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While I was ill, I thought of writing a post about how to promote good gut health and glowing skin because my skin was breaking out. I knew my break out had nothing to do with skincare but the fact that I wasn’t eating well and not eating the right kind of food affected my skin.
So what is the right kind of food that not only heal your gut but makes your skin glow? I did my research and I have compiled 6 lists which I hope you enjoy. But before the list, let me take you through how the gut works.
The gut is the house of good and bad bacteria. These bacteria may be small yet so powerful. Any imbalance triggers the skin problems like dry skin, acne, premature aging, oxidation and lots more. The bacteria in your body work in such a way that it assimilates nutrients the skin needs to protect and repair itself. It also protects the gut lining from inflammation and UV damage that ages the skin. In fact, there was particular research where intestinal microflora was studied in 114 patients with acne, 54% of them had what the researchers referred to as “impaired” gut bacteria.
Here are the top 6 lists of foods that promote good gut health and glowing skin.
With the right kind of vitamin, your skin can look young, fresher and smoother. The gold standard vitamin for anti-aging is vitamin A. Vitamin A (Retinol) helps with fine lines, and wrinkles and keeps the skin glowing by stimulating collagen production.
You can find Vitamin A in foods of animal origin but there is an alternative – beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is a prominent member of the carotenoids family. When you eat beta-carotene, your liver will take about two to four hours to convert it to vitamin A which is then useful for your skin. You can find beta-carotene carrots, eggs, liver, kale, papaya and pumpkin. The daily dose of vitamin A for women is 700 RE and 900 RE for men.
Skin Glowing Foods
This vitamin is a family of carotenoids. They protect your skin from sun damage and make your skin glow. They are called astaxanthin.
Astaxanthin is a very powerful antioxidant, a photoprotective and anti-inflammatory carotenoid that can be found in lobsters, salmon, and crayfish. It can also be found in plants such as microalgae. You would notice astaxanthin are mostly pink in colour.
A study of 30 healthy females was carried out in Japan for 8 weeks. Participants were given 6mg of Astaxanthin oral supplementation and 2ml of topical application. This study showed improved skin improvement in wrinkles, age spots, elasticity, texture, and moisture content. There was overall skin improvement and skin was glowing not only in women but also in men.
Skin Barrier Improvement Foods
The skin barrier is like a brick wall that protects the skin from UV damage and other toxins. The best vitamin that is up to the task of improving the skin barrier is Niacin (Vitamin B3). You will also find in skincare ingredients known as niacinamide.
Niacin was first discovered in the 18th century when a serious skin condition associated with niacin deficiency was discovered. The disease is named Pellegra and it is associated with dermatitis, diarrhoea, dementia and death. Nowadays, it is uncommon to be niacin deficient but there are some places that still have this disease. One of its symptoms is rough, dry and hard skin.
Also, high levels of niacin can cause skin flush which is characterized as a burning, hot or stinging sensation on the face and chest. So take niacin in moderation. The recommended niacin for men and women is 16NE and 14NE for females. Foods containing niacin are peanuts, fish, meat, wholewheat bread, and wheat bran.
The Bacterial Skin Foods
These are the kind of foods that are specific to balancing the good and bad bacteria. Good bacteria secrete vitamin B12 when we ingest foods from fermented sources like yoghurt and milk.
Deficiency of vitamin B12 has been linked with the skin which includes vitiligo, pale skin or hyperpigmentation. Older people often suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency as the body is unable to absorb the vitamin with advancing age.
Collagen Booster Foods
When you think of collagen boosting foods, think of foods containing vitamin C. Once you ingest vitamin C containing foods, it is transported from the bloodstream to the skin’s epidermis and dermis. Research has shown higher levels of vitamin C in human skin than in other parts of the body. This knowledge was used for the rationale for the application of vitamin C topically on the skin,
Vitamin C protects your skin from UV damage, heals wounds and is a great antioxidant. You can find vitamin C in blackcurrants, strawberries, orange, red pepper and broccoli. While ingesting vitamin C is good for the skin, topical application of vitamin C is direct and better for collagen synthesis.
The Sun Food
You don’t even have to go too far to get this vitamin because the skin itself synthesizes the vitamin. But most time, it is not enough to protect us from UV damage. That is why you need to eat foods containing vitamin D.
You can find vitamin D in Salmon, egg yolk, milk or yoghurt, and vitamin D fortified plant-based products.
It is not easy sourcing food that promote good gut health and glowing skin but here they are. Imagine eating foods not just to keep you healthy but also to keep your skin healthy, that is a win-win.
I hope you enjoyed this post. Took me a long time to write but I am glad to have written this. Happy New Year once again.