Acne can often be a symptom of a deeper issue within the body that is manifesting on the skin.
One of the root causes of acne is digestive problems. If you suffer from bloating, indigestion, constipation or diarrhoea, you may have digestive issues. If you are not able to digest foods properly you may be vitamin and mineral deficient, meaning the skin is not receiving the nutrients it needs. Also, if your liver is not working efficiently your body may use your skin as a pathway for detoxification.
Therefore, if you improve your digestion, you will improve your skin health and reduce your acne. See my three simple ways to improve digestion below:
The body has two parts to the nervous system: the sympathetic and the parasympathetic.
You have probably heard of the sympathetic being described as the ‘fight or flight’ response. When something bad happens or you get stressed this is activated.
The parasympathetic on the other hand is the ‘rest, digest and repair’ system and as this suggests, it is involved in sleep, digesting your food and repairing your body.
The thing is that you can either be in ‘fight or flight’ OR ‘rest, digest and repair’, not both at once. So if you are stressed out and trying to eat lunch at your desk at work, your digestion is not going to be functioning well and may be why you are feeling heavy, tired and bloated after lunch. So what can you do? Before any meal, relax a little, do some deep breathing and laugh. These are the best ways to switch your mind and your body from the stress response and back into the ‘rest, digest and repair’.
Get Involved: Smell Your Food
Back before everything came packaged and ready to eat, people we involved in the food making process. Part of this process, whether you were the cook or not, was smelling the food that was being prepared. That smell was then recognised by your brain, which sent a message to your digestive system that you were about to eat. The body then got ready to digest. What happens these days, is that most people’s digestive systems are not ready to eat and play catch up when the food hits the stomach. This means that your stomach acid comes out at the wrong time and you often won’t digest your food properly. So do yourself a favour and smell your food before you eat it.
Eat Something Bitter
As a follow on from smelling your food, one good way to prepare your stomach for digestion is by eating something bitter 10 minutes before you are going to have a meal.
Bitter taste receptors cause you to salivate, readying the mouth for food. They also then stimulate the stomach to produce stomach acid and prepare the stomach to break down your meal.
Many people who have reflux and other digestive issues do not necessarily have too much stomach acid, often it is just that the stomach acid is being produced at the wrong time. If the stomach has not prepared itself by excreting stomach acid into the stomach before you eat, the food will hit a cold stomach and stomach acid will be excreted on top of the food. By the time the stomach acid has reached the bottom of the pile of food, it may have fermented, creating gas and causing you to burp and possibly have reflux. Thus, smelling your food and eating bitters can stop this process from happening.
Bitters foods include rocket and other bitter greens, Jerusalem artichoke and sesame seeds. You can also buy Swedish bitters at most health food stores.
So try these 3 simple ways to improve your digestion and let me know what changes you see in your acne as well as your overall health.