Common skin conditions and consistent inflammation and flare-ups including breakouts, acne, eczema, psoriasis and rosacea all have something in common…their root cause being connected to the health, functioning and balance of the gut! So what is the connection between skin and gut?
With 70% of the immune system located in the gut its really no surprise to learn that what you chose to fuel your body with will unsurprisingly have a direct impact on the health of your skin and how it presents itself to the outside world.
The gut is responsible for absorbing nutrients from the food you eat, excreting waste and housing both helpful and harmful bacteria. There are many factors that prevent the gut from absorbing the necessary nutrients from food and the skin, hair and nails are often the areas we notice these changes first and become most frustrated with.
So, with this in mind it’s never been more important to take a look at the food you eat and make the necessary improvements and tweaks for the health and happiness of your skin!
Giving your diet some special attention and making changes in how you nourish your body from the inside out in an effort to heal and support your gut, will have a positive impact on not just the skin on your face but the entire functioning of your digestive system. Here are a few pointers on how to get started on your journey to better skin;
Rotate your seasonal rainbow plate
An easy but important place to start! Aim to eat a wide variety of seasonal fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, legumes, nuts and seeds and rotate your vegetables as much as you can. This will give your system the best chance of soaking up a rich abundance of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals that different fruits and vegetables have to offer.
Chew your food
Remember that digestions starts in the mouth! Seemingly simple yet so many people don’t chew their food properly. It’s incredible how taking your time to chew your food properly and being mindful in your approach to meal times aids your body to digest and absorb the wonderful nutrients from your food. Big pieces of food make extra work for your digestive system as it takes it longer to break it down and therefore ends up sitting in your gut for longer causing issues like bloating and wind, whilst also having a negative knock-on effect on your entire system(1)
Ensuring you are eating enough fibre will help your body excrete the unwanted waste, toxins and hormones it doesn’t need anymore and will prevent it sitting in the gut for too long and then later coming out in your skin! Basically, keeping things moving in the bowel department (emptying your bowels at least once a day is the aim) by eating a variety of fibre rich foods as well as staying consistently hydrated throughout the day will help support your system and your skin.
The balance between ‘Good’ and ‘Bad’ Bacteria
A lack of good bacteria in the gut can lead to an overgrowth of bad bacteria, which can result in the gut walls becoming damaged (alcohol, dairy, gluten and additives are also contributing factors). This is better known as ‘leaky gut’ and can trigger many skin conditions and inflammation issues. In short, the gut is made up of lots of cells and together they form a ‘tight junction’ designed as a barrier to harmful substances entering, but bad bacteria and certain foods can damage these junction barriers causing gaps and therefore allowing harmful toxins to enter. Once they have entered into the bloodstream an immune response is triggered and the body often uses the skin as one of the quickest routes to remove them. This highlights the importance of keeping equilibrium of good and bad bacteria and making it a priority within your skin health routine by supporting your diet with probiotic rich foods including natural yogurt, kombucha, and by taking a high quality probiotic and prebiotic supplement like the Rejuvenated Immune Complex.
Thank you Jessica Shand for contributing this article to our blog page. Jessica Shand is a fully qualified Naturopathic Nutrition Advisor and certified Health Coach and specialises in holistically supporting women’s health, working from the inside-out.