A doctor has revealed the three little-known ways your gut affects your overall health, from your skin to your brain and even your hormones — and what you can do today to fix any imbalances.
Leading Harley Street dietitian and King’s College researcher Dr. Megan Rossi, from Queensland, said improving your gut health can be done in just five minutes if you know how.
But while you may think it’s just about your digestion, it’s vital to remember that “those gut microbes are linked to the health of pretty much every other organ in the body.”
Scroll down for video
A doctor has revealed the three little-known ways your gut affects your overall health, from your skin to your brain and even your hormones (Dr. Megan Rossi pictured)
The first way your gut and what you put in it affects your overall health is through your skin, and you can improve gut-skin communication by drinking green tea (pictured)
1. YOUR SKIN
The first way your gut and what you put into it affect your overall health is through your skin.
“Most of our gut-skin communication occurs through the immune system — and an ‘unbalanced’ gut microbiome is thought to cause inflammation,” wrote Dr. Rossi on Instagram.
This can lead to aggravation of many skin conditions, such as eczema, redness and skin aging. So it makes sense that you would want to change your diet if you think it contributes to this.
“My top tip here is to enjoy some green tea, dark chocolate, tomatoes and citrus fruits for that gut glow,” said Dr Rossi.
She tries to get at least one a day and said they work wonders at regenerating collagen in the skin and making you more dewy and plump.
Often referred to as your “second brain,” researchers have found that what you put in your stomach affects how you think and feel, said Dr. Rossi (photo)
2. YOUR BRAIN
The second way your gut health affects your overall health is through your brain.
Often referred to as your “second brain,” researchers have found that what you put in your stomach affects how you think and feel.
Over the years, they have found that eating a Mediterranean diet packed with fruits and vegetables can help reduce the risk of anxiety and depression.
“My top tip for improving both your gut health and your brain health is to fall in love with extra virgin olive oil and add some omega-3 foods to your meals, such as walnuts and fish,” said Dr. Rossi.
She recommends eating fatty fish like salmon, trout or sardines a few times a week as this will boost your brain power and mood.
The doctor’s best tip with your hormones is to make sure you’re getting enough fiber (pictured), ideally through foods like edamame (soy) beans, cinnamon, and almonds
3. YOUR HORMONES
Finally said Dr. Rossi that your gut health has a huge impact on your hormonal health.
“Have you ever felt like you’re on a hormonal roller coaster?” she said. “Try to keep your gut microbiome aside.”
dr. Rossi explained that one of your gut’s jobs is to “make and regulate our hormones,” and this is often referred to as the “gut hormone axis.”
“A study of more than 17,000 menopausal women found that those who ate more fiber had 19 percent fewer hot flashes, so it seems like helping your high-fiber microbes.”
The doctor’s best tip here is to make sure you’re getting enough fiber, ideally from foods like edamame (soy) beans, cinnamon, and almonds.
Previously, Dr. Megan Rossi shared the three biggest gut health myths that people believe are true.
Three simple things to improve your gut health revealed
1. Eat 30 different plant foods every week.
2. Move and move as much as possible to regulate your bowel movements and increase the diversity of your gut microbes.
3. Avoid unnecessary drugs and smoking as there is more and more research suggesting that these can affect our gut microbes.
dr. Rossi said one of the biggest myths is that people often think they need to follow a restrictive diet to be healthy.
“So many people think they have to eat a certain way, but taking care of your gut health is all about inclusiveness, moderation and plant diversity,” she told the Daily Mail Australia.
dr. Rossi recommends eating 30 different types of plant foods each week because they contain “different fibers and chemicals that feed the different bacteria in your gut.”
“From whole grains to vegetables, fruits, legumes, seeds and nuts, research has shown that those who hit their 30s have a more diverse array of gut microbes than others,” said Dr. Rossi.
“This is a marker of good gut health and has also been associated with better long-term health.”
The second myth the expert would like to debunk is that cutting carbs will help your stomach:
“Carbohydrates have been unfairly stigmatized when it comes to our health, but they are not to be feared,” said Dr Rossi.
“Reducing carbohydrates also cuts off important types of fiber, and this can have a negative effect on your gut bacteria, as fiber is their food of choice and feeds our gut microbes.”
The third thing the Gut Health Doctor said she often hears is that sucrose (or sugar) is bad for your gut.
“Actually, sugar is absorbed higher up in your gut, so it doesn’t reach your lower gut, where most of the microbes reside,” she said.
“This means you definitely shouldn’t cut out fruit because of the sucrose content.”
dr. Rossi is the author of the book Eat Yourself Healthy, an easy-to-digest guide to health and happiness from within.
For more information, please click here.