Perhaps you've heard the term "gut health" and are unsure of what it means. After all, doesn't a healthy gut just mean one that properly digests food? This is true, but gut health also affects the rest of your body. Furthermore, mounting research indicates that a strong immune system and mental well-being depend on a balanced microbiota in the stomach.
What is gut health?
Our digestive system transforms the food we eat into a form that can be transported throughout the body via the bloodstream. Unfortunately, difficulties can arise at various points throughout this process, from severe digestive disorders to food intolerances that impair our bodies ability to absorb nutrients from food.
70% of your immune system is located in your gut, which is also where hormones are metabolised, where nutrients and neurotransmitters are produced, where detoxification enzymes are made, and where pathogens are neutralized. If any of these systems are out of balance or aren't functioning properly, it can have a significant impact on us.
Why is gut health important?
Gut health refers to the condition of the entire digestive system, which includes the organs in our bodies that break down food into the various nutrients our systems need to function, from the esophagus to the intestine.
Different colonies of microorganisms work in the stomach to break down food into more digestible forms. Each area of the gut has a specific function. So keep in mind that when you eat, you are also providing billions of gut bacteria with food, and your dietary choices affect which bacteria thrive and which ones go.
The gut is crucial for immunological health because the gut wall acts as a barrier to keep viruses, fungus, and "bad" bacteria out of the bloodstream when it is working properly. Unfortunately, this defense can occasionally become permeable, a condition known as a "leaky gut," allowing pathogens to get through and sicken us.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and celiac disease are a few conditions that can increase a person's risk of developing gut permeability, which increases their vulnerability to illness or infection entering the body this way.
Research demonstrates that gut health also affects mental health in a negative way. There is a reason we experience many of our emotions in our stomachs; it is known as the "second brain." Our neurological system can be stimulated by gut bacteria, which communicate with our brains by way of the vagus nerve. They have the ability to release hormones that are identical to those that our own systems produce, making them little pilots that, despite their small size, have a significant influence on our bodies and judgment.
The gut-brain axis refers to this communication between the gut and the brain. Since many of these bacteria are hormone-sensitive, stress may also have an effect on them, which could result in an imbalance.
Signs of unhealthy gut
At some point or another, we've all experienced allergic reactions or skin irritation. One of the greatest transmitters in our body is our skin; it can indicate when things may be out of harmony internally.
The skin will react in a variety of ways, including rash, hives, breakouts, and discolouration, depending on the cause of the irritation, which may be inflammation, allergies, hormones, or unbalanced gut flora.
What does "gut microbiome" mean?
The microorganisms that reside in your intestines are referred to as your "gut microbiome." Each person's digestive tract contains roughly 200 distinct types of bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
Many microbes are highly helpful and even necessary for a healthy body, while some are toxic to human health.
According to Research, a diverse population of gut bacteria may lower the risk of diseases like diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, and psoriatic arthritis.
How is gut health connected to the skin?
Did you know that the stomach and skin have comparable functions in our bodies? Though it may seem absurd to consider, it is true that these two distinctly dissimilar-appearing organ systems collaborate to carry out important and related tasks in our bodies.
Our skin is the largest organ in our body. The skin serves as a barrier against the outside world, regulates body temperature, and facilitates communication. Your skin can give you a lot of information about what's going on inside, including whether you're too overheated, dehydrated, or even eating the wrong meals for your body. Skin health and intestinal health are intricately linked.
Similar to the microbiome in the stomach, the trillions of microorganisms that make up the skin also contribute to it. The gut-skin axis, which we refer to as a direct link between the microbiomes of the skin and the gut. These microbes protect us from harmful bacteria, maintain the balance of bacteria in our bodies, support immunity, and keep us healthy in general.
The term "gut-skin axis" refers to how the condition of your gut flora affects the appearance of your skin. Recent research has linked the balance of your gut's bacteria to skin diseases like psoriasis, rosacea, and acne.
A healthy gut for glowing skin
It might not be entirely untrue to say that eating chocolate causes acne.
