Want beautiful, glowing skin?
We’ve all heard the saying you are what you eat, and it is cliched, but it’s true. What’s also true though, is that you are what you ‘digest and absorb’. For a lot of us, our digestive system is not operating properly, it’s sluggish, it doesn’t digest fully, and it doesn’t absorb as it should. All of those things negatively impact in the way our skin appears.
Skin begins its ageing process from around age 25 and accelerates through the years. However, your skin can stay ‘younger’ looking and full of vitality given the right diet, removing toxicity through exercise, and drinking enough water.
Beautiful skin from the inside out
No matter how dedicated you are to your daily skincare routine on the ‘outside’ clear, healthy, and radiant skin comes from what we eat, as well as how well our body systems are performing.
This is particularly true of our digestive system. If your gut isn’t functioning optimally, it can’t absorb the vital nutrients your skin needs to thrive. It’s no good to eat the nutrients if we are not absorbing them properly.
A robust digestive system has the ability to break down foods properly, and assimilate them into the blood stream.
The digestive system flushes out waste and toxicity, and any delay in this occurring will contribute to skin breakouts and a dull complexion. A poorly functioning gut (i.e constipation) can therefore re-absorb these nasty toxins, which will show up in your skin with blemishes, acne, and a dull complexion.
A gut barrier which is compromised or damaged will allow larger proteins through the gut in places they should not go. This can cause an autoimmune response, which can be enough to trigger some immune responses which affect the skin such as rosacea or psoriasis.
A diet high in processed foods, carbohydrates, starchy foods, sugars, combined with low fibre and antioxidant intake, will likely trigger poor looking skin also. We see high sugar diets contributing to insulin resistance, which leads to an imbalance in hormones and skin breakouts.
The bacteria you have in your gut impacts the appearance of the skin. A gut full of nasty pathogenic bacteria will not lead to a face full of clear, healthy skin.
The bacteria in our gut is influenced by the foods we consume on a daily basis. The more variety in fresh wholefoods we can consume, the healthier out gut will be, the better our skin will look.
Think greens, a variety of coloured vegetables, berries and other fruit, nuts, seeds, seaweeds, clean protein, and quality fats.
Small amounts of many things, is better than eating large amounts of the same thing. Our gut likes variety to keep a healthy, diverse strain of bacteria, which will help our skin glow.
We need healthy fats in order to nourish our skin cells (which are made with an outer layer of collagen and fat). If we are not eating healthy fats, it starts to reflect in a dull looking complexion.
We need good quality omega fatty acids (either from food such as salmon, nuts/walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds) or from a clean omega supplement. If our skin does not have enough healthy fat, it will start to over-produce oil, which leads to skin breakouts.
What to do to get the glow
Eat real wholefoods. Eat variety. Eat colour. Don’t over-eat. Don’t under eat. Veggies, nuts, seeds, pulses, healthy fats, proteins, and some complex carbohydrates, balance your plate with colour from plants.
If it’s not natural then don’t eat it. Minimise intake of inflammatory foods: processed foods, fried foods, trans fats, packaged foods, sugar, alcohol, artificial colours, favourings, additives.
Drink enough water (aim for approx. 30mL/kilo of body weight).
Exercise daily to help your body flush toxins via the right channels. You should aim to sweat.
Supplement if needed. Choose a quality multi vitamin to ensure you are meeting the levels your body needs. Try a good quality omega 3 fatty acid to boost the good ‘clean’ fat your skin needs.
Ensure you eat some fermented foods (and prebiotic foods) each day to encourage a good gut bacteria balance. Try miso, kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, pickled vegetables, and kombucha.
If you feel you are bloated all the time, speak to your naturopath about finding the cause of this. Often it’s linked to poor digestion. Your naturopath may prescribe some digestive enzymes to help your digestion along until its function is properly boosted.
When you feed your gut with what it needs, you will start to notice you have better looking skin.
Remember, what is happening on the inside is reflected on the outside. Make an appointment with your naturopath who can find out where your digestive health has gone off track, and pave the way back to beautiful, radiant skin and the return of your glowing confidence.
Yvette is a qualified Melbourne-based Naturopath and Nutritionist, MINDD Practitioner, member of the Naturopaths and Herbalists Association of Australia, and Complementary Medicine Association. Yvette specialises in the treatment of conditions commonly affecting women and children, with a key interest in children’s digestive and neurological conditions, as well as women’s hormonal concerns, digestive issues, fatigue, anxiety, and skin concerns. Yvette consults in South Yarra, Melbourne, as well as Australia-wide via skype/zoom/phone.
The Naturopathic Co. Melbourne Naturopath 2020