Most of us who have entered middle age feel overwhelmed with the compliment "you look much younger than your actual age". Don't we? Now, much of this compliment relates to our appearance and when we say appearance, the role of our skin is indispensable. The desire to look beautiful and youthful is complete only with a healthy you from within! Skin health is influenced by environmental and lifestyle-related factors like nutrition, exercise, personal habits, and stress. A healthy lifestyle can postpone the visible signs of skin aging and favorably influence the longevity of the skin. The 'beauty attributes' including radiance, glow, softness, suppleness, and youthfulness are achievable if our skin is healthy and well-nourished. Our gut health plays an important role to keep our skin well-nourished and clear.
What is Gut Health? Why is it Important for Skincare?
Our digestive tract is the controller of our health, so it is also called the 'second brain'. It is responsible for breaking down our food components into simpler units which the cells can use for energy production, growth, maintenance, and immunity or defense against harmful invaders. Apart from this, the gut also takes up the duty of clearing waste & toxic substances from our body. To keep the other organs healthy and functional, our gut needs to be in good health. Our gut health is primarily influenced by certain friendly microorganisms that habituate our lower digestive tract. The gut microflora or microbiome refers to nearly one trillion microorganisms, of which ideally about 85% should be friendly to our health.
An overgrowth of unfriendly, disease-causing microorganisms can result from unhealthy foods like the processed varieties and this can lead to undue inflammation in the body, showing up on the skin as acne or pimple. Simple sugar or refined sugar is also unhealthy for the skin as it disrupts the balance between unhealthy and healthy microbes, unfavorably moving the pendulum towards the unhealthy ones which erode the mucosal layer of the intestine. This causes poor absorption of skin-friendly nutrients like B vitamins, making the skin look dull, and delayed in its natural healing process.
What we see Externally on the Skin is a result of Internal Processes
In this competitive world everybody is tied up with their schedule, may it be at the office or your own sweet home. We hardly spare any time to relax, after all, we deserve it and no one can take better care of ourselves than us! Any overt sign seen on the face, may it be acne, pimple, blackheads, wrinkle, fine line, age spot or pigmentation is a resultant of vital internal processes that happen at the cellular level. The onset and severity of these external signs are decided by the cell's in-built capacity to cope up with the damage provoked by various external and internal stressors. It includes heat, radiation, pollution, excess glucose, lack of exercise, stress, inadequate sleep, genetic variations, free radicals, collagen breakdown, and most importantly poor gut health.
A Healthy Gut and Flawless Appearance go hand-in-hand
Normally skin cells are replenished once in 30 days. If they aren't replenished at the right time, old and worn-out cells dominate causing skin health disturbances. Food and its components influence our skin health. Our skin cells are constructed with the nutrition derived from the foods that we consume.
When we eat a balanced diet with a lot of fruits and veggies, and plenty of fluids we assume that we have done everything possible for glowing skin. But wait; there is something that we are overlooking. And it is simply making sure that the nutrients from our food are made usable by our skin. Now, who helps us with this? It is our gut or the digestive tract. When your skin problem seems non-responding to conventional treatment modalities, giving importance to Microbe Formulas becomes a necessity. They address the underlying gut issues by cleansing the gut of toxins and other harmful substances (including drugs) and can support gut health by restoring the good microbes.
How to Improve Gut Health?
The best way to improve our gut health is by increasing the gut-friendly or good microbiome count. The growth of gut-friendly microbes is favored by dietary fiber and fermented foods. They help our gut in the following ways:
They maintain the integrity of the intestinal wall preventing episodes of diarrhea. This can reflect on skin health as dehydration increases the chances of wrinkles.
They improve the mucosal lining of the intestine which favors better absorption of nutrients and acts as the barrier against harmful microbes.
They produce short-chain fatty acids which improve our immunity. Improved immunity makes our skin less prone to infectious acne.
The level of sex hormones is also positively regulated by gut microflora. This is important for skin health as a hormonal imbalance can cause excess sebum, acne, and pimples.
How Dietary fiber and Fermented foods Help?
Dietary fiber forms a gel when consumed along with plenty of fluids and is the favorite food for gut-friendly microorganisms. The dietary fiber present in fruits (such as guava, papaya, strawberries, apple, banana, figs, and pears) is good for your skin. Vegetables(like cluster beans, black beans, brussels sprouts, broccoli, lady's finger, onion, and garlic, to name a few), flaxseeds, and whole grains like oats and barley are very good for gut health.
Fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, yogurt contain gut-friendly microbes or probiotics, notably lactobacillus, bifidobacterium, and Saccharomyces boulardii. Such foods are also called as prebiotics as they feed the healthy microbes. Probiotic supplements are also available in the market.
It wouldn't be wrong if we say 'appearance is synonymies with skin' as a woman whose skin is glowing and whose expression is glad enjoys an element of beauty no matter what she wears. A compliment on appearance pleases anybody, and when we say appearance, the role of our skin is indispensable. Our skin stands first in the priority list of exclusivity and customized catering. So do consider your gut health as a valid reason for your skin problems.
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