The gut is the barrier between the digestive system and the body’s circulation. Many substances like allergens, alcohol, medications, food additives, and more can irritate the lining of the gut and cause it to become inflamed. When the gut becomes irritated, the body starts a war with the gut and starts ramping up its stress responses. A couple of these responses may mean bacteria can get out of the gut or get out of the skin causing skin infections.
Because of the impact an inflamed gut has on the skin, it is important to fuel your bodies with food that doesn’t inflame the gut, I am not saying you have to cut out everything that causes inflammation, but I recommend trying to find substitutes where you can to help reduce gut irritation.
One category of foods that can cause irritation in the gut, and can easily be substituted, is dairy. Cow’s milk contains a growth hormone to help promote healthy growth in calves. However, this same growth hormone causes inflammation in humans. Substitute cow’s milk with almond milk, coconut milk, oat milk, or any other substitute I haven’t mentioned. I have recently cut out a lot of dairy and am hoping to continue cutting out more dairy after researching this article.
Another category of foods that causes irritation to the gut is sugar. Sugar is hard to avoid, so it is important to choose foods lower on the glycemic index. Foods low on the glycemic index are digested more slowly so the blood sugar levels do not rise as quickly as with foods higher on the glycemic index.
One way suggested to promote good gut health and lower inflammation in the gut is to use prebiotics in conjunction with probiotics. Probiotics are microorganisms that work with the good bacteria in the gut to fight off the bad bacteria. Prebiotics are a inuin soluble fiber, meaning they pass through the digestive system without being digested. Once they get to the gut they act as a food for the probiotics helping them stay strong in the fight against the bad bacteria.
Probiotics are typically found in fermented foods. Some of my favorite fermented foods are yogurt and kombucha. Some of my favorite prebiotic sources are honey, garlic, apples, dark chocolate, and bananas.
Stay tuned later this week for more prebiotic and probiotic options!