How the gut microbiome can help you?
We’ve all heard lots of talk about the gut and how it influences many other things in our bodies, including the skin. In the small and large intestines there are trillions of microbes such as bacteria, fungi, yeast and viruses. Before you freak out it is important to know that they have a job to do such as digestion and metabolism as well as maintaining your immune system. Some gut microbes even produce molecules that help make vitamins or hormones that are used by the body.
How do they get in there you may ask? From our food, most things get destroyed by the stomach acid but some things get through and live in the gut. The gut microbiome changes and is affected by diet, medications and illness so keeping it happy keeps our bodies happy too. When there is an imbalance between healthy and unhealthy microbes we get gut dysbiosis. How do you know you have that? You get things like constipation, diarrhea, bloating and issues with acid reflux. It is also thought to be linked to things like diabetes or bowel diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
This sounds scary but it’s not and if it worries you there are easy ways to fix a gut microbiome imbalance. Eat lots of colorful fruits and vegetables the key is variety. Researchers at Ohio State University found that when they fed pigs tomatoes for two weeks it diversified their gut microbes. They will be testing this out in humans too! Another way to improve the gut microbiome is to add fiber. 25g for women and 35g for men, a day will keep the bowels moving, lower cholesterol and even out sugar levels. Keeping processed foods at a low also helps. Adding fermented foods like yogurt, kimchi and helps bring good bacteria into your gut microbiome to lower your intestine’s pH level. Low pH (acidic) kills off bad bacteria leaving good bacteria to do things like produce essential vitamins like B12 and K. Avoid antibiotics if possible because they destroy the bad and good microbes in the gut Taking too many acid reducing products also raise the pH in your stomach giving pathogens you eat a chance to survive and change the microbiome. Probiotic and prebiotic supplements can add missing good bacteria. Prebiotics are found in artichokes and apples and feed healthy bacteria. Probiotics are living bacteria such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium that can help the gut. There are lots of types of probiotics that help different things from IBS to reducing inflammation. There is evidence that eating probiotics can prevent skin issues such as aging, acne, rosacea, yeast and bacterial infections, psoriasis and dermatitis.So bring on that yoghurt for beautiful skin and body!