Did that lone zit that appeared just as you were ready for a big event ever bother you? Or no matter how much you tried and slathered the most expensive creams, your skin still looked sallow and dull?
Have you ever taken a step back and wondered why these skincare issues showed up repeatedly despite the best products you used? Call it a 'gut feeling', but there is more to good skin health than you think.
The truth is that it all boils down to your gut. Why? That is because 70% of our immune system lies in the gut. And an unhealthy gut is a barometer of your health, wellness, and skin.
Researchers have found that the skin gets compromised when one’s digestive balance or gut health is weak. It can lead to skin irritation, inflammation, breakouts, quickens the signs of aging, and more.
What Does Gut Health Do to Your skin?
An unhealthy gut does not just hamper your health by showing signs of excess fatigue, lethargy, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and more. Still, it can also directly show on your skin, especially your face. While it can show up as eczema and rosacea (to name just a few) on your body, it takes the shape of dark spots, inflammation, and breakouts and makes your skin sensitive to your face.
There are various symptoms to look out for when you have an unhealthy gut. These may show up as a lone symptom or a combination of many.
Signs Of An Unhealthy Gut
An irritable or upset tummy: Do you suffer from constant pains in the stomach, constipation, or feel bloated? If you’ve nodded a yes to any of these symptoms, it could be a sign of IBS. This is one of the most common symptoms of an unhealthy gut that affects large intestines and is caused by a gut imbalance.
Exhaustion taking over: The feeling of being constantly tired, known as chronic fatigue, is usually one of the symptoms that come together with IBS. Chronic fatigue makes the usual tasks seem downhill. What accompanies chronic fatigue is also lethargy and an inability to carry out everyday tasks.
Weight gain or loss: Unexpected weight loss and/or weight gain is yet another symptom of an unhealthy gut. An unhealthy diet high in carbs and fats or less intake of proteins can be attributed to weight fluctuations. An overgrowth of unhealthy bacteria in the gut can be linked to unintentional weight changes.
Skin woes: Last but not least, an imbalance of the gut bacteria is likely to have a direct impact on your skin, leading to skin concerns eczema, dry or oily skin, sensitive skin, breakouts, premature aging, uneven skin tone, and an overall breakdown of collagen.
The good news is that you can reverse these with a good gut. With a few tweaks to your lifestyle habits, eating healthy and exercising can promote a healthy gut and reverse all skin issues.
Clear Your Skin, Starting WithYour Gut
You can do some things to promote good gut health and, in the process, help improve your skin.
Choose what you eat: Eliminate processed and junk food from your diet. Instead, opt for foods rich in water content in your diet, like fresh salads, fruits, and smoothies that not just hydrate your body but also flush out the toxins from within, giving you clear and radiant skin.
Include probiotics and prebiotics in your diet: Ditch the aerated drinks and opt for a glass of kombucha instead. A kombucha contains bacteria that are good for your gut.
A kombucha can cleanse your skin from the inside out. Made by the process of fermentation, it’s as good as your cuppa tea but just a lot healthier. It contains acetic acid, gluconic acid, and trace amounts of lactic acids that are good for your gut. Kombucha is rich in antioxidants that can kill harmful bacteria to promote a better gut.Cyriac Thomas, founder of a leading kombucha brand in Pune
Prebiotic foods include foods like oats, radishes, and onions that are rich in fiber that feeds the gut bacteria, so include these in your diet. Both prebiotics and probiotics can help keep your gut going strong.
Get some sleep: A rested mind equals a de-stressed mind and body. An irregular sleep cycle is often caused due to constant waking up at night; excess intake of alcohol or insomnia alters your sleep, directly impacting the rhythm of the gut microbes. Some things that can set a rhythm to a good sleep pattern include a warm bath, listening to calming music, inhaling relaxing fragrances infused in a diffuser, and switching off gadgets at least two hours before you call it a day.
Get rid of stress: More often than not, stress directly impacts your gut health. Stress can be a root cause of your gut imbalance. It is important to practice stress management. Whether unwinding with high-impact cardio or just a brisk walk to calm you down, getting rid of stress equals a good gut.
With these simple tips, you can say hello to a good gut and a healthy lifestyle that promotes overall well-being, including good skin.
It is important to note that the results will take at least three months to show on your body, so patience is a virtue that will be welcome as you transition to good gut health.
(Pratibha Pal spent her childhood in idyllic places only fauji kids would have heard of. She grew up reading a variety of books that let her imagination wander and still hopes to come across the Magic Faraway Tree.You can view her blog at www.pratsmusings.com or reach to her on Twitter at @myepica.)