Over the last decade there has been a growing body of evidence that has demonstrated an intimate and bidirectional relationship between our gut and our skin. Numerous studies have linked gastrointestinal health to skin homeostasis. But how does this connection between our gut and our skin work?
It all starts with how our gut and our skin interact, which is commonly referred to as the gut skin axis. Our digestive tract is home to trillions of microorganisms and bacteria that help our body digest food, regulate hormonal functions, produce vitamins and maintain healthy skin (along with a plethora of other physical and mental health functions). When the integrity of our gut is disturbed along with an imbalance occurring in our gut bacteria, it can often have a detrimental impact upon our skin. Our gut bacteria and byproducts from the bacteria themselves, interact with our metabolism, immune system and endocrine pathways. An imbalance to our gut bacteria is referred to as “dysbiosis”. Dysbiosis causes stress-related responses to occur within the gut-skin access that manifest as skin disorders such as dermatitis, acne, eczema and rosacea.
How to take care of your gut health
There are a number of dietary and lifestyle factors that can impact the integrity of our gut microbiome that we need to be aware of. A diet that is high in processed foods, sugar, alcohol, and low in fibre can have a negative impact upon the microbiome. Other factors such as stress, sleep and environmental toxins are equally as important. Check out Pulsin’s blogs on how to manage stress here and see their blog on how poor blood sugar can affect your sleep.
But what dietary choices can we make to promote a healthy gut? Fibre-rich foods, quality protein sources and healthy fats have all been shown to support gut function and the microbiome itself. Research has also demonstrated that eating a wide variety of fresh produce can improve the diversity of our gut bacteria also. In some cases dietary choices are not enough and occasionally some individuals will benefit from using prebiotics and probiotics.
What foods promote a healthy gut?
Fruits and vegetables are most commonly recognised as the best source of nutrients for a healthy gut. Both are rich in fibre that can’t be digested by our bodies but provide a fuel source for the microbiota and support their growth. The best sources include:
- Whole grains
- Kidney beans
- Pinto beans
- Green peas
- Pulsin High Fibre Brownies
Fermented foods are also a fantastic food source to promote gut health. Fermentation refers to the process of bacteria and yeast breaking down sugars that boost the number of probiotics and beneficial bacteria found in the gut itself. The best fermented food sources are:
- Live yoghurt
The bottom line
The scientific community is certain there is a connection between our gut and the health of our skin. Whilst it has long been reported that our dietary choices and hydration status are core components of maintaining radiant skin, the importance of our gut integrity is likely to become an even greater factor as we learn more about the importance of our gut-skin axis.
Looking for some delicious gut friendly snacks? Pulsin have got you covered with their delicious range of High Fibre Brownies which are perfect for those looking to improve their gut health due to their high fibre credentials. Their range of all natural Protein Powders are also a great addition to your cupboard to help promote your gut health, why not try adding some to this delicious bircher porridge recipe. You can also find a wide range of gut friendly recipes using their protein powders here.