Health and Nutrition

How fibre benefits your skin

How fibre benefits your skin. We all know fibre is key to gut health by keeping us regular, helping controlling blood sugar levels and lowering cholesterol. Did you know that fibre can benefit your skin as well?

What is fibre?

Dietary fibre is a type of carbohydrate that the body can’t digest, instead it passes through the body undigested.

Fibre comes in two varieties:

Soluble fibre – dissolves in water. It acts like food for your gut microbiota, which are friendly microorganisms that keep your gut healthy.

Insoluble fibre – absorbs water. It keeps things running smoothly through the gut.

What is the gut-skin axis?

The term ‘gut-skin axis’ describes the connection between your gastrointestinal tract and skin. Your skin is a powerful reflection of what’s happening on the inside, and chronic skin conditions such as acne, mild eczema and psoriasis can often be an indicator of dysbiosis (disruption to the microbiota caused by an imbalance in the microflora). If your digestive health is poor the gut becomes over run with bad bacteria, leading to inflammation. If your gut is out of balance or inflamed in any way, your skin is usually one of the first places you will notice problems such as redness, sensitivity, and even the breakdown of collagen which can speed up the signs of ageing, also known as inflammaging.  

Did you know that people with rosacea and acne are at least ten times more likely to have gut issues? And that 34% of people with IBS show skin manifestations?

Most fibre makes its way to the large intestine where it can be utilised by different types of beneficial bacteria as food. This process, called bacterial fermentation, results in the production of short chain fatty acids. Two common short-chain fatty acids are called acetate and butyrate. They benefit your body because they reduce inflammation.

Other benefits include:

  • Preventing bad bacteria from growing in your intestines.
  • Increasing your body’s ability to absorb minerals.

How can you get more fibre in your diet to help your skin?

Eating fruits and vegetables in whole form, rather than juice, ensures that you get more fibre and less sugar. A kiwi fruit or apple eaten with skin and all is an excellent way to increase fibre. 

Incorporate legumes such as lentils and beans into your diet.   

Use concentrated sources of fibre such flaxseed and chia seeds. 

Snack on nuts and seeds.

Take a fibre supplement. If you’re wanting to use a supplement, speak to your naturopath or nutritionist on the best form for you. Gradually increase how much fibre you take. You’ll also want to drink more water. For every 10 grams of fibre you eat, drink about 2 cups of water to help it absorb correctly.

Skin microbiome

Did you know your skin also has its own microbiome? Just like nurturing your gut health for better skin, you also need to create an environment for your skin’s microbiome to thrive. Your gut microbiome appears to have an influence on the skin microbiome. Short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) resulting from fibre fermentation in the gut can promote the growth of certain skin microbes, which regulate skin inflammation.

What you put on your skin is just as important as what you eat! The wrong products especially those that strip the skin of natural oils and change the pH level will cause an imbalance in the skin’s microbiome. This can lead to issues like dryness, acne, irritation, and exacerbate inflammatory skin conditions like rosacea and eczema. 

Avoid products with sulfate-based detergents, ingredients formulated with PEGs and PGs, parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde and fragrance. – 8 toxic ingredients to avoid in your skin care.

For more information on “How fibre benefits your skin” or to book a naturopathic consultation please contact Beata at B inspired healthy lifestyle.

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