Monday, April 2, 2012

How Bugs Make You Beautiful

Think microorganisms are yucky little germs? Think again! Good "bugs" like probiotics keep the bad microbes in check, and this is crucial to maintaining a healthy body and healthy skin. The human intestinal tract is lined with bacteria – both good and bad. There is no question that intestinal health IS overall health, and you can't have one without the other. There is also no question that unhealthy digestion comes out in the skin. When intestinal flora are out of balance, we not only get constipation, bloating, and allergies,but also acne, reactive skin, and overall inflammation. Not a pretty picture.

Too many of us eat diets rich in processed carbohydrates and sugars. And too often, we think we are doing right by our bodies when we reach all too quickly for the antibiotics. I can't tell you how angry I get when I have clients with treatment-resistant acne come to see me for the first time and their medical histories show they have been on round after round of antibiotics to treat their skin. Talk about ignoring the cause and just slapping a band-aid on the problem. Only in this case, the band-aid actually makes the problem far worse. I don't blame clients for this but their dermatologists should know better.

One easy, cheap, and delicious way of restoring the balance of good to bad bacteria in the body is to eat a diet rich in natural probiotics. Probiotics are great in a supplement form (and I highly recommend them to clients with chronically poor diets and/or a history of frequent antibiotic use). But even simpler, probiotics come in some of the tastiest and easiest foods we can make.

For skin and body health, try to eat at least one serving per day of one of the following fermented foods:
  • Good yogurt (whole fat, organic, preferably raw, and definitely unsweetened. Even better to make it yourself.)
  • Kombucha
  • Kefir
  • Sauerkraut
  • Fermented soy foods (and only fermented soy foods): Miso, tempeh and natto
  • Kimchi
  • Real buttermilk from raw cream - easy to make and so delicious! (Recipe coming soon.)
To get you started, come on over to the Home Cooking Project for my recipe for the easiest raw sauerkraut ever.

Here's to good health and beautiful skin!


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