If you're working toward more radiant and glowing skin, you might be surprised to know that the answer lies more in your digestive tract rather than on how much you're spending on creams and cleansers. If we look a bit closer at how our digestive system works, it begins to make a lot of sense. Among other functions, our digestive system is the main place where we absorb beauty nutrients from our foods, as well as the main place where we dispel toxins through elimination. If the digestive system isn't working optimally, breakouts, eczema, redness and dull skin can ensue.
When the digestive system struggles to eliminate toxins effectively, it will partner up with other organs and eliminate toxins that way. Since your skin is your body's largest organ, it's no surprise that acne, rosacea, and dermatitis crop up when something's off internally.
What Causes Poor Digestion?
Suboptimal digestion is quite common today, and is caused by numerous factors including:
Eating a diet high in processed foods, refined carbohydrates and sugar
Eating too many dairy products
Eating foods to which you have sensitivities (gluten and eggs, for example)
Great skin can do wonders for your confidence and pocket book (think, no more acne treatments and expensive cover-ups)! Incorporating these six daily tips into your routine, along side enough sleep, will help uncover your own radiant and glowing skin. After a few weeks of instituting these changes, you may choose to never go back.
1. Ditch dairy, sugar, gluten and soy (at least temporarily)
Many people have food allergies, but even more have food sensitivities. Often skin conditions are caused by these sensitive foods; many people go for years without ever addressing the core problem. If there is one thing that you try in this list, this is it. Quit these four common sensitive foods for three weeks and watch your skin transform. These foods can lead to intestinal inflammation and affect your healthy gut flora and thus, overall digestion and skin.
2. Take a daily probiotic
Support your gut flora by taking a daily probiotic supplement. These “good bacteria” live in our digestive tract and help keep our pH levels in a place allowing our bodies to absorb skin-benefiting nutrients and also help with the removal of wastes. You can also get these good probiotics in raw sauerkraut and kombucha.
3. Supplement with raw apple cider vinegar
Raw apple cider vinegar (or commonly referred to as just "ACV") is one of nature’s best digestive aids. This little miracle is good for a host of functions in the body, including, the promotion of optimal digestion, cleansing your digestive tract and helping those friendly bacteria grow in the body. When you purchase ACV, look for “raw” and “unfiltered.” (Ideally, you'd buy a label that says “with the mother,” so you can gain all the benefits). You can add ACV to your salad dressings or even take a tablespoon mixed with water to get the benefits.
4. Take digestive enzymes
Your body makes its own digestive enzymes, but often times our bodies do not make enough to break down everything we consume, especially as we age. Supplementing with digestive enzymes is beneficial for the absorption of all the nutrients necessary for beautiful skin. By helping to promote efficient digestion, digestive enzymes help the body renew damaged cells while also decrease constipation – a key for glowing skin. Look for plant-based enzymes to avoid contaminants from non-organic animal-based enzymes.
What you put in your body is arguably more important for your skin than what you put on it. Eating a whole food based diet, rich in vegetables and fruits, is the best way to promote your digestive tract and skin on the path to wellness. Supplementing your diet with nuts, seeds, whole grains (such as quinoa, millet and amaranth) as well as legumes is great. If you do eat animal products, ensure you’re sticking to organic pasture-raised and grass fed varieties and consuming meat no more than once per day. Animal products have no fiber and back up your digestive tract as a result.
6. Move your body every day
While you shouldn’t exercise on a full stomach, movement is essential to your digestive system’s function. By increasing your heart rate once per day you are helping circulate nutrients to your skin and push toxins out. Further, certain stretches and yoga postures (such as seated spinal twists) can help promote elimination. Exercise also helps lower your stress levels, leading to healthier, younger looking skin.
Three weeks to glowing skin and healthy digestion! Keep me posted on what works for you!