Improve your gut microbiome and skin

This post will cover three important subjects and includes a handy Gut Loving Food Guide so you can add it to your shopping list.

  1. The skinny on supplements
  2. Gut microbiome testing in the UK
  3. Food with benefits
image of the gut
Photographer: julien Tromeur | Source: Unsplash

Gut-Skin Axis is a popular topic since researchers have found a link between your gut health and your skin. It has been noted that when your gut health (or digestive balance) is off, your skin can become irritated through breakouts, sensitivity, redness, ageing and more.

So, the wellness industry has spoken and suggested we put our guts under the microscope since our guts hold the secret to our skin issues. People are looking for a more holistic approach to skincare and recognise that we cannot get everything we need from topical products. We have to feed our skin from the inside.

Summer is long gone, and our glowing, bronzed skin is fading fast. What’s left? Thirsty, dull and perhaps irritated skin. Why? This could be the cause of the overindulgence in summer treats. Who doesn’t have one too many ice creams? Who doesn’t love to ditch the kitchen in favour of a pub garden meal or reach for some ready-made magic to allow for a bit more chill time in the sun?

Like all things pleasurable, there is usually a cost. And in this case, perhaps our guts are paying, and the debt is showing on our skin!

We must focus on the skin-gut axis and the relationship between intestinal bacteria and skin health. Yes, there are gut health skin supplements. What are the best supplements for skin health, you ask?

skingut axis
Photographer: Coline Haslé | Source: Unsplash

If you read one of our recent blogs on the Immune System, you’d see that the supplement industry can be questionable. 19 Immune supplement products sold on Amazon were not labelled correctly, leaving consumers paying for something they weren’t receiving.

The take?

Where possible, keep it real with real ingredients to improve gut health.

At Love Struck, we are all about #ingredientswithbenefits.

If you’re one of those people wondering, ‘why is my skin so bad all of a sudden?’ Have you considered your gut and what’s going on in there?

IBD (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) has been linked to lesions and other skin disorders. This study reveals the importance of addressing gut health, and by doing so, the results will far exceed any cosmetics or topical treatments. It really is all about the inside.

Where Can I Get a Gut Microbiome Test in the UK?

Let’s reword this. Should I get a gut microbiome test?

If you type out this question in Google, you’ll be bombarded with tons of articles and offers for an array of services regarding the gut microbiome test, but to find real evidence that these tests are conclusive is an absolute mission. This is because gut microbiome testing is still relatively new. The Association of UK Dietitians say,

the science is not at a stage that can support testing and treatments programmes

If you read their article, you’ll see that you and so many others are slightly too early to benefit from these tests. The spotlight is most definitely on the gut, though, so it won’t be long before we’ll know more, and the testing process will be fully tested and ready to give individual answers to the right questions.

Until then, be cautious of commercial tests and all that they bring. Some will suggest supplements and certain lifestyle changes, all at a significant cost that cannot be justified at this early stage.

How to Have a Healthy Gut: Food with Benefits

Keeping ourselves well-fed and watered is the key to good general health. Keep processed food at an absolute minimum and get as much real food – #foodwithbenefits into your daily routine as possible.

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Photographer: Julian Hochgesang | Source: Unsplash

When restoring an out-of-whack gut microbiome, probiotics are the hero live bacteria we get from some foods and supplements. They support gut and immune health. Studies have shown encouraging results from probiotics with the prevention and treatment of gastrointestinal diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome and the subsequent link to inflammatory skin conditions, including eczema and dermatitis.

Our list of gut-loving foods can immediately be added to your weekly shop. Some are easy swaps and add-ins, but others may take a bit more prep. We have included some convenient ‘go-tos’ for your freezer, so you don’t need to rely on sourcing fresh fruit and veg daily!

  • Yoghurt – a great source of friendly bacteria (probiotics) to add to your daily bowl of fruit or smoothie.
  • Kefir – is an important probiotic drink that you can easily make into a salad dressing by adding a squeeze of lemon. Or add to your daily smoothie.
  • Ginger – will help with the production of stomach acid and stimulate the digestive system. Great in a chicken stir fry but on the days you aren’t stir-frying, check out our Detox Zing with ginger and banana, which is next on the list.
  • Banana – your good bacteria will love this fibre fuel, and who doesn’t love a banana after dinner to tend to that sweet craving? And if not, try the delicious CaFiend Smoothie with banana, coconut, fig, maple syrup, and flaxseed. How else can you add ALL of these #foodwithbenefits into your day?
  • Almonds – another great fibre fuelled snack your friendly bacteria will love, and they’re full of fatty acids and polyphenols, too. They make for a great bedtime snack, or if you need a choc fix, why not melt some 85% dark choc and stir through almonds, refrigerate and treat yourself?
  • Olive oil – gut bacteria and gut microbes love the fatty acids and polyphenols this oil provides. Invest in some quality extra virgin olive oil and add it to salads and soups.
  • Garlic – with antibacterial and antifungal properties to keep bad bacteria under control and balance yeast in the gut. Pre-grate or mince a batch for the fridge and add to just about any savoury dish.
  • Brussel Sprouts – help combat unhealthy bacteria such as H pylori, and though they can be an acquired taste, if you cook with tons of garlic and black pepper, they can be very tasty.
  • Fermented vegetables – bring the benefits of probiotic bacteria along with vitamins and fibre. Kimchi and sauerkraut are two examples that make great side dishes for fish or meat.
  • Sourdough – an easy swap from your usual bread. This fermented bread is more digestible with slow energy release. Perfect for toasting.
  • Miso – with helpful bacteria and enzymes, this is a staple product for soups and marinades. Perfect with salmon or tofu.
  • PeasGive Peas a Chance is a tasty soup, ready in a few easy minutes. Peas are full of soluble and insoluble fibre to help keep your system in balance.
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Give Peas a Chance

In conclusion

The skin is the perfect ‘tell’ in terms of what is going on inside the body. If irritated, inflamed or congested, chances are there’s an imbalance in your gut. The skin is the body’s largest organ, and the body expels toxins and waste through it, so it really is our first point of defence against harmful bacteria and pathogens.

Most skin conditions seem linked to gut health, but diagnosing it can be tricky. Sometimes it’s obvious. Too much dairy can trigger indigestion, for example. One too many ice creams over the summer will do that. Hives, rash or eczema may just be payback time.

Make next summer about healthy smoothies and shakes and leave the ice cream for the odd trip to Italy, perhaps. Tweak some habits today to reap the rewards with gut health and glowing skin tomorrow.

We are here to help with that transition. #GetLoveStruckWithLife


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