak Havoc on Your Skin

Acne is basically caused when oil, dirt, or dead skin cells get trapped in your pores. This is the reason most teenagers suffer from acne because their sebaceous glands are maturing and start producing more oil. The high sugar content in bananas triggers insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) which in turn causes sebaceous glands to produce more oil which gets trapped inside your pores resulting in acne, especially in individuals with oily or mixed skin types.

But here’s the thing; not all bananas are bad for your acne. If you chose a banana that is not fully ripe, you can get the benefits it contains minus the acne as an unripe banana is low in sugar index.

Why Bananas Can Be Good For Your Skin

As mentioned earlier bananas are not all sugar. There is more to bananas than their high sugar content. And these other nutrients can actually be good for your skin.

Here’s why bananas can be good for your skin: 

  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can protect your skin from damage caused by UV rays and get rid of harmful free radicals. It also inhibits the production of melanin which in turn keeps your skin fair and glowing.
  • Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine: Vitamin B6 is believed to take part in reducing inflammatory processes in the body. It protects your skin against dermatitis and reduces redness. Vitamin B6 also provides a defense against hormone imbalances which are one of the culprits of your acne.
  • Potassium: Potassium plays a role in water regulation and retention in the body. It helps in keeping your skin hydrated and protecting it from dryness.
  • Fiber: Fiber is good for your blood circulation. It helps supply oxygen and nutrients to your skin and keeps it radiant.
  • Antioxidants: Along with vitamin C and E, bananas also contain another antioxidant,  gallocatechin, which prevents skin damage and enhances collagen production resulting in delayed aging of the skin.

Bananas are not all bad when it comes to your skin health. In fact, they could be good especially if you have a dry skin type.

Commonly Consumed Foods Known to Cause Acne 

To help prevent acne breakouts, you not only need to stop or reduce your banana intake but also have to stop eating these other foods that are known to cause acne. 

Here are 10 foods known for causing acne and breakouts: 

  • Soy 
  • Dairy 
  • Peanut butter 
  • Grains
  • Whey protein powder
  • Refined Sugars
  • Fast Food
  • Nuts
  • Gluten
  • Alcohol

You might need to exclude more than just bananas from your diet in order to get clearer skin.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

What are the best banana replacements for smoothies? 

If you’re looking to ditch the bananas in your smoothie due to skin concerns, then you’ll need to sub bananas for low-sugar foods. For example, you can add avocado and chia seeds in your smoothies instead of bananas. Both of which offer a similar thickening effect to smoothies, while offering a nutritional and low-sugar alternative.

How many bananas a day should you have? 

Although there isn’t a standard number, for healthy individuals one to two bananas are considered a moderate daily intake.

What are other causes of acne? 

There are a number of acne-inducing elements, from bacteria, stress, hormonal imbalances, and birth control such as progestin intake can also cause acne. If you’re looking to correct your acne, a good starting point is to determine which type of acne you have. For example, is it hormonal acne or not? If it’s not, then it’s largely bacteria-based and will be manageable with hygiene and peroxide-based products, such as Proactiv. If it’s hormonal, then you’ll need to get your hormones balanced to clear your skin.

Bottom Line: Bananas Can Cause Acne 

Bananas with their readily available, high sugar content are one of the food types that can cause you to have acne or acne flare-ups. But for people who really like bananas and can’t keep away from them, they can limit their daily banana consumption and chose the unripe ones with less sugar content. Remember that while it’s possible for bananas to be the culprit of your acne, it’s not the reason for your acne. If bananas are enough to put your body over the edge, then there’s something else going on, such as hormonal issues.

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