The Healthy Gut Connection
As a rule, we take a topical approach to skin conditions, however, mounting evidence shows healthy skin on the outside starts from the inside. In short, if you want to heal your skin, you must heal your gut.
Gut health is a key aspect of skin health. Research shows poor gut health contributes to premature ageing, acne and rosacea. It also influences our ability to recover from sun damage, eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis, while also impacting on mental health, weight, moods and other health disorders. Common signs of poor gut health are loose, unformed stools and constipation. Or perhaps you feel gassy, foggy headed and suffer from mood swings.
Many diet and lifestyle-related factors can impact on a healthy gut. A high intake of alcohol or a high intake of fat from a poor diet are common examples. High stress levels impact cortisol levels and some medications can also affect gut health. Unfortunately, the gut doesn't like processed, fatty, sugary foods and our increasingly high fat, high carb diets, which involve the regular consumption of highly processed foods (the now standard Western diet, are a big contributor to poor digestive and gut health.
Vegetables and plant-based foods provide essential nutrients to help maintain good gut health. Fibre provides a huge variety of compounds and nutrients so try eating more whole grains, fruit, vegetables, nuts and legumes. Plus, when we think of gut health, probiotics come to mind. These are live bacteria that can be found in certain foods, particularly in yoghurt and fermented foods, such as miso, sauerkraut and kimchi, supplements can also help. However, prebiotics, a type of non-digestible fibre, are just as important acting as a fertiliser for the good bacteria in the gut. Both types are essential for balance.
In the future, I believe the skin professional must examine the link between the gut, healthy skin and ageing to achieve the best outcomes for clients. It’s essential to arm ourselves with the knowledge and the tools to achieve that healthy look from the inside out.
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