Your gut health influences your skin…Fact!
and if you are currently suffering from skin issues such as Acne, Eczema or inflammation and sensitivity and you have tried everything and nothing seems to work….then you may want to read on.The fact is, as a Facialist, I cannot underestimate the importance of gut health and what role this plays on the skin looking happy!
Despite your skin being the largest organ in the body, it often gets overlooked by the ‘bigger players’ like the Heart, brain and kidneys.
Sure, show me a Lady (or man) in the land who doesn’t already understand that for good skin health we need to be mindful of;
a) What we put on our skin.
b) How we protect our skin from the harmful environment.
c) How we nourish our skin by the foods we eat.
However, theres a d) and that’s if the GUT is not absorbing the nutrients you are feeding it, then the skin (among other body parts) will suffer.
So the really cool thing about the skin is, we get to see and feel how it’s doing on a daily basis.Often, be honest, we are a little transfixed on it.
Your skin is the window to your body’s inner health
We are what we eat and therefore, and more importantly
“We are what we absorb”
We really should not ignore this and so, how can we improve gut health?
The primary role of the gut is to absorb nutrients from the foods we eat and to use this for growth, repair and normal function.
There are many things that inhibit normal absorption of nutrients and when the body doesn’t receive enough nutrients, it kind of rolls-out a ‘pecking order of organ priority’ which means that sadly that awesome glowing skin will have to wait as the body drives essential nutrients it receives to priority organs such as the brain, heart and liver etc.
Our hair, nails and skin are usually the first places in which we start to see changes especially when nutrition is compromised. So ongoing poor gut health and function have been linked to the development and worsening of Acne, facial redness, eczema, psoriasis, dry skin and rosacea.
Simple ways to help restore a healthy gut for a glowing, healthy skin
- Remember, your gut includes everything from your mouth right down to the…Exit bit (Anus) and it houses both helpful and harmful bacteria, including excreting waste.
- Chew your food well!-Remember, your stomach does not have teeth and this is the only chance you get to mechanically break down and start the digestive process…after this, it’s up to the digestive enzymes, acids and probiotics to work their magic and continue to absorb the nutrients.If you swallow huge lumps of food not only does your digestive track get little opportunity to take back the ‘good stuff’ but large pieces of food may sit and ferment in the gut, causing unwanted gas…and no one wants that!
- Stomach acid is important too-If you have low stomach acid production this actually can show in the face. Symptoms can include, bloating, Facial redness, gas and reflux.A natural way to assist is taking half a lemon, squeezing it into a small glass of water and drink 20 mins before eating.Generally though, try to limit liquids around meal times as this can dilute stomach acid, inhibiting good digestion.
- Poor Digestive enzymes?-In fact, if you do have poor digestive enzymes, this could be inhibiting the amount of fat and protein your body is able to absorb and this will eventually result in a dry, dull, itchy and barrier impaired skin. Adding a good probiotic supplement is a great idea.
- Eat well and eat regularly- Obviously you don’t need me to tell you that if your food choices are poor…then it’s a non-starter for glowing skin! Fruits and vegetables are the richest sources of nutrients and should makeup the foundation of your diet.If we cannot absorb these essential micro nutrients, (especially antioxidants) from our food, then we cannot repair cell damage and protect our skin and body from free radicals which are the root cause of inflammation and oxidative stress which…drum roll please… leads to pre-mature ageing. Good gut bacteria is essential for the detoxification and elimination of toxins and if this is not happening, some of those toxins will exit through the skin and that’s why there is a clear link with Acne and inflammation.Foods rich in fibre are important as they act as a fuel for the beneficial bacteria so think whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds. Probiotics (the actual beneficial bacteria) are clearly important and you can get these through fermented yoghurt drinks or fermented vegetables and if you have overdone it on antibiotics through the years, this may be a priority for you.Good fats are a must as they will support dry,barrier-impaired skins..find these in foods such as organic butter, avocado and unrefined plant oils.
Here are just a few of my favourite ‘king of the gut’ foods to help beneficial bacteria and gut health;
- Antioxidants in general. My fav is dark green Veg like Kale or samphire.
- Whole oranges-The soluble fibre found in Oranges, once fermented by the gut, produces an acid called Butyrate and this is a wonderful fuel for controlling the cells that line our GI tract. You must eat the WHOLE orange to get the full benefit!
- Jerusalem Artichokes- High in insulin which is an indigestible fibre which feeds our gut bacteria. As above, Butyrate is formed as a byproduct which helps with intestinal bacteria and reduces inflammation and helps the GI tract (See above)
- Here’s a new one for you. Edible weeds, such as Dandelion leaves as they are rich in insulin (as above) a fibre which helps with good gut bacteria and improved digestion.
- Asparagus- Is a winner, not just because it’s packed with cell repairing and protecting antioxidants but it’s a rich prebiotic fibre provider and skin wise, will help reduce puffiness…yay!
- Butter- Organic butter from grass fed cows is a source of naturally occurring butyrate (see above)
- Garlic-Garlic can act as a prebiotic and helps feed healthy gut bacteria.
- Lentils-Lentils have soluble fibre which is fermented in our colon and are a source of Prebiotic which helps feed our existing beneficial bacteria.
- Kefir- Fermented yogurt drink which contribute to improved gut health but also helps the synthesis of Vit K and VitB12
- Fermented Veg-Like Sauerkraut (Fermented Cabbage) which acts as a vehicle to deliver probiotic bacteria to the GI tract.Find this in the refrigerated section of the supermarket as it should be fresh (not canned) as pasteurisation kills off the good bacteria.(others are Kimchee and Miso)
What about foods to avoid? The list is too long for a blog!….but, here are a few.
- Gluten…even if you don’t have a sensitivity to it. It’s no bad thing to gut down.
- Fried and processed/refined foods
- Red meat
- Diet soda (artificial sweeteners)
When it comes to skin health, we just cannot ignore the link between good gut health and reoccurring, persistent skin issues. It may be wise to seek specialist help where you can get a more detailed nutritional consultation. I would suggest you try Ruth Sharif, a registered Nutritional Therapist based in Richmond TW9
To book for a skin consultation or a facial with Cherry Woods BOOK HERE