Why is a healthy gut important to beautiful skin?
In the quest for glowing skin, I can’t help but notice all this talk about the correlation between gut health and the quality of your skin. It seems that the terms probiotic, prebiotic, gut-friendly and fermented are popping up all over the place – but what does this all mean for our skin?
A couple of recent articles lead me to delve a little deeper into the subject – the first by local Sydney beauty and Naturopath Carla Oates aka The Beauty Chef and the second from Paleo expert Dr Chris Kresser, who has a significant interest in skin health. He puts it very simply – “if you want to heal your skin, you have to heal your gut”. Need you say more Chris!
While I won’t go too deep into the science behind it, quite simply, when your gut is not functioning correctly it can lead to a leaky gut and increased intestinal permeability. As a result, your ability to retain the nutrients and minerals from food is heavily compromised, leading to a reduction in immune function.
Toxicity in the digestive organs and constipation often caused by the following factors – over consumption of processed foods, pesticides, hormones and antibiotics used in the growing of meat, dairy and vegetables. All these factors have a significant impact on our ability remove waste from our bodies.The skin may be the final outlet for this waste but it is usually the first to show signs of what is going on inside. As you can imagine, all this toxicity build-up through lack of nutrients and minerals can lead to poor skin, and loss of that all important ‘glow’ factor.
Having suffered badly from allergies for at least a third of my life, I know first hand the impact poor gut health can have on your immune function. If my gut health is poor, I can see it in my skin, and generally followed by a severe allergy attack. Alongside conventional immunotherapy, I have slowly healed myself from the inside out and my allergies and skin have improved enormously.
Now that you understand a little about why gut function is an important factor in healthy skin, we suggest you try some of these simple things to help it on its way:
// Increase probiotics in your diet, either through supplementation or by eating fermented foods. Start your meal with a serving of sauerkraut, a glass or kombucha or fermented dairy to prep the digestive system. Antibiotics strip the gut of good bacteria, and while it’s sometimes unavoidable, always follow a course of antibiotics with a course of probiotics.
//As much as possible, avoid sugar and alcohol, parasites thrive in this environment, resulting in Candida overgrowth or yeast infection. Ewww nasty!
//Minimise consumption of commercially processed wheat and dairy and processed foods. I like to use the rule – if I don’t know what the ingredient is, I don’t eat it.
//Cleanse regularly by following an anti-parasitic diet. Some of the key benefits of cleansing include the recalibration of hormones and improved gut function. We suggest you consult a Naturopath or holistic practitioner if you choose to go down this route, if done properly and under guidance the benefits are huge.
//Reduce stress, they don’t call it a ‘gut feeling’ or ‘gut instinct’ for nothing. Your gut is home to a host of nerve endings, so stress will have an impact on your gut function if you are not careful.
How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy by Paul Chek