Could poor digestive health be causing your skin problems? Editor Trudi Brewer reveals why our gut is the unsung hero of our bodies health and wellbeing.
When it comes to beauty and achieving that enviable all-over glow, the state of your gut probably isn't the first thing that springs to mind! It might surprise you to know, however, that your intestines not only play a crucial role in your general health, but also in the appearance of your skin, hair and nails. Here is everything you need to know about your digestive system and how it benefits your entire body.
What’s going on in your gut
The gastrointestinal system, or gut, is a group of organs stretching from your mouth down to your colon. Its main role is to process food and water, extracting the vital nutrients our bodies need to live and stay healthy. Numerous studies have demonstrated important links between this complex system and our general health, including our immune system, mood, mental health, skin conditions and obesity.
Gut health generally refers to the wide variety of microorganisms living in your intestines. The 'gut microbiome', as it is known, is made up of 300 to 500 different species of good bacteria, which are essential for fighting disease and staying healthy. Many things can upset the delicate balance of our gut microbiome, including poor diet, taking antibiotics, stress and lack of exercise. An imbalanced gut will impair your body's ability to absorb nutrients, which has a huge impact on our inner health and outer appearance.
Signs of an unhealthy gut
Some of the signs of an unhealthy gut are fairly obvious (gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhoea and heartburn) but others might surprise you. Unintentional weight loss or weight gain can be signs of an out-of-whack gut, as can disturbed sleep or feeling constantly tired. Inflammation in the gut caused by poor diet (we're looking at you, sugar!) has been shown to irritate the skin and cause conditions like eczema, while impaired digestion can lead to food intolerances.
Boosting your gut health
Happily, there are some simple ways to boost your gut health. Drinking plenty of water and ditching processed food in favour of a diet that is high in fibre and low in refined sugar is the best place to start, as this will help your gut microbiome to flourish. Eating slowly and chewing every mouthful thoroughly can ease any digestive discomfort and promote the maximum absorption of nutrients. Finally, take a probiotic or nutritional supplement, which are designed to support a healthy gut and promote beauty from within.
Swisse supplements we swear by
Swisse Ultiboost Inner Balance Probiotic 35 Billion, $40.
A healthy body starts with a healthy diet - however, for most of us, we need to top that up with a natural probiotic. Good bacterial growth in your gut requires you to cut back on those processed sugars and ramp up healthy food such as vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds, greek yogurt, sauerkraut, and miso. Taking a daily probiotic supplement boosts that good bacteria in your tummy while supporting an efficient, digestive system, which ensures your skin looks blemish-free and healthy. Unlike other probiotic supplements, Swisse Ultiboost Inner Balance Probiotic 35 Billion does not need to be refrigerated, it’s convenient (we keep ours on the desk in the office) take one tablet daily, and rest assured the results will show on your face - fast.
Swisse Women’s Ultivite Multivitamin, 60’s, $39.
At this time of the year, work pressure and social engagements often mean you lack in those vital antioxidant vitamins and iron. A great backup supplement to a probiotic is a balanced multivitamin. Packed with energy giving vitamin B's such as 1, 2, 5, 6, and 12; folic acid, vitamin C, magnesium, iron, and zinc - it’s all you need to help keep your body in peak condition, energy levels up to help manage the demands of the festive season ahead.