From hormones to diet and nutrition, the skin is often a reflection of what is happening within the body. Healthy skin is something many strive for and here we explain how looking after your gut plays a vital role in maintaining healthy skin.
Gut health is important for immunity, metabolism, hormone balance, cognition, and gene expression - and healthy, glowing skin. Your gut microbiome largely influences every other system and function within your body which is why gut health plays a significant role in your overall health.
Want to learn about the benefits of improving your gut health?
What is the gut microbiome?
The gut microbiome is made up of a diverse array of healthy and pathogenic microbes and bacteria - known as probiotics - found in the large intestine and plays an important role in the digestion of food, absorption of nutrients, hormone balance and an effective immune system. The biodiversity and balance of healthy bacteria and species within the gut is essential because the gut thrives on balance and harmony. Learn more in 'What are probiotics'.
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This microbiome helps our body maintain 'homeostasis' and overall wellbeing. It is well established that there is a relationship between our gut and our brain, known as the 'Gut-brain axis'. Scientific studies suggests that a diverse gut microbiome can have a positive effect on our mental health, with the two being linked via the vagus nerve. Our gut microbiome can also impact our other organs, especially our skin, and trouble arises if it becomes unbalanced.
Check out 'How your diet can improve your mental health'.
How your gut affects your skin
As the body's largest organ, our skin acts as a protective barrier against the dangers of the outside world - just like the lining of the gut, our skin provides a physical, chemical and antimicrobial defence for our body. And just like our skin, anything that irritates the lining of our gut can cause it to become inflamed.
When we experience any issues with our gut microbiome, issues tend to manifest themselves on the skin. Stress, inflammation and digestive problems in the gut can break down the protective antimicrobial barrier and impair its function, which can make our skin vulnerable to inflammation.
Skin issues like rosacea, acne, psoriasis, eczema and dermatitis are all inflammatory skin conditions that have been directly correlated to imbalances in the gut. An increasing number of studies have been published linking inflammation in the gut to inflammation on the skin, so if your skin is irritated, inflamed or congested, there is a high possibility that this is an indication of an imbalance in your gut. Learn more in 'How to get rid of acne'.
Skin Saviour™ is an advanced formula to nourish your skin to combat blemishes and fuel your collagen production for naturally plumper and glowing skin.
What to eat to improve gut health?
The more diversity in your diet, the more diverse the nutrient supply for your gut microbes = happier, healthier gut and skin. Read more about ‘How to look after your gut through your diet’.
Our gut and gut bacteria love:
1. A healthy balanced diet
Eating a healthy, balanced diet with as many varieties of plant-based foods as possible. Try to eat different types and colours of fruit and vegetables over the course of a week.
In the UK many of us don’t manage to meet the recommended daily level of 30g of dietary fibre each day. We can increase this by choosing wholegrain cereals and carbohydrates, lots of fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, beans and peas.
3. Stay hydrated
Drinking plenty of water has been shown to have a beneficial effect on the balance of bacteria in the gut and promote healthier skin.
4. Fermented foods
Try some fermented foods such as kefir, kombucha, pickled vegetables, miso and tofu.
Choose as many whole and natural foods as possible, limiting how often you have processed and pre-prepared foods, sweetened foods and saturated fats.
6. Prebiotics & probiotics
Probiotic drinks and yoghurts, which contain live bacteria, provide a boost to the specific strains of bacteria they contain and encourage more microbes to grow. Our Gut Works formula contains 50 billion live cultures for a healthy gut microbiome and supports skin and immune health.
Read our nutritionists' blog: Best probiotics for IBS
Ensure you’re getting enough skin-supporting nutrients including Vitamin A, C, E, K2, B3, B5 along with the minerals selenium, zinc, silica and omega-3 fats. Have you seen our Vegan Omega-3 Supplements?
The gut is connected to all parts of the body and is influenced by not only what we eat but also stress, sleep and exercise. So in addition to a well-balanced diet, it is reported that regular physical activity, a good sleep schedule, reducing stress and moderating alcohol intake will improve gut flora.
Curcumin and Turmeric also support digestion. DR.VEGAN® Organic Curcumin & Turmeric (3300mg), with standardised extract of 95% Curcumin (200mg), is a high strength, more potent and more absorbable formula than standard Turmerics, helping protect your joints and supporting your digestive function. Shop Organic Curcumin & Turmeric
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- BDA The Association of UK Dietitians: Food for thought: The role of nutrition in the gut-brain axis.
- BDA The Association of UK Dietitians: Give your friendly gut bacteria a helping hand.
- What is the role of gut bacteria in human health?
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