Beauty comes (also) from within

Some foods more than others can help us to keep our intestine healthy and consequently improve the external appearance of our skin. Our beauty passes (also) through our stomach.

Throughout history, the way we eat has changed numerous times. Today we have an almost endless range of diets to choose from. Diets that promise wellbeing, weight loss, muscular mass growth and support for the medical therapies we may be following. There is a diet for every need and for every goal. Some offer to eliminate gluten, others red meat and others to limit our intake of carbohydrates. There are even those who follow a diet similar to that of our ancestors in the Stone Age. Each of these dietary choices has an effect on our organism and can help us to reach the goals we have set. But, even for those who do not feel the need to adopt any of these particular regimens, following a balanced and varied diet is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle.

Our intestine is our mirror

The way we eat affects not only our physical functions, but also the external appearance of our skin. We should therefore bear in mind that after our skin, the gut is the body’s biggest filter with the outside world. It exists as an intermediary between us and the world around us and it performs an infinite series of vital functions and operations. The general health of our body and mind depends on having a healthy intestine, which means, first and foremost, digesting our food properly but also ensuing that our immune system and psychic and physical health are at maximum capacity. Taking proper care of it is essential if we want to feel strong and at our best.

The GBA (gut-brain axis)

Our digestive system is also called our “second brain”, as it is the home of our enteric nervous system. Today, we know that a "gut-brain axis" exists. Through it, our intestinal microbiota interacts and exchanges information directly with our brain cells. This means that our cognitive centre and our emotional centre are connected to our intestine. Communication flows both ways, from the brain to the gut and vice versa. The intestine can also interact with neurotransmitters, like serotonin and GABA.

This idea of the gut being the hub of our physical and mental wellbeing is not a modern concept, it has been known since the days of Hippocrates.

A few small steps for a healthy intestine

By acting on a few simple tips, we can help our intestine perform its complex functions undisturbed and facilitate its tasks wherever possible.

Just several small daily actions are enough to ensure that our diet helps our “second brain”.

  • Fibers: eating enough fibre is essential for maintaining good intestinal transit, which stops toxins building up inside our bodies for too long. This can have a variety of negative effects, even on our external appearance. So, it is important to eat enough fruit, fresh vegetables and legumes.
  • Water: Water is essential for our intestine, just as it is for any other organ. Thanks to it, our gut can absorb vitamins and precious mineral salts and it is extremely important for keeping the intestinal tract clean and active.
  • Limiting excess sugar and processed foods as they are not ideal for any part of the body, not least, our intestine. It is best to avoid these foods as they lack macro-nutrients and often contain preservatives and other substances that are not particularly healthy.
  • Yoghurt, kefir, kombucha and fermented foods in general are excellent for our intestinal bacterial flora, and according to some studies they promote the wellbeing of our intestinal microbiota, which has a positive effect on our health in general.

Another excellent source of support for our organism is dietary supplements, or better, choosing effective nutraceuticals that have been specially formulated to sustain the organism by reintegrating precious natural elements, like vitamins, hyaluronic acid, collagen and other substances that support important physical functions by providing antioxidants that combat oxidative stress and inflammatory processes.

Sources

Asse intestino cervello: una review per capire a che punto siamo arrivati” in MicroBioma.it, 14 Ottobre 2019 https://microbioma.it/neuroscienze/asse-intestino-cervello-una-review-per-capire-a-che-punto-siamo-arrivati/

Alimenti fermentati: una fonte di batteri che migliora la salute intestinale” in MicroBioma.it, 3 Luglio 2020 https://microbioma.it/alimentazione/alimenti-fermentati-una-fonte-di-batteri-che-migliora-la-salute-intestinale/

Pasolli,  De Filippis,  Mauriello,  Cumbo,  Walsh,  Leech,  Cotter,  Segata & Ercolini, “Large-scale genome-wide analysis links lactic acid bacteria from food with the gut microbiome” in Nature Communication, 2020 https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-16438-8

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