Physical beauty is an inside out process. In order to truly be beautiful and to shine, you must possess internal qualities that manifest themselves outwardly. The same is true concerning the quality and health of our skin. Beautiful skin begins on the inside.
In an article published on the BBC website Good Food, Nutrition therapist Ian Marber explains the digestion to skin correlation, by saying that some of our most common skin problems are directly attributed to our diet. As a matter of fact, skin problems are a great indicator of and gives insight into your overall digestive health. Researchers as far back as 1930 suspected a link between digestive and skin health, and modern research has definitively confirmed that there is, indeed, an important connection. And to put it quite frankly;
“If you want to heal your skin, you must heal your gut.” ~Chris Kresser, M.S., L.Ac
4 Common digestive health related skin problems and solutions
1. Dry Skin
Dry skin can be attributed to dehydration but is also associated with a low-fat diet. Relieving dry skin may not be the first thing we think about when planning our meals, but just like the rest of our bodies, our skin needs certain nutrients to help heal and repair itself and keep itself in optimal condition. Healthy foods can not only keep you hydrated, but they can work on a cellular level to keep your skin smooth and supple. According to skincare experts, eating foods high in salt content or preservatives will produce skin is that is not only puffy, but also skin that is noticeably dry.
Experts recommend eating foods that hydrate the skin and that contain good-for-you fats like Omega 3 fatty acids. Foods such as:
- Water. The Number one thing you can do to keep your skin hydrated is drink a lot of water.
- Fatty fish such as salmon, herring, tuna, and trout contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which help retain moisture and strengthen your skin’s barrier.
- Nuts are rich in vitamin E, which has long been touted as a skincare savior. Vitamin E protects the skin from oxidative cell damage, and like omega-3 fatty acids, it adds an extra layer of protection from damage from external sources such as UV rays.
- Avocados are a great source of vitamins C, E, and monounsaturated fats, which aid in moisture retention.
- Orange and yellow vegetables contain beta-carotene, which is notoriously great for skin. It’s an antioxidant, which help fight dry skin and protect the skin from harmful sun rays and environmental damage. Most of these veggies also contain vitamins A and C, which help repair body tissues and produce collagen.
Our digestive system is the main place where we absorb beauty nutrients from our foods, as well as the main place where we dispel toxins through elimination. If our digestive health isn’t optimal, breakouts, eczema, redness and dull skin can result. When the digestive system struggles to eliminate toxins effectively, it will partner up with other organs and eliminate toxins that way. Since your skin is your body’s largest organ, it’s no surprise that acne, and other skin problems crop up when something’s off internally.
To counteract acne, eliminate foods that contain high amounts of processed sugar, dairy, glueten and soy from your diet for at least three weeks. Experts believe that just eliminating these items from your diet will eliminate break outs and allow your skin to recover.
They also suggest eating foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins C and E, and foods with a high water content.
Psoriasis manifests as red, itchy, skin patches with silvery scales, most commonly on the elbows and knees. The patches are caused by rapid growth and proliferation of cells in the outer skin layers. Sufferers find outbreaks occur most often when they feel rundown. Sunburn, alcohol, smoking, obesity and stress also provoke outbreaks along with trigger foods, which can be identified using an exclusion diet ( always consult your physician before cutting out food groups).
A diet that includes essential fatty acids (EFAs) from fish oil or cold-pressed nut and seed oils are important to preventing break outs. Your diet should also be low in saturated fat and include anti-inflammatory herbs such as turmeric, red pepper, ginger, cumin, fennel, rosemary and garlic.
Eczema is a skin condition that usually begins as itchy, patchy redness, often on the hands but it can appear anywhere on the the body. This ailment is most common in children but many adults develop it as well. Although there are many triggers, one of the most common is food sensitivities.
The most common trigger foods are milk, eggs, fish, cheese, nuts and food additives. Understanding and eliminating the particular foods in your diet that are causing the flare ups is key. Eczema is easier prevented than treated, however when flare ups do occur, foods loaded with omega-3 fats, zinc and vitamin E may help reduce symptoms.
Understanding your unique digestive health needs is the key to beautiful skin. The next time someone tells you that beauty is only skin deep–let them know that beauty is much deeper than that. It’s in your gut..