Hippocrates said ‘all disease starts in the gut’. Dairy, sugar, bacteria, stress may get you the acne, flaky skin, thin hair, sluggishness or weakness or body issues all point to the gut. The idea of bugs hanging out on your face, body gives you the nightmare but any thoughts on the good bacteria in your gut which saves you from a million health issues?
Microbes in your gut affect skin, hair and overall body too. Bacteria in the gut make up 70 percent of your immune system, however when the bacterial balance is off we may experience gas or bloating, or bad skin/hair. A healthy gut microbiome also maintains a tight intestinal barrier, which keeps toxins away. An imbalance, makes the gut leaky, releasing them into the body and triggering inflammation all over, from head to toe.
Eat well, stress less.
Chew your food! Load up on fiber-rich produce and foods with probiotics and prebiotics-yogurt, bananas, onions, and raw asparagus. Indulge in celery, lemon water, apple cider vinegar, garlic, flaxseeds and fermented foods to keep the gut happy. Eating a high fibre diet, including lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, beans, nuts and seeds. Mindful eating is vital for longevity and anti-ageing. Get your probiotics in place, various kinds of probiotic bacteria may mend skin, hair and body health by increasing hydration, calming inflammation, helping avoid UV-induced barrier disturbances and oxidative stress which may trigger aging, and more. Avoid anxiety, as stress changes the diversity and number of bugs in your gut. Stress can make you feel sick to your stomach! Counteract daily stress with exercise and sound sleep, which help balance microbes. After all a healthy microbiome builds a glowing skin, healthy mane, stronger immune system, trimmer body, stronger heart, and happier mood.
Exercise 3 or 4 times a week, to have a diverse gut bacteria. It speeds up your digestion, so food spends less time sitting in or causing inflammation of your digestive tract where out body’s good bacteria thrives. It also keeps your weight in check. Try yoga or walking.
Pay attention to your meal times, as gut microbes set their schedule based on what and when you feed them. So feed your body well between 8am and 6pm.
By Gail Enever Robertson- Nutritionist & Founder Belly Goodness
Is the Gut Flora the secret weapon to radiant skin and hair and optimum fitness?
The digestive tract, which we refer to as the ‘gut’ starts at the mouth and goes down to the anus, so we know our food goes all the way through, a bit like plumbing – pipes and tubes! En route the food is broken down with stomach acids and digestive enzymes. It then reaches the intestines in the lower abdomen which most people call their stomach. The actual stomach sits up quite high under the ribs, but, back to the intestines. This is where a lot of the very valuable work is done on the food. 80% of the immune system comes from here as does 90% of serotonin [mood chemical].
Most of the nutrient vitamin and minerals are also absorbed from here. For this gut to function you need in place what’s known as the ‘gut flora’. The gut flora consists of approximately 80% good bacteria and 20% yeasts which create the right environment for the food to be processed. The ‘good’ bacteria also keep the ‘bad’ bacteria in check.
Levels of good bacteria if diminishes allows the yeast to ferment and take over the gut. This can lead to a whole host of symptoms ranging from Irritable bowel /digestive disorder symptoms to systemic problems affecting the whole body.
What is the Gut-Skin Axis?
If you have an unhealthy gut it can have a big impact on our overall health and especially the appearance of your skin, including spots, inflammation, eczema and rosacea.
Not only does radiant skin start in the gut but so does healthy looking hair, strong nails and teeth. One of the effects of a healthy gut flora is the absorption of most of the vitamins and minerals. The majority of people think they are having a nutritious diet however, if the gut is out of balance, they are not going to absorb the essential nutrients necessary for healthy skin, hair teeth and nails. The nutrient ’soil’ will not be fertile.
Most people don’t even think of how your gut bacteria can affect your fitness. When you think of improving your fitness, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? You’re probably envisioning something along the lines of a workout program, change in diet, or gym membership.
But the good guys in your gut do a lot more than you might think to keep you healthy and fit. In fact, they can be just as important for your workout as any other part of your fitness plan, if not more so. Because they can support your efforts in terms of everything from weight management to workout stamina. The ability of the athlete to digest and absorb nutrients to produce energy, muscular gains, and neurological gains are all controlled by a healthy gut.
Hydration and recovery
The gut directly impacts the body’s ability to hydrate. The gut also impacts the body’s recovery process. Effective exercise, both cardio and resistance, will cause an acute inflammatory response that shuttles reparative cells to the sites of muscle damage. This process of recovery leads to improvements in muscle strength, muscle tone, muscle endurance, and appearance. The immune system controls your body’s inflammatory mechanism. Nearly 80 percent of the immune tissue is in the digestive tract. This leaves much of the inflammatory process in the control of gut flora.
Tips for a healthy gut flora
· Avoid sugar, it ferments in the gut and feeds the overgrowth of yeast
· Avoid yeasty foods like bread
· Avoid processed food with artificial additives
· Avoid refined carbohydrates e.g. white flour. Use whole grains.
· Keep hydrated, drink plenty of water
· Take a good quality probiotic [good bacteria], especially if you take the contraceptive pill, HRT or other hormone treatment as all hormone treatment encourages the growth of yeast in the gut
· Take probiotics if you have antibiotics. Antibiotics kill the good bacteria as well as the bad so you need to replenish the gut with good bacteria.