It seems that we have been hearing a lot lately about the benefits of adding probiotics (the good bacteria) to our diets. Another word creeping in is “microbiome”.
The microbiome can be defined as “the combined genetic material of the microorganisms in our intestinal tract”. They protect us against germs, and break down food to produce energy and vitamins. In short, they literally control our health!
So this subject is not as boring as you may have thought! The interconnectedness of our gut, brain, immune and hormonal systems is real. Just ask any woman who has an unwanted break-out the week before her cycle about the way hormones can affect the skin! This brings us to the link between inflammation (a by-product of bad gut flora) and the burden it places on the liver to process our hormones correctly. Balancing hormones begins in the gut, so it best to foster the best gut health possible.
According to Dr. Nigma Talib, Naturopathic Dr. and Aesthetician, as one balances the good bacteria, the skin becomes smoother, more hydrated, fine lines and wrinkles begin to disappear, and skin tone improves. Most people are aware that probiotics can be added to our diet through Greek yogurt and supplements (30-50 billion is good), but topical use of probiotics in skincare products have been shown to enhance the skin’s defense barrier and increase its immune response. Whether you are dealing with acneic, aging, or sensitive skin, probiotics help with decreasing inflammation,activating immunity, and decreasing water loss.
Using probiotics to fight acne has shown real promise as an alternative to harsh, stripping ingredients, as well as a preventative! This can lead to faster healing and clearing. Lessening inflammation means lowering reactivity-this becomes important for rosacea and other inflammatory skin conditions. I am now adding in some wonderful masks and moisturizers with probiotics to my facials, as the skin care industry makes these products more available. Just ask your skin care professional about them.
So what are some additional ways to enhance our lives and diets with good probiotics?
- Eating clean! Reducing your intake of processed and sweetened foods, adding in naturally fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha, and yogurt. Other great choices include eating more fiber- bananas, blueberries, beans, cruciferous veggies like broccoli and kale.
- Eat less animal products
- Lower stress
- Get better sleep
- Limit antibiotics
Your journey to more beautiful skin just got a little easier!