Gut and Skin
Let’s explore a holistic perspective on skin care. Here, Dr. Reka Laszlo, a naturopathic doctor in East Gwillimbury Ontario, give us The Skiny on an emerging thought: The gut and skin connection.
The physical and dynamic state of your digestive tract will have evidence on your skin and your overall wellbeing.
Very often chronic skin conditions, such as acne, eczema and psoriasis, are associated to a food sensitivity and can significantly improve with modified diet and lifestyle changes. More importantly, a properly functioning digestive system which produces adequate stomach acid, digestive enzymes and bile can efficiently break down and absorb nutrients we ingest. Without these, the foods we eat are not broken down and can sit in our bowels creating uncomfortable symptoms such as constipation, bloating, gas and abdominal pain. Our digestive tract is one of the few routes our body eliminates waste, excess hormones and toxins. If these substances are not eliminated, they re-circulate within the body and can lead to chronic systemic concerns such as fatigue, muscle and joint aches and pains, headaches, hormone dysregulation and skin issues.
So, what can you do? Here are some tips to keeping your gut and skin healthy:
- Antioxidants These are substances that can help neutralize the process of oxidation and cellular damage which contributes to aging and disease! Incorporating foods that are extremely high in antioxidants can reverse the signs of aging and prevent serious disease such as cancer and heart disease. High antioxidant foods include berries, broccoli, garlic, tomatoes and green tea.
- Probiotics Our digestive system houses thousands of micro-organisms or “good bacteria” to efficiently absorb nutrients, maintain strong immune health and protect the gut from infection. Supplementing or consuming probiotic-rich foods daily has been shown to be beneficial in patients with psoriasis and other skin conditions, further proving the connection between gut and skin health.
- Hydrotherapy Stimulating the skin by using contrasting hot-cold water temperature has been shown to promote blood circulation, lymphatic drainage and cleanse the skin on a deeper level. Try turning the tap to cold for 10 seconds during your next hot shower to experience the benefits.
- Drink 2 L of water everyday Our human cells are composed of 60-80% water and therefore require adequate amounts to stay healthy, hydrate the skin and maintain electrolyte balance. In addition, staying properly hydrated also helps the digestive system move and eliminate waste, preventing constipation.
- Sweat It is essentially the way our skin breaths and releases waste from skin cells. Aerobic exercise 3 times a week is a great way to get your blood flowing and improve skin health from the inside out!