Although we sometimes have no control over things like stress levels, sleep patterns, or acquiring a cold as we enter the cooler months, we do have control over the food we eat. Yes, this is your cue to deactivate your junk food ordering apps and start writing your grocery list right away!
Foods high in fiber are advised for a healthy stomach since they take longer to digest than other foods. Since they provide sustenance for our healthy microbiota, these high-fiber foods are also referred to as prebiotics. A healthy stomach enjoys foods like asparagus, leeks, bananas, garlic, and onions, among others.
Live bacteria that develop during the fermentation process are present in probiotic foods. These foods and beverages have helpful bacteria that can be consumed, which can help balance out the negative bacteria in your stomach. Happy tastebuds and a happy stomach!
If you take actions to enhance your gut health for beautiful skin, chances are good that other areas of your life will benefit as well. There are connections between gut health and your brain function, immunological system, endocrine system, and mood.
Actions you can take to improve your gut health
- Adjust your diet
Your gut health may improve if you eat fewer processed, high-sugar, and high-fat foods.
Consuming a diet rich in fiber probably also helps maintain healthy gut microbiota. Eating meals rich in micronutrient polyphenols may also have a good effect on your digestive system. Examples include vegetables, fruits, coffee, tea and wine.
- Reduce your level of stress
Your entire body, including your stomach, suffers when you are under prolonged high levels of stress. A few techniques for reducing stress could be:
- Getting a massage
- Spending time with friends or family
- Limiting alcohol intake
- Practicing yoga
- Stay hydrated
Although the source of the water is also important, drinking a lot of water may be connected to an increase in the variety of bacteria in the stomach. A study from 2022 found that those who drank more water had lower levels of a certain type of bacterium that can result in gastrointestinal illnesses.
Your entire health will benefit from staying hydrated, and constipation may be avoided. It might also be an easy approach to encourage gut health.
- Get enough rest
Your gut health may suffer significantly if you don't get enough or good quality sleep, which can then lead to more sleep problems.
Make it a priority to get at least 7-8 hours of unbroken sleep each night. If you have difficulties sleeping, talk to your doctor.
- Take a prebiotic or probiotic
While research is ongoing, supplementing your diet with prebiotics or probiotics may help you have better gut health. Probiotics are live healthy bacteria, whereas prebiotics is "food" aimed to encourage the growth of helpful bacteria in the stomach.
Probiotics shouldn't be taken by people with severe illnesses or compromised immune systems. Additionally, not all probiotic pills are of a high standard or advantageous to your health.
When selecting a probiotic or prebiotic supplement to help with health improvement, it is best to see a healthcare practitioner.
Online retailers offer probiotic and prebiotic dietary supplements.
- Look after your skin from the outside
As our understanding of the critical role that gut health plays in overall health grows, taking care of our skin from the outside is a good way to complement your gut health.
Having a damaged UV is one of the things that we need to look at if we have an unhealthy gut. We must listen to our skin as this is our largest organ. With that said, it is good to take care of our skin with the right products with effective pH balance.
We recommend using Goodieco’s Nourishing Trio for dry skin and Supercharged Trio for oily skin. These products are designed to restore, replenish & renew moisture-compromised skin. This oil-balancing skincare routine is the perfect solution for oily, combination & breakout-prone skin.
Types of food for gut health
There seems to be a strong connection between diet and intestinal health. As these foods may encourage the growth of harmful bacteria, avoiding processed meals, high-fat foods, and foods high in refined sugars is probably crucial for keeping a healthy microbiome.
You can also eat items that actively encourage the development of healthy bacteria, improving your general health. These foods consist of:
- Collagen-boosting food
- Fermented foods
- High fiber foods
The human intestine is complicated. Although further research is needed, it is evident that the gut microbiome has an impact on overall health. One probiotic supplement won't be enough to restore your gut microbiome. Although the path to a healthy gut differs from person to person, it can take up to four weeks to observe any changes in your skin's health when you are consistent.