Have you ever noticed that you tend to break out after you snack on high-sugar foods like cookies or candy bars? Have you ever admired someone who always seems to have glowing, radiant skin only to find out that they’re following a plant-based diet?
Both of these things are connected. The old adage “you are what you eat” has a lot of truth to it, yet we often forget that.
Your body’s gut microbiome isn’t isolated from the rest of your body like experts once believed. In fact, we now know that it plays a significant role in other important organ systems like the cardiovascular system, immune system, and your epidermis - aka your skin.
When things are a little off in your gut microbiome - meaning you have an abnormal balance of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and protozoa - it will impact your skin.
Researchers are still learning about the ways gut health can impact conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea, but there’s no need to wait for science to catch up. There’s plenty that’s already known that you can learn from.
Though scientists are still learning more about the connection the gut and skin have, it’s clear that the immune system plays an important role.
Your gut microbiome contains good bacteria that generate beneficial molecules like digestive enzymes and short-chain fatty acids. Not only do these improve immunity, but they also help your body trigger inflammatory responses.
However, there are harmful bacteria in the gut that causes inflammation, and many common skin conditions are inflammatory conditions, such as psoriasis, eczema, and rosacea.
So, how do you control your body’s levels of good and bad bacteria? On one front, if your diet doesn’t contain enough probiotics from fibrous foods, good bacteria in the gut can be flushed out in favor of unhealthy bacteria.
When good bacteria becomes outnumbered by bad bacteria, your gut’s lining will become compromised. This is known as leaky gut and can lead to harmful bacteria entering your bloodstream. When this happens, it can cause inflammation - especially in your skin.
Your body’s outer layer has a microbiome of its own, forming a barrier that prevents infection by keeping pathogens out. Yet, if this microbiome is out of balance, the barrier is prone to being breached.
When your microbiome’s barrier isn’t preventing irritants and allergens from entering through your epidermis, your body isn’t able to trap moisture that is needed to keep your skin hydrated and healthy.
For example, the bacteria responsible for acne - Cutibacterium acnes - induces the production of sebum, inflammation, and the creation of pimples.
When comparing people with healthy skin to those who suffer from common skin issues and conditions, those with healthy skin are significantly less likely to have bad bacteria in their gut and skin microbiome.
Your gut and your skin are connected, but there’s another factor to pay attention to - your brain. The brain, gut, and skin all communicate, though scientists are still learning how exactly this happens.
One thing is clear, however: Compounds produced in your gut send signals to your brain. These signals can impact your mood and your stress level, which can then affect your skin. Stress is known to trigger psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, and acne.
Many people struggle with stress eating, which can be a never-ending cycle if your gut is impacting your stress levels. Poor eating impacts your gut health, leading to increased stress levels, leading to stress eating.
Better eating obviously helps, but getting a handle on your stress is also vital. If self-care is something you struggle with, check out our blog: 4 Self-Care Practices that Help Your Stress and Immunity Problems
If you want to have clearer, healthier skin, the first step is to address your gut health. The quickest way to fix your gut health is to limit or remove the foods in your diet that cause inflammation.
Start by trying to eliminate or cut back on processed foods. Processed foods are often low in fiber and limit the growth of good bacteria in your gut. Additionally, these foods are known to increase the growth of harmful bacteria in your gut.
When you cut back on processed foods, you’ll automatically cut back on your intake of added sugars. Refined sugars and carbohydrates are proven to cause acne and can even cause premature aging, in addition to other health issues.
Pathogenic fungi feed off of sugars in your gut. Removing their food source reduces their growth, which is huge for your gut health.
Center your diet around whole foods, including options that are full of fiber, anti-inflammatory, and nutrient-rich. If you do decide to include carbs in a meal, try for something that is minimally processed. Some healthy examples are quinoa, sweet potatoes, steel-cut oats, multigrain bread, and wild/brown rice.
Anyone who wants healthier skin and a healthier gut should make a greens juice part of their daily diet. When you eat your greens, you're fueling your body with nature's most powerful medicine: phytonutrients.
In other words, the most powerful source of nutrients you can get is from plants! Without plant foods like kale, spirulina, aloe vera, cilantro, lemon, and other superfoods our bodies wouldn’t receive the amazing vitamins and minerals that come from those foods.
Your gut loves all of these superfoods and the nutrients they provide. If you want healthier, clearer skin, this is the way to go.
That’s why we recommend our Organic Pressed Greens. This tasty greens juice is packed with 22 different superfoods that are sure to give your skin what it needs. If you want to have radiant skin all year around, then it’s time to give your gut what it needs!