Digestion Can Make or Break(out) Your Skin

Nutrition plays a pivotal role in how we look and feel. What goes in will surely affect what shows up on the outside. Before we delve into vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and super foods that will enhance your skin, we need to start with addressing digestion. Without a well-tuned digestive system, your body will not effectively absorb healthy nutrients, properly manage inflammation, enable hormone balance, and rid the body of toxins, all of which contribute to the overall health of your skin.Thanks to processed food and a habit of over-eating, more and more people are suffering from digestive issues. Even if you go to the bathroom and…you know…every day, you may still be suffering from poor digestion. Slow or burdened digestion can lead to bad bacteria growth, leaky gut, a build up of toxins, compromised immune system (not to mention makes you feel sluggish, sick, and cloudy minded). The repercussions of poor digestion can show up on your skin in a variety of ways–acne, psoriasis, rosacea, dry skin, and dark circles under your eyes.
A little personal aside: At 30 years old, I began to experience horrible cystic acne. I made it through my adolescence and teenage years without so much as a dot on my face, and at 30, I found myself feeling so insecure and canceling plans because I was too embarrassed to face people. What made it even worse was that my marketing job required me to face clients daily. I tried every scrub, facial mask, homeopathic topical treatment, cutting out coffee, even hormone balancing pills.  Thankfully, I discovered Shari and she started me on some great skin care products and PCA peels that helped quite a bit and made it easier to face the day.
Nothing worked 100% and finally, after almost 2 years of fearing the mirror, I learned more about the connection with digestion and how much it influences how we look and feel. It truly is the foundation to overall health. I met with a nutritional counselor and discovered that I had major digestive issues, leaky gut and a build up of bad yeast in my intestines (yikes).  I began to follow an intensive protocol to heal my gut. Within a month, I noticed a huge difference in how I felt and even better, how my skin looked. After three months, my skin was completely clear of acne and my scars were clearing up. And a year later, my skin is clear, supple and bright. I have healed myself from within and have regained the confidence that I had lost. Bonus–the fabulous skin care regimen that Shari prescribed was turbo charged once my digestion issues were resolved!
Here are some quick tips to help boost your digestion and prep your gut to help enhance your overall health and your skin!
1.  Skip that after dinner snack and try to allow at least 12 hours between dinner and breakfast so that a complete digestive cycle can occur.  This mini-fast will allow the body to heal and restore. If your body is busy digesting food overnight due to late night snacking, it is overburdened and cannot complete the innate repair and restoration it should.
2.  Start each morning off with a full glass of lemon water to hydrate the cells (which includes the skin) and wake up digestion. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to aid with the elimination of toxins. Keep a full thermos with you during the day to help keep your water intake up.
3. Incorporate a complex probiotic to your daily routine. You can find a variety of probiotics in the refrigerated section of your local health food store. Probiotics contain healthy bacteria that will enhance the healthy bacteria in the gut, which aids in digestion.
4. Incorporate a serving of fermented foods or beverages with every meal or at least daily to help rev up digestion–think, kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, etc.  Same concept as above, it helps feed and build up healthy bacteria in the digestive system.
5. This should go without saying in 2016, but skip the processed food and limit sugar!  If something is meant to live on a shelf for a year, imagine how difficult it is for your body to break it down in a single digestive cycle. Sugar feeds bad bacteria and causes inflammation in the body. Just say NO!
Follow these suggestions to jumpstart your health and clear the way (pun intended) for your body to begin to absorb necessary nutrients and minerals to help balance the body and make you look and feel fabulous! Stay tuned for more articles on nutrition and skin!
About the Author: Heather Burchfield is a Certified Holistic Nutrition Coach and Pilates Instructor who lives in Charleston, SC. She enjoys working with clients to help improve their health so they can truly live, love and enjoy a vibrant life. For more information on Heather’s services, please email hbnutritioncoach@gmail.com.