Understanding the relationship between your gut, and the well-being of your physical, mental, and immune health, is extremely important.¹ Keeping a healthy balance of microorganisms within the digestive tract is beneficial for overall human health, and there are many signs and symptoms that are indicative of when there is a disturbance. This article answers the question of “can your gut affect your skin,” as well as some easy additions on “how to reset gut microbiome” when an imbalance has occurred.
The Gut-Skin Connection
Does your gut affect the appearance of your skin? Absolutely! Your skin is one of the best indicators as to what’s happening inside your body!
Fun Fact: 70 percent of your immune system is housed in your gut!
Your gut is the powerhouse for hormone metabolism and enzyme detoxification, as well as where nutrients and neurotransmitters are produced. It contains millions of strains of bacteria that keep the organs in our body balanced. When our gut becomes unstable, our system can become affected and our skin (the largest organ in our body) is, typically, the first place we start to notice issues. More and more studies are showing nourished, healthy skin as being directly correlated to that of a properly working gut.²
Symptoms of an Unbalanced Gut
With the skin being our body’s largest organ, it’s our 1st measure as to whether or not our gut is balanced. When we begin to notice a difference in the health of our skin, it may be time to put our investigative hats on to figure out the culprit(s)! Here are some general signs/symptoms from which to take note of should they start to appear:²
If any of these symptoms hit close to home, there is a chance it is due to a disruption in the gut.² Luckily, there are many ways you can get your skin back on track!
How to Balance Your Gut Microbiome
The immune system is greatly impacted on how efficient your gut is working. When it gets out of sync, the first question we should ask is “how to reset the gut microbiome.” Fortunately, there are many ways we can positively reset and balance! From the foods we consume, and the addition of gut friendly supplements, to lifestyle factors, and what we use within our very own households, there are a handful of ways to get your gut back on track. Here are some of the simplest and most effective ways we can reset the gut microbiome.
Probiotics are Your Best Friend
Supplementing with probiotics is a great way to balance the “good” bacteria in our digestive system.³ Yes, we like good bacteria!
Probiotics are live microorganisms that are housed in our gut, and are responsible for optimal nutrient uptake, weight management, keeping our immune system healthy, reducing inflammation, and regulating our hormones. When we lack a healthy dose of good bacteria in our gut, we may notice some changes start to occur. Differences in our sustained energy, appetite, mood, stress, skin, etc. can become affected. The good news is through the implementation of a daily probiotic, in addition to consuming foods with live active cultures, you will get back to feeling like yourself in no time at all!⁴
Fermented Foods for the Win
Time for a little science! Fermentation happens when a bacteria and/or yeast, and a carbohydrate source, come together to create the good kind of bacteria we want. These are known as the “probiotics” we just discussed. Fermentation is a game changer when it comes to restoring your gut, and it carries numerous other health benefits along with it. With 70% of our immune system being housed in our gut, eating fermented foods is a WIN that goes beyond boosting, supporting, and strengthening our immune health. Consuming foods such as sauerkraut, miso, and kimchi are rich in probiotics and, in addition to supporting gut health, aid in reducing inflammation, improve blood pressure, prevent ulcers, improve skin health & energy, promotes healthy cholesterol & nutrient absorption, and even prevents the risk of cancer.⁵ Try adding these fermented foods to your soup, salad, sandwich, or even as a side dish!
Using Different Cleaning Products
One study showed that eco-friendly cleaning products had a much lower impact on gut flora in infants than with its disinfectant counterparts. This showed a reduction in likelihood of developing obesity & type 2 diabetes later in life.⁵ While it is still unknown as to the exact reasons why eco-friendly cleaning products have less of a negative effect, we could conclude that natural ingredients are less foreign to our body unlike their counterpart(S) which are made up of hazardous chemicals.⁶ It may be time to do a little spring cleaning of your household cleaners!
Research continues to show exercise as a wonderful way to reset the gut microbiome and diversify the good bacteria. The CDC recommends 150 minutes of moderate to intense weekly aerobic activity, in addition to 2 days per week of full body strength training.⁷ If you need some inspiration, we’ve got you covered with some of our favorite exercises to do at home.
Reduce Your Sugar Intake
Did you know? The average American consumes 152 pounds of sugar each year.⁸ This may come as no surprise since sugar tops the list as a “go-to” when cravings hit. Hey, we are human, and cravings happen! Research shows that diets high in sugar and artificial sweeteners can have a direct effect on imbalancing our gut. The more sugar we consume, the less beneficial bacteria in our gut. The less beneficial bacteria in our gut, the more sugar and processed foods we end up craving.⁹
While sugar can have its place, watching the amounts we consume can be extremely beneficial for our overall gut health. The addition of more fiber and adequate protein in our diets can promote a fulling of fullness and reduce cravings.
Here are some healthy, nutrient rich alternatives to satisfy a sweet tooth and promote a healthy gut:
- Fresh fruits especially berries
- Fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, and miso
- Greek yogurt
- Good quality dark chocolate
- Whole grains such as oatmeal
- Sweet potatoes
- Fresh vegetables
- Lean poultry, fish, and meat
- Beans & legumes
As we have discussed, simple, lifestyle changes are some of the easiest, and most effective, ways to treat and improve our gut health! Focusing on foods rich in gut friendly “good” bacteria, supplementing with a probiotic, getting active, reducing unnecessary sugar in our diet, and bringing in eco-friendly household products, you will be doing a world of good for your health, both inside and out! Yes, your skin will be doing the talking!