Great Skin Starts in the Gut
You know what people love to do? Play face games with the mirror. But more often than not, instead of smiling at their mirror image, women and men tend to search for wrinkles, frown at the dark spots on their faces or pull their skin upwards to see how they would look if their skin weren’t sagging.
If this sounds like something you do, then we have to tell you – great skin is a result of both how you treat the skin from the outside as well as how you treat your body from the inside.
This is why we say that great skin starts in the gut.
What triggers skin conditions?
Proper nutrition plays a vital role in protecting the body from infection and inflammation – two key triggers that age the body faster. While aging is a natural process, not all your fine lines or the dullness of your skin needs to be attributed to “I’m just growing older.” Premature aging has become more common in our times than it was in the age of our grandmothers because of these factors:
- Processed foods – how much of your diet comes directly from the farm and how much of it comes out from a packet?
- Sedentary lifestyle – how many hours in a week are you actively engaging in some form of exercise and how many hours are you spending being inactive?
- Immense stress – are you generally relaxed and peaceful or do you strain yourself excessively due to work pressure or personal issues?
Not only do the above factors speed up the aging of our bodies, but they also make us susceptible to illnesses and medical conditions including obesity, hypertension, type 2 diabetes and heart conditions.
Here’s what happens to the skin when the gut is not healthy
An unhealthy digestion starves the body of essential nutrients, increases inflammation and attacks the skin- resulting in skin conditions and pronounced aging. Think of the gut as the control center of your body. If your gut is not healthy, it will show on your body, including your face.
If food is not digested properly by your body, essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are needed to renew collagen and maintain the elasticity of your skin will not be absorbed by your system.
Low levels of gut bacteria
Gut bacteria are good bacteria. They aid the digestion process, help absorb food nutrients and fight inflammation. When the level of these bacteria is not balanced, it causes your skin to be dry and dehydrated and also stops protecting the skin from the harmful effects of pollutants and UV rays.
Poor elimination of waste products
The last part of the digestion process involves eliminating the waste and toxins from the body. When the food is not digested and eliminated properly, it finds a way to ferment within our bodies or looks for ways to be removed through other organs – including the skin. This results in paler skin, more incidences of breakouts and acne and also damages collagen.
A healthy gut can fight these skin issues:
- Wrinkles and fine lines
- Skin pigmentation
- Dry, dull skin
- Sagging skin
- Dark circles and under-eye bags
What foods trigger skin issues?
You don’t necessarily need to have a food intolerance to develop a skin problem. These four food types could act as skin aging triggers
Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, rye, and barley. But even processed foods like ketchup or chips contain gluten, which is why you must read the package labels carefully. Having a gluten sensitivity leads to inflammation of the skin resulting in rashes, acne, psoriasis and even eczema.
Perhaps you enjoy indulging in a glass of red every now and then. But alcohol can actually aggravate skin problems. It dehydrates the skin and puts pressure on your liver and kidneys during digestion. The result? More fine lines and wrinkles, enlarged pores, sagging and dehydrated skin.
Here’s an interesting fact about humans. It is the only species that consumes another animal’s milk and also the only one that drinks milk way past childhood. While some people are lactose intolerant, milk and milk products can trigger skin problems even in people who seem to have no issues in digesting milk. These issues include under-eye bags, puffy eyes and dark circles under the eyes. Dairy has also been found to cause hormonal changes including an estrogen imbalance.
Sugar acts as a trigger for both aging as well as inflammation. It transforms to glucose in the body and gets used as up as energy. Excess sugar molecules attach themselves to collagen, making it inflexible. Your skin loses elasticity and results in the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines as well as sagging skin.
The Beauty Diet
Think of food as a medicine for your body (and in the case of bad food habits, as a poison). What you consume will show on your skin. Every bite you take – fruits, vegetables, meat – will work its way into your body in the form of some nutrient or toxin. If you want a glowing skin, you have to consume food that is packed with anti-ageing and anti-inflammation nutrients.
Here’s what your diet must include:
Surely you’ve heard about drinking 2-3 cups of green tea each day. Green tea is packed with antioxidants that give skin a glow, feeds the gut bacteria and boosts the health of your liver.
Whole grains are packed with antioxidants. What’s more, consuming gluten-free foods helps keep the body free from inflammation.
Build beauty with proteins
Proteins are the building blocks of the human body – including the skin. All forms of protein are good for the formation of skin and hair cells, so make sure your daily diet includes adequate quantities of protein.
Oils and Seeds
Oils and seeds are an excellent source when it comes to maintaining your skin’s hydration. The fat contained in these are good fats and helps your skin have a youthful and healthy look.
Ready to power your way to beautiful skin?
Turn to healthy food options and witness marked improvements in your skin’s health. With a great skin, not only will you invite the envy of your friends (in a good way, of course!), you’ll only look in the mirror and find yourself smiling back.
Have you tried any foods that have worked great on your skin? Got any recipes for maintaining a youthful, glowing skin? Share your tips with our readers by commenting in the section below.
Want to know more about how great skin starts in the gut? Have a conversation with our doctors today.