Written for The Beauty Chef
Our skin can reveal so much about our inner health, so if you’re experiencing dry, dull or congested skin – it could be a sign something’s going on inside your gut.
Here are a few tips on how to nurture your gut and reveal glowing skin…
CHECK IN WITH YOUR BOWEL MOTIONS
Our bowel motions can tell us a lot about our overall health and although regularity differs from person to person, we want to aim to easily pass a formed stool once per day.
When we’re irregular, toxins begin to build up and re-circulate throughout our body – searching for other routes of elimination – and our skin, as our largest organ, is often left to pick up the slack. Frequent, or loose stools on the other hand, can also lead to skin problems as we’re unable to effectively absorb the essential vitamins and nutrients from our food that are required for beautiful, glowing skin.
Try: Slippery elm powder is considered a demulcent and can help to bulk your stools if they are loose, or alternatively, encourage bowel motions if infrequent. Demulcents soothe and protect irritated or inflamed tissue in the digestive system. Just remember to drink lots of water when taking slippery elm.
MOVE YOUR BODY
Not only does exercise help keep our digestion regular and encourages the removal of waste products through our stools, but additionally, exercise promotes blood circulation, which carries oxygen and nutrients to our skin cells. Hello, glowing skin!
MANAGE YOUR STRESS LEVELS
Stress affects our skin both directly and indirectly. Have you heard of the gut-brain connection? Think of it like a phone line, where nerve cells in the gut receive and send information to the brain and vice versa. Chronic stress can cause inflammation, irritable bowel syndrome and a number of other digestive complications, which we now know affects our skin health.
Additionally, there is also brain-skin ‘phone line’. Skin mast cells are activated by stress and in turn, they produce stress hormones and inflammatory factors. This can sometimes lead to a vicious cycle of stress-induced inflammatory events, showing up as spots on our face.
Try: Immerse yourself in nature, practise mindfulness and gratitude and deep breathe into your abdomen, as opposed to more shallow breaths in your chest.
ENCOURAGE COLLAGEN PRODUCTION
Collagen is a protein found abundantly throughout our body – in our skin, joints, bones, cartilage and in many organs including our digestive system. Collagen gives our skin strength and elasticity but unfortunately as we age, our collagen production decreases.
Many nutrient-rich foods can increase your natural collagen production such as vitamin A in sweet potatoes as well as chlorella, zinc in wild caught salmon and mackerel, or bone broth, which is loaded with collagen and other health boosting minerals.
FEED THE ARMY IN YOUR GUT
Balance of our inner ecosystem is fundamental for gut health and glowing skin as our army protects us by eliminating pathogens and toxins, improving nutrient absorption, down-regulating inflammation, enhancing immunity and minimising hypersensitivity reactions.
You can feed and re-establish your pre-existing ‘good’ bacteria with prebiotics and probiotics, which are found in fermented foods and drinks, such as sauerkraut, kombucha and yoghurt.