How Gut Health Directly Impacts Skin Health

An unhealthy gut can manifest in many ways, such as tiredness and disturbed sleep, but what about through your skin health? 

Do you suffer from a gastrointestinal (GI) issue – or what we’ll call a gut health issue? If so, then you may not be alone. It is estimated that as many as 10-15 percent of U.S. adults suffers from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), although only about half of them have been diagnosed. IBS can affect people of all ages, including children. Bloating, gas, weight changes, diarrhea, and constipation are some of the most common signs and symptoms of IBS. Sound familiar? What you might not know is that your gut health can be related to numerous health issues that are seemingly unrelated – skin conditions, for example. As many as 35 million U.S. adults and children are living with a gut-health related skin issue, such as eczema, itchiness, red patches, or dry skin. Your gut health also plays a role in your sleep quality, sleep quantity, and the ability to fall asleep and stay asleep – something two-thirds of Americans can relate to. Do you suffer from constant fatigue or mood changes? That too can be explained by your gut health.

It’s true! There is a real thing called the gut-skin axis. This important connection provides a direct line of communication between the millions of microorganisms living in your gut and your skin. Eczema, acne, rashes & inflammation, and dry skin are all signs of an unhealthy gut. That’s why treating your skin externally isn’t the only way to achieve clear and healthy skin. 

So what do we do to heal an unhealthy gut and get smooth, healthy, hydrated skin? Well you start with your diet. Think probiotic and prebiotic foods. As we learn more about the huge role gut health plays in our overall health, probiotics have become synonymous with optimal gut health. Probiotics partner up with prebiotics to tackle bad inflammation-causing bacteria. 

Support your beneficial gut bacteria

Probiotic supplements or fermented foods that naturally contain beneficial bacteria have been shown to support a balanced inflammatory response in the gut.* When you are prescribed an antibiotic, remember you need to take a probiotic supplement to help maintain the “good” to “bad” bacterial balance in your gut. Food sources of beneficial bacteria include kefir, yogurt, pickled vegetables, and kimchi.

Now that you know you need to incorporate these good guys into your diet to improve gut bacteria and reduce inflammation, you’ve got to know where to find them.

Here’s a list of 10 healthy probiotics to get into your gut today: 

  • Sauerkraut 
  • Kefir
  • Kimchi 
  • Yogurt 
  • Kombucha
  • Tempeh
  • Pickled Cucumbers 
  • Sourdough Bread  
  • Cottage cheese

You’ve got the probiotics, now here’s 10 prebiotics:

  • Honey
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Leeks 
  • Apples 
  • Dark chocolate 
  • Bananas 
  • Asparagus 
  • Oats 
  • Cabbage 

Digestive enzymes can also help maintain a well-balanced gut microbiota for daily physical functioning – for metabolism, digestion, healthy skin and immune function. 

You can take Thornes digestive enzyme quiz to see what enzymes might help you. 

If you're not sure where to start we also offer Thornes Gut Health Test that may help you determine how you can best heal your gut moving forward. 

When looking for a high quality probiotic supplement we recommend Thornes FloraMend

Maintain a healthy gut lining

The lining of your gut is called the intestinal lumen. It regulates the absorption of nutrients, bacteria, and water from your GI tract to the rest of your body. This lining can be damaged on a daily basis, but it can repair itself with the help of dietary glutamine – an amino acid that helps maintain GI tract integrity. Dietary sources of glutamine include meat, dairy, eggs, legumes, and cabbage. That’s why cabbage juice is an old naturopathic treatment for healing stomach ulcers.

Skip foods that increase gut inflammation

If you know you are allergic to a certain food or group of foods, then avoid them because they are likely to cause gut inflammation. Eat plenty of leafy green vegetables and mixed berries – both perfect choices for a low-inflammation diet. Olive oil, nuts, and fatty fish like tuna and salmon provide healthy fats, including omega-3 fatty acids, which are helpful in managing inflammation. Prepare your foods with spices that help quell inflammation, like turmeric, ginger, or garlic.

Try a high-fiber diet

One way to reduce inflammation in the gut is to start with what you put in it. A diet including high-fiber foods or fiber supplements help move food through your GI tract so bad bacteria doesn’t build up or sit for too long in one segment of your gut. Try to consume at least 25 grams of fiber every day.

If you are experiencing irritated skin it could be because your gut is not healthy. Try adding these into your diet, as well as asking your Esthetician here at Bhava how we can get your skin back on track. 

With love,

Bhava Beauty and Wellness 

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