Do you have itchy, dry inflamed skin?
Can healing your gut lead to healthy clear skin? How healthy is your gut?
Current research suggests that many skin conditions may have the same root cause; poor gut health.
Your skin is the largest organ in your body. It’s a delicate thing, its responsible for detoxification and much more. In total, it accounts for around 16 percent of your body weight. Inflammation takes many forms, from rashes to chronic conditions such as eczema, rosacea and psoriasis. Good skin care is about looking after your skin through a healthy lifestyle and diet to keep inflammation at bay. There’s more to clear healthy skin than meets the eye.
What causes inflammation of the skin?
Although we think of irritated skin as an aesthetic issue, it is rarely skin deep. It may be a sign that something is off balance in the body. The causes of skin inflammation may be coming from within your body or from other environmental factors. Stress, lack of sleep, allergies, the weather, medications, unhealthy diet, pollution and sun exposure can all lead to skin inflammation.
Several studies conducted to establish the connection between the gut health and skin problems have revealed that eating unhealthy foods can have an impact on the health of your skin. So the gut-skin axis implies that when you eat unhealthy foods the results will manifest themselves on your skin. That is why dermatologists tell people to avoid certain foods to avoid acne breakouts. It makes sense then to keep your skin radiant at all times by eating a healthy diet.
Eating a healthy balanced diet
To heal your gut or rejuvenate its health, you should start eating a balanced diet with all the essential nutrients that your body requires. Interestingly, most coloured foods have much-needed nutrients. Make certain that you include a lot of fruits and veggies in your diet. Once you have established a healthy foundation for your diet, you can then include other foods such as lentils, beans, nuts, fish, avocado and unrefined plant oils.
However, there are certain steps you should take like chewing your food properly so as to absorb as many nutrients as you can. Although it sounds cliché, food digestion starts in the mouth, and so swallowing food without chewing properly is not a healthy eating habit. It's the only chance you have of ensuring that food particles have been fully broken down in readiness for gut digestion. Chewing food properly makes it easier for the probiotics and gut enzymes to break down the food further.
Food allergies can play a big part in aggravating irritated skin and more and more research is suggesting that gut health is so important for our health. If your body is allergic to a certain food it can result in a cycle where the immune system fights the invading food, and in response, creates inflammation in the body and skin. Dairy proteins and refined sugars tend to be the worst offenders. If you think a specific food is aggravating your skin, eliminate it from your diet and see if your skin improves.
A combination of lifestyle and nutritional changes, along with the addition of supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs, omega-3 fatty acids), can be effective in clearing the skin, improving immunity, decreasing stress, and supporting your overall health. Foods that naturally fight inflammation can reduce this damaging and inflammatory cycle to bring your body back into balance. Try to eat these Foods That Prevent Inflammation in Your Body and take a probiotic daily.
- Fermented foods and liquids
- Hemp oil
- Wild salmon
- Onions and garlic
- Jerusalem artichokes
What is the skin-gut axis?
The skin and the gut play the same role in protecting your body from harmful pathogens from the environment that have the potential of harming your body. The skin and gut are part and parcel of the neuroendocrine messaging system, in the sense that they both have nerves for receiving and sending signals to the brain and then relaying the messages to rest of the body.
Also, skin and gut microbiomes are integral to the body’s general health by acting as barriers. In other words, these similarities lead to the connection between the skin and gut disorders that often occur; when you have a gut problem it can be reflected on your skin.
The brain, also, plays an important role in ensuring that your skin looks great at all times. A theory called the gut-brain-skin axis explains the connection between these three body organs. It seems that anxiety or stress related conditions cause intestinal permeability or a leaky gut. The gut permeability will, in turn, cause inflammations that will lead to skin inflammations.
Your skin’s health depends on the gut’s health
The skin is not only the largest but also the most important body organ. Since you can check, touch and see your skin on a daily basis, it is a perfect indicator of what is going on inside your body, especially your gut. Common examples of skin disorders such as eczema, rosacea, acne and dry skin are all related to having bad gut health. So, if you experience, skin redness, you should know that the disorder may be associated directly or indirectly with the state of your gut health.
The gut is wholly responsible for absorbing, housing and excreting both helpful and harmful bacteria from the body. Hence, making an effort to improve the entire health of your gut has been proven to be a sure-fire way of boosting your immune function and getting a clear, healthy skin. It can also have an effect in boosting your energy levels and rejuvenating your health in general.
Absorbing nutrients for health and well being
Gut health is very important to the health of your skin because it absorbs the essential nutrients from the food you eat that are necessary for the growth, repair and normal functioning of the body. There are several factors that can hinder absorption of essential nutrients in the body. When the body fails to absorb these vital nutrients its starts prioritising which body organs receive the few nutrients available for normal, not optimal, body functioning. In most cases, you will start noticing visible changes in your nails, skin, and hair when the absorption process has been hampered. This is mainly because when the body gets insufficient absorption of essential nutrients it only supplies the vital body organs such as the heart, brain, and liver.
Eliminating facial redness
Lack of enough stomach acid, which is necessary for the digestion process, can lead to facial redness and reflux. Hence, the gut should have sufficient stomach acid in order to avoid such skin disorders. In case, you keep experiencing this condition, you should try out natural remedies like drinking fresh lemon juice before meals. Just one glass of lemon juice is enough for kick-starting the production of sufficient stomach acid.
It is also important to avoid drinks between meals because the drinks dilute the acid impairing the digestion process. Poor digestion, therefore, will reduce the absorption rate of fats and proteins leaving your skin dry and dull. Eventually, bad digestion can lead to skin disorders like psoriasis and eczema. If you are experiencing these skin disorders, you can consult with a professional nutritionist or naturopath to help you improve your digestive system and resolve these skin conditions.
Make friends with good bacteria
Depending on your situation, you can use supplements to get enough hydrochloric acid and bile acids that are vital for the digestion process. Researchers have also found that you can inoculate your system by reintroducing good bacteria in the gut by taking a powerful probiotic. Introducing probiotic yoghurt or kefir is also an excellent idea. This will mitigate the production of healthy microbiome that will make your skin look healthy and radiant.
Shea butter can help reduce inflammation but to get to the root cause of the problem a combination of lifestyle, nutrition, as well as a good skincare routine is the key. Raw African Shea butter has gentle yet effective antibacterial compounds that help with skin conditions. This is because the antibacterial components help to curb any infection or negative bacteria present while the product also acts as a protective barrier over the skin.
Find out more about the healing properties of unrefined shea butter.