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How Gut Health Affects Your Skin
By Jill Levy
May 9, 2023
You’ve likely heard of the gut-brain connection, but did you know that there’s also a gut-skin connection? The “gut-skin axis” highlights the important link between gut health and skin health.
Gut health, including a balance of bacteria and other microbes in the gut, which can help support the body’s healthy response to inflammation, which can positively impact skin health.
How can you promote your healthy gut microbiome for your skin health? By taking steps to support gut health through a healthy diet, stress management and other lifestyle factors, you’ll likely be able to positively impact the appearance and health of your skin.
In this article, learn more about how gut health affects skin, plus the best foods for supporting the gut-skin axis.
The gut-skin axis refers to the relationship between the health and function of the gut and the appearance and integrity of the skin.
The gut-skin axis is thought to be influenced by several factors, including:
A healthy gut microbiome
Healthy gut integrity
Healthy Immune system function
A healthy response to inflammation
A healthy gut microbiome is important for maintaining a healthy skin microbiome, which plays a crucial role in supporting the skin, helping to keep it populated with beneficial microorganisms and maintaining its barrier function.
That’s a major reason why you’d want to promote a healthy gut and skin microbiome.
Furthermore, the gut-skin axis can be influenced by dietary factors. For example, consuming a diet high in sugar, refined carbohydrates and saturated fats can generally promote an imbalance of inflammation in the gut and the skin, while a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and fiber can promote a healthy gut microbiome and a healthy, normal response to inflammation.
How do you help support your gut health in order to promote overall skin health? Start by cleaning up your diet and eating nutrient-rich foods that are easy to digest.
A balanced and varied diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains can help promote healthy skin and gut. Of course, you should always consult your healthcare professional prior to beginning any new dietary or lifestyle regimen, including certain foods or supplementation.
Here are some foods to focus on:
Fermented foods such as kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi and yogurt are rich in beneficial probiotic bacteria that help promote a healthy gut microbiome.
Prebiotics are types of fiber that feed the good bacteria in your gut. Therefore, they can help promote healthy digestion and support a healthy immune system. You’ll find prebiotics in fiber-rich foods like whole grains, bananas, onions and garlic.
Leafy greens such as kale, spinach and Swiss chard are packed with nutrients and antioxidants that help fight free radicals (important for skin health) and promote a healthy gut. They are also rich in fiber, which helps promote healthy digestion.
Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help promote healthy skin and a normal, healthy response to inflammation.
Nuts and seeds such as almonds, walnuts and chia seeds are rich in healthy fats, fiber and antioxidants.
Berries and other fruits, including blueberries, raspberries, oranges, kiwi and strawberries, are great sources of antioxidants and vitamins such as vitamins C and A. These nutrients help fight free radicals (important for skin health) and help promote a healthy immune system.
Many herbs are spices, such as turmeric and ginger, and are high in compounds that support digestive health and healthy immune system function.
How can probiotics benefit skin? In addition to eating probiotic foods, taking a probiotic supplement can also help promote a healthy gut microbiome and, therefore, generally promote skin health.
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are beneficial for gut health. They help support the natural balance of gut bacteria and promote healthy digestion. Probiotic supplements come in different strains and strengths; we offer hardy SBO Probiotics, which are capable of actually making their way into the right parts of the gut where they offer benefits.
Collagen is a structural protein that’s essential for skin health, as well as maintaining the integrity of the gut lining. Depending on the formula, it can help promote healthy skin elasticity and hydration and may also help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, including crow’s feet.
Try our Multi Collagen Protein formulas, which contain 10 types of collagen, such as Multi Collagen Protein Gut Restore or Multi Collagen Protein Beauty Within. Multi Collagen Protein can be added to drinks or smoothies or taken in a convenient capsule form.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps fight free radicals, thereby supporting overall skin health. It also helps facilitate collagen production, which can benefit skin and its texture. Ancient Nutrition’s vitamin C capsules also contain probiotics for additional gut support.
Omega-3s are essential fats that play a crucial role in skin health. They help promote a healthy response to inflammation, support skin health and offer other benefits for cognitive and heart health.
Try Ancient Nutrition’s Omegas Whole Body, which delivers omega 3s, 6s and 9s plus powerful antioxidants.