Skin, the largest organ in our body, provides us with a glimpse into the health of our digestive tract. Struggling with breakouts, rashes, uneven complexion, and prematurely aging skin is a sign that your GUT and overall health may be in turmoil.

Here are 5 foods to incorporate on a daily basis to help rehabilitate a compromised digestive tract and reclaim your outer glow from within.

Vegetables- eating a colorful variety of vegetables ensures that you are getting ample vitamins and minerals required for healthy skin and GUT. Fiber-rich vegetables are the best source of pre-biotics, nutrients which feed and sustain probiotics in your GUT. Fiber also helps keep your bowel habits regular. Those who suffer from constipation more often struggle with chronic skin issues, such as acne and eczema. Kefir makes a great snack or healthy drink between meals.

Sauerkraut-  Made from fermented cabbage, this food is rich in probiotics and l-glutamine. Probiotics protect your GUT from infectious invaders and opportunistic bacteria/yeast already present in your GI system. If you’re probiotic deficient, your GI tract is more vulnerable to infections and imbalances. L-glutamine is an integral nutrient for the function & integrity of your small intestine, which helps to repair a “leaky gut” and solve recurrent skin problems from within. My favorite use of sauerkraut is to add 2 tablespoons on top of my eggs every morning!  

Kefir- a fermented milk drink, similar to yogurt, is extremely rich in probiotics. It also contains a unique carbohydrate, Kefiran, which has been studied for its skin healing properties. Research has shown that consumption of kefir can reduce flares in those suffering from eczema and psoriasis. Also if you are a dairy lover, but don’t typically tolerate lactose well, kefir may be your dairy “freebie” as it is lower in lactose than other dairy-based foods.  

Gelatin- if you’re looking for a guilt-free dessert option that helps heal and protect your GI tract while preventing wrinkles and sagging skin, look no further than gelatin. Gelatin contains a blend of amino acids used by the body to form collagen. Collagen is needed to maintain a healthy digestive tract as well as protect your skin (& joints) from age-related degeneration. Interested in enjoying a tasty, health-forward gelatin treat, avoid the commercial Jello as its loaded with sugar and harmful food dye… consider making your own version. https://blog.bulletproof.com/collagelatin-jello-gummi-panna-cotta-recipes/

Bone Broth- Rich in amino acids and collagen, drinking this tasty liquid improves the GI tract integrity, while also providing key building blocks for healthy skin and joints. Incorporating bone broth into your diet helps co-treat “leaky gut” and aging skin/body. Try replacing your cold morning smoothie with a warm mug of broth! More to come about all the amazing benefits of bone broth and collagen.

Dr. Kai Herman ND Kai Herman, ND, is as a functional medicine doctor who specializes in hormonal health and natural aesthetic treatments at FoRM Health PDX in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Kai received a Bachelor of Arts in psychology with honors and research credentials from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Starting her career as a mental health counselor, she transitioned to working as a fitness professional, after recognizing the interconnectedness between mental wellness and physical health, dedicating six years in the wellness industry, helping clients through injuries, weight loss, and health optimization. Her experience in mental health and the wellness industry eventually led Dr. Herman to pursue naturopathic doctor training at the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland. After earning her degree, she completed a one-year residency with a focus in regenerative medicine, including Platelet Rich Plasma injection therapy.

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