The Gut/Skin Connection – mindbodygreen

The first step to healthy, radiant skin is balancing digestive health. If you think about a garden, the soil is like our gut. It needs the right nutrient levels and bacterial balance to support the plants and for them to be strong, their leaves robust, and their flowers to blossom. For our skin to be strong and lustrous and radiant, we also need the right bacterial and nutrient balance in our gut.

Our gut is home to a large portion of our immune system. It’s where we make nutrients (that make collagen), antioxidants (that protect our skin), metabolize hormones, neutralize pathogens, and make neurotransmitters and detoxifying enzymes, so it’s little wonder that the state of the gut has a profound effect on our skin.

The cell danger response (CDR) is the evolutionarily conserved metabolic response that protects cells and hosts from harm. The skin, hair, and nails are the last places to get nutrients that go to more important organs first. If we’re not getting enough nutrients or digesting our food properly due to poor gut health, our skin will start to starve. This affects skin elasticity and collagen production and will manifest in dull, lackluster skin with poor tone. Studies show that those with good digestion have a healthier fatty-acids profile in their skin, making their skin plumper, more hydrated, and more moisturized.

Here are a few ways you can go about achieving a healthy gut and a radiant, glowing complexion.

1. Consume high levels of antioxidants.

Photo: The Beauty Chef

A diet rich in antioxidants is nature’s internal skin care regime, helping to fight rogue free radicals and repair cell damage. Antioxidants are abundant in vibrantly colored vegetables; fish; mushrooms; legumes; seeds; leeks, onions, and garlic; green tea; and black tea. My new book is filled with gut-loving recipes that are nutritious, delicious, packed with antioxidants, and will feed your cells and your gut microbes.

2. Stay hydrated.

Drink 2 liters of clean, filtered…

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