The choices you make regarding what goes into your body has an impact on your overall health long after you finish chewing and swallowing. We all know our nutrition affects our weight, but few people understand the impact it has on the health of our skin.

What is Gut-Microbiome?

Every one of us has hundreds of bacteria active in our intestines right now. Most of them are good bacteria that aid in digestion, but there is harmful bacteria that has the potential to give us diseases and make us sick. This type of bacteria is known as microbes. The collection of all of these microbes is known as the gut microbiome.

The gut microbiome plays an essential role in our digestion and our overall health. The bacteria found in our intestines are critical from the moment we are born throughout our life span. These microbes assist in our ability to digest breast milk when we are infants. They help us digest fiber as we grow and begin eating solid foods, and they help control our immune system so that we can fight off diseases. New research even has found a connection between the microbes found in your gut and the central nervous system, which controls our brains.

Unhealthy Gut and Skin Problems

While the gut contains hundreds of different kinds of bacteria, living organisms also reside on our skin. Skin bacteria also include fungi, viruses, and mites and are alive on our bodies at all times. These bacteria and other living organisms make up the skin microbiome. Both the gut and the skin act as barriers against pathogens from our outside environment. The relationship between the health of our gut and our skin is known as the gut-skin axis.

An unhealthy gut is known to cause “leaking” of harmful proteins into the body, which can irritate the skin and cause discoloration and other skin conditions. An unhealthy gut is known to cause skin problems, including inflammation, eczema, and rosacea. An imbalance in the microbes is sometimes called gut dysbiosis.

Research shows a correlation between rosacea and small intestine bacteria overgrowth. Also, individuals who suffer from IBS or irritable bowel syndrome are more likely to develop psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, and rosacea. Even if an unhealthy gut has not caused a skin disorder, chances are, issues with the gut microbiome are exasperating any skin problems you may be experiencing.

How to Keep Your Gut Healthy

To maintain your overall gut health and also improve your complexion, you should eat a well-balanced diet that includes lots of plant-based foods and also foods rich in fiber. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains help your gut produce healthy bacteria. Avoid highly processed foods as these foods suppress good bacteria. On top of fruits and vegetables, make sure to eat plenty of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, and make sure your body always stays hydrated.

Eating foods rich in probiotics such as kombucha or yogurt can help your gut grow good bacteria. A lifestyle with lots of physical activity means the gut gets movement inside your body. Such movement will encourage the production of good bacteria and further aid in the improvement of your gut microbiome.

Stress and anxiety also play an active role in the overall health of your gut. Your intestines have a barrier to prevent harmful bacteria from entering into your digestive system; stress can weaken this barrier and make it less effective. Therefore, to keep your gut healthy and promote a clear complexion, it’s essential to limit the amount of stress and anxiety you experience in your daily life.

Antibiotics kill both good and bad bacteria and can wreak havoc on your gut microbiome. After completing a round of antibiotics, make sure to take probiotics in the form of supplements, yogurt, or other food that contains these essential microorganisms.

How to Improve Your Gut Health

People who suffer poor gut health due to their nutrition can determine what foods disrupt these microbes by following an elimination diet. An elimination diet entails eliminating all common foods that are known to trigger inflammation and slowly reintroducing them into our system one at a time to determine which food is causing the issue. Patience is vital throughout the process. After this stage, many people opt to take a probiotic to reintroduce good bacteria that may have been disrupted during the elimination stage.

To maintain the overall health of your gut microbiome, make sure you are eating a healthy, plant-based diet, getting plenty of physical activity, and eating plenty of probiotics. If you are experiencing gut problems that do not respond to simple lifestyle changes, consult with a doctor or nutritionist about starting an elimination diet to determine the real culprit for your digestive issues and to begin to rebuild your gut microbiome.