Gut health means more than having a flat stomach – what you eat and put inside that stomach of yours determines the health of your microbiome, which in turn supports the immune system, skin and digestion.
We're living in an age of sanitisation, when no germ is safe from antibacterial hand wipes and foaming cleansers. The thought that millions of bacteria live on every millimetre of our skin - and many more microbes live inside our intestinal tract - can be confronting.
Good skin health and a diverse gut microbiome go hand in hand. There is an intimate relationship between the skin and gut microbiome, influenced not only by the environment we live in but also by each other.
Adding to the diversity of your own gut microbiome by eating more prebiotics and probiotics - along with healthy unprocessed carbs, monounsaturated fats and Extra Virgin Olive Oil, lean meat and plant-based proteins - are part of the nutrition prescription to ease inflammatory and allergic skin conditions.
The skin is your body’s largest organ, and it is an important part of our immune system as well as a physical barrier protecting our vital organs.
Research is showing that the skin’s immune system works hand in hand with the microorganisms of a healthy gut microbiome to fight against unwanted pathogens and inflammation.
Like our gut, our skin is colonized by diverse microbes - no matter how much we shower or try to scrub our skin! It is regularly covered in bacteria, fungi and viruses that actually protect us from more harmful organisms.
Emerging research on the gut microbiome has led to new discoveries about how we can remain healthy for longer. Everything from our genetic propensity to disease to our mood has been scientifically found to connect with the diversity of microbes living inside us and on our skin.
The gut microbiome is constantly changing and it needs fuel to multiply and rejuvenate. It is fed by a variety of plant fibres. The Australian Health Skin Diet explains more about the power of the microbiome ... and why potato isn't 'bad' thanks to its butyrate content.
Grab a copy of the book discover more about building a natural barrier of friendly bacteria to improve your skin.
What else is in the book?
There is more information on probiotics, prebiotics and gut health in The Australian Healthy Skin Diet, along with healthy skin recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert and a four-week eating plan.