If you’ve been following along with our recent blog posts, you’d know that we’ve been talking about the skin microbiome for a while now! Today, we’re going to touch on something that we haven’t discussed yet – the gut microbiome.
Much like our skin, our gut contains a thriving ecosystem of bacteria that boost digestion and immunity, amongst a host of other health benefits. But this robust community is slowly becoming less and less common in the guts of people these days. In a bid to reduce exposure to harmful microbes, excessive water purification, hygiene, and food processing have risen in popularity. The effect of these practices is twofold. While they inarguably decrease the number of “bad” bacteria in our organs and thus protect us from infectious diseases, they also simultaneously limit the amount of “good” bacteria present in our bodies. Eventually, this reduced exposure to healthy bacteria may lead to an increased frequency of autoimmune diseases and allergies.
It might seem strange to imagine that what happens in your gut affects what happens on our skin, but that’s precisely the case with our gut and skin microbiome. Scientists have found that what a person eats plays a key role in regulating their overall health, which ultimately has a direct impact on the state of their skin. For instance, regularly consuming foods that are high in sodium, sugar, grease, or excessive consumption of alcohol can lead to spots, inflammation, eczema, and rosacea on the skin. On the other hand, fermented foods and beverages such as sauerkraut, acar, kefir, miso, kombucha, and kimchi increase the amount of beneficial live cultures present in our diets.
It’s easy to know – in theory – that we need to make healthier food choices. But actually committing to making these choices is a whole other story. I’d be the first person to complain about the lack of processed foods in my life, but here’s where compromise comes in. If you, like me, are unable (or simply unwilling) to completely eliminate unhealthy food from your diet, then you can try the 20/80 method!
This means that instead of never touching chips or chocolate ever again, you commit to eating healthy for 5 days of the week, and then have a looser diet over the remaining 2 days. I know this seems like a daunting commitment to make, but I promise it gets easier over time! All it takes is patience until this system because your routine, and then you’ll be able to enjoy not just a happy gut microbiome, but also a healthy skin microbiome!
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