If you have tried everything to get your skin in order and nothing seems to be working, we’ll let you in on a little secret: as above, so below!
Most people understand that eating an unhealthy diet can cause oily skin, acne or dry, flaky skin. It follows on that eating a healthy diet promotes fabulous skin, thanks to all nourishing the antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that we get when we eat fruits and vegetables. These compounds help all parts of the body to function optimally, including the skin.
But then how can it be that some people have poor skin regardless of the fact that they are eating a healthy diet? The answer lies in gut health.
A Brief Explanation Of How Your Gut Works
They say your body is your temple, but it’s actually easier to think of it as your home – a home that you share with trillions of microorganisms.
Most of these organisms sit in your gut and they help you to digest your food. It’s a win-win strategy for both them and you; as they get the food they need, while making your food easily digestible by producing enzymes that help to break it down. This environment is also known as your microbiome.
Without these beneficial bacteria, you can hardly absorb any of the nutrients from your food. This includes the building blocks for keratin, biotin, elastin and collagen, the four prime proteins for amazing skin (hair and nails too!).
Aside from sleeping well, staying hydrated and detoxing, the best way to get results with your skin is to make sure your gut can absorb nutrients properly and then to increase foods in your diet that promote the production of the above proteins in the body.
- Improved Immune Function
- Reduced Inflammation
- Allows the Production of Vitamin K2
- Naturally Treats Eczema, Dermatitis and Psoriasis
- Weight Loss and Easier Detoxification
When something happens that alters the balance of these organisms in your gut, it leads to a state known as Dysbiosis.
Dysbiosis is really bad, as it means your gut lacks these beneficial bacteria and is likely overrun with harmful ones such as E. Coli. This decline in gut health can be caused from anything that changes the pH of your gut or that kills the good organisms, such as:
- Processed Foods
- Eating Grains
- GMO Food
- Unfiltered Tap Water
- Chemical Exposure
After having Dysbiosis for a while, your body uses resources without being able to absorb nutrients to replenish them and this results in poor skin, or even, rapid aging. Other negative effects of Dysbiosis are a bloated tummy, gas, abdominal pain and the occasional runs.
3 Quick & Easy Ways To Boost Gut Health
Now that you know why a healthy gut is important for your skin, here are 3 quick ways you can bring your gut into balance!
Eat Fermented Foods
Specific fermented foods contain probiotics, which are the cultivated strains of bacteria that should be lining your gut. Foods that are fermented with whey, salt or strains of these bacteria are probiotic, such as sauerkraut, kimchi, organic yoghurt, kefir and kvass (an Icelandic whey drink).
However, foods that are fermented with sugar, such as bread with yeast or alcohol, will destroy the lining of your gut – in fact, sugar in general does by causing rapid inflammation, changing your guts pH and attracting these type of destructive organisms.
An easy way to make your own healthy sauerkraut:
- Start by placing some sliced cabbage in a jar and any other vegetables or spices you’d like (beetroot, carrot, ginger, garlic, herbs, onions, peppers, leeks, egg plant, etc).
- Then dissolve two tablespoons of salt (preferably pink Himalayan salt) and 1 tablespoon of whey (optional) into the right amount of liquid and fill the jar. You can add healthy oils too such as fish oil for an extra healthy boost.
- Let sit for a week before eating. If you don’t like the taste, you can let it mature for several weeks until you do, it only gets better for you after that point!
Feed Your Microbiome
Aside from populating your gut with probiotics from fermented foods, you can also help to feed the organisms that are already there. This is achieved through eating prebiotic foods, also known as foods high in soluble fiber.
Soluble fiber draws water from the gut, aiding digestion, but also helping to create just the right kind of eco-system inside your gut for your microbiome to flourish. This being said, make sure to drink enough water so that these foods can be truly effective!
- Chia seeds
- Leafy green vegetables like kale, cabbage and spinach
- Legumes like lentils, chickpeas and peas
- Fresh Herbs
Use A Probiotic Supplement
A short cut is to use a probiotic supplement. These are typically dark brown liquids that you keep in the fridge and they should be consumed 15mins before meals.
In the beginning, particularly if you have tummy troubles, start with a tablespoon before breakfast and dinner. After a week or two, or when you feel an improvement, switch to taking a teaspoon instead.
Aim to increase probiotic and prebiotic foods into your diet, so that by the time you have finished your supplement, your gut is healthy and just needs maintenance.
Now you know both how to look after your gut and how to feel beautiful inside and out!