You are what you eat, a phrase that has been used on many of us at some point in our lives to nudge us into a healthy lifestyle. But is it true? Yes, the food we eat has a direct impact on how our body functions and so, it’s important to eat consciously to maintain good health and quality of life. Coming to our next query: Have you ever been asked to control spice to stop pimples or forced to down a huge cup of curd to ‘cool down your skin’ by your parents? Did you ever wonder about the connection between what we eat and how we look? Well, we are here today answering all of those questions and also helping you clear your gut to achieve clean, glowing skin.
But first, let’s understand how the gut and skin are related
Our skin and gut are both cardinal organs required to keep the body healthy and stable. They have to be in sync to maintain this balance. You see, the gut microbiome aids in maintaining and protecting the intestinal barrier, which reduces the toxins from entering our bloodstream and potentially reaching and affecting the skin. If that barrier is weak, it often leads to the release of essential inflammatory messengers - cytokines, which pass into the bloodstream and then to the skin, triggering acne. To sum it up, an unhealthy gut is a shortcut to breakouts, inflammatory skin issues like eczema, or just making your skin look dull as a winter night.
Include prebiotics and probiotics in your diet
Probiotics are a form of what we call good bacteria that we take through food and supplements to aid gut, immune and overall health. It is proven by various research studies that using prebiotics actively helps in the prevention and treatment of inflammatory skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis. Probiotic foods such as kombucha, kimchi, miso, yoghurt, kefir, pickled foods, natto, and tempeh are excellent for gut and skin health as they introduce good microbes to the system.
Now, what are prebiotics? They are a type of fibre that acts as food for bacteria to help escalate the good bacteria. So basically, prebiotics plays the role of food for probiotics to help them work efficiently. Some good examples of prebiotic foods are unripe bananas, apples, garlic, onions, artichokes, broccoli, cauliflower, beans and lentils.
Hydration is key
Hydration is important to flush the toxins out of your gut and to promote good overall well being. Making sure to drink eight glasses every day is essential to help keep your skin and gut happy. If you’re not a fan of drinking so much water, you can always spruce it up by first starting your day with a glass of warm water with a slice of lemon in it. You can also flavour your water by putting lemon slices and mint leaves in it or fruits like strawberries, watermelon etc. Another great option to get your juice on is to drink celery juice. Don’t make faces yet because celery is an excellent source of vitamin K, C and A along with a lot of essential minerals that help balance your pH levels and flush out toxins effectively making it an excellent choice for your gut and skin health.
Of course, cruciferous and dark, leafy greens are your BFFs as they are not only light on your gut but also have various health benefits. Choose fruits over fruit juices to get in maximum benefit without added preservatives or sugar. Looking to snack? You can always munch on popcorn as it's a great gut-friendly snack. Of course, avoid the butter and caramel popcorns and make some yourself at home.
Another really important thing to remember is to chew your food properly because when you chew, your body produces more enzymes, which helps in proper digestion by breaking down food and delivering it to where it needs to go. So, avoid the urge to watch that new series or movie while eating because watching tv or videos causes you to eat faster and we don’t want that.