Before I started my journey to clear skin, I loved all things dairy.
From fettuccini alfredo to grilled cheese and pizza. Anything with dairy was my favourite.
That’s why it was the most difficult food group to give up in order to get rid of my chronic acne– and I bet it is for you too.
You’re not alone though. Almost all of the clients I work with in The Clear Skin Solution find it hard to eliminate as well.
But I never want my clients to feel deprived. If we need to remove something, I make sure they have a healthy substitution in place like this cashew alfredo sauce recipe instead of the traditional acne-triggering alfredo sauce with dairy.
Before we get into how it’s made, let’s talk about why dairy is the number one enemy of clear skin.
Dairy is one of the main foods you want to avoid to heal your gut, detoxify your body and balance your hormones– all important steps to clearing your skin for good. Dairy can worsen acne because it’s incredibly inflammatory. So here are four reasons why you should avoid it:
Even if the dairy you consume is organic and hormone-free, it still contains more than 60 naturally occurring hormones that can trigger breakouts.
Dairy contains insulin-growth factor (IGF-1), which elevates insulin levels. High insulin levels can cause blood sugar swings that contribute to acne. IGF-1 can also increase sebum production, which clogs your pores and leads to breakouts.
The main proteins in milk are casein and whey. Both are difficult for most to digest and can lead to gastrointestinal distress, inflammation and potential damage to the gut lining. Gut health is the foundation to clear skin. On top of this, casein increases IGF-1 and whey spikes insulin levels. As you now know, those are both big time acne triggers.
Research shows that casein can negatively affect the absorption of the skin-healing mineral zinc, which is bad news if you have acne. Zinc is also crucial for healthy hormones. And imbalanced hormones are an underlying factor of chronic acne.
Now that we’ve cleared up why dairy isn’t the best for acne sufferers, let’s move onto this delicious cashew alfredo sauce recipe!
Cashews are always something I have on hand at home because it can be used in a variety of ways as a substitute for dairy, including for my rosemary cashew cheese or on top of my baked chicken parmesan.
Besides its yummy creamy texture, cashews are amazing for the skin. This high-protein nut is loaded with antioxidants, including selenium, zinc and vitamin E. Antioxidants are super important for clear skin because they help prevent oxidation in the body by fighting off free radicals that damage the skin and promote aging and disease.
The zinc in cashews is a powerhouse nutrient that can repair and rejuvenate the skin. It helps control inflammation and assists in creating new cells to speed up wound healing. Since zinc is a key player in cell production and turnover, it can help reduce the amount of oil produced by the skin too. Bonus? It also helps balance hormones, which can be a big player in acne.
Finally, cashews are a great source of omega-3 essential fatty acid. Omega-3s help protect your skin’s collagen and structure, strengthen the skin’s barrier function by sealing in moisture and reduce body-wide inflammation that promotes acne.
If you’d love to have a nut-free Alfredo recipe, too — check out my Cauliflower Alfredo with Roasted Spaghetti Squash.
A super creamy (and dairy-free) Alfredo sauce made with cashews.
10 minPrep Time
10 minTotal Time
Instead of brown rice/legume noodles, try it over roasted spaghetti squash or sauteed zucchini noodles for a grain-free or low-carb option.