No other organ receives as much attention as the skin. The market of cosmetics and dietary supplements for beautiful skin is booming. Germans spend several billion euros a year to improve the appearance of their skin and keep it elastic and smooth. To maintain immaculate skin, radiant complexion and youthful appearance, we are susceptible to all sorts of creams, lotions and face masks that reduce our wrinkles, even out imperfections and retouch impurities. The first impression is crucial and, therefore, our skin is so to speak our business card.
At the same time, a lot is demanded of the skin. It is our largest body organ, which has the closest contact with the outside world and performs a variety of vital functions. It protects the body from too much sun, cold and radiation, as well as from drying out and overheating. It is both a respiratory and excretory organ, and it detects and destroys harmful microorganisms that try to enter the body.
The skin – the defense bastion
To cope with all these tasks, a strong defense system is needed. Therefore, the skin is composed of three interconnected layers: the outer layer or epidermis, which shields from the environment, the dermis, which supplies the skin with nutrients through blood and lymph vessels, and the subdermis, a loose layer of connective tissue that acts as heat and energy storage. In addition, the skin is surrounded by a protective acid mantle. The protective acid mantle is formed by the body’s own acidic substances such as sweat, sebum and horny cells. An intact protective acid mantle can ward off microorganisms as well as negative environmental influences from the skin. It remains protected from infections, allergies, irritation and dehydration. Therefore, the slightly acidic pH value of approx. 5.5 to 5.7 must be kept constant on the skin. With various skin care products people want to support the skin and contribute to a fresh, radiant complexion. But unfortunately, many skin care products contain chemical substances such as preservatives and fragrances or even softeners that irritate the skin and harm rather than support the natural protective acid mantle.
True beauty comes from within
Our lifestyle – little sleep, stress and unhealthy food – leaves traces on the skin. The importance of nutrition for skin health and aging has long been underestimated. Furthermore, the crucial impact of the intestine on skin health was also underestimated.
The skin and intestine, although quite different organs at first glance, are nevertheless very closely connected. The skin maintains very close contact with all the mucous membranes of the body, including the digestive tract, through the blood and lymphatic systems. Therefore, often the problems of the intestine are reflected in the skin and make the skin look sallow and pale or even manifest themselves in various inflammations. If you want to successfully keep your skin healthy, you should pay as much attention to your intestine as to your skin.
Creams and lotions can do little for the care of the gut – therefore, a healthy, varied nutrition is the optimal care. There are a variety of different bacteria in the healthy gut. Good and beneficial as well as pathogenic bacterial strains live in a finely tuned relationship to each other. To keep it that way, a nutrition healthy for the gut is needed, i.e. a nutrition rich in fiber that also provides plenty of secondary plan substances and anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. Current studies clearly reveal that dietary fiber in particular, which is abundant in whole grain, vegetables or legumes, is the ideal “food” for intestinal bacteria due to its resistant starch. Intestinal bacteria love dietary fiber and, when metabolizing it, produce valuable short-chain fatty acids – butyric acid and propionic acid – which serve as an energy source for intestinal cells and exert anti-inflammatory effects from which the skin can also benefit. In addition to short-chain fatty acids, intestinal bacteria also produce vitamins, enzymes and messenger substances that can counteract aging processes. But also secondary plant substances, such as polyphenols, can only be utilized by our body with the help of the gut bacteria. This is especially important for the skin, as polyphenols have strong antioxidant effects and can scavenge and render harmless free radicals that are produced in the body and also contribute to skin aging.
The broadest possible bacterial colonization in the gut is therefore more than desirable. This ensures that the gut is well supplied and the intestinal cells are optimally nourished, and thus the gut can fulfill its task of absorbing valuable nutrients, such as protein, zinc, silicic acid and B vitamins, which are essential for healthy, radiant skin.
Skin and intestinal care from the inside
Secondary plant substances, which are abundant in fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and legumes, ensure that health-promoting gut bacteria prosper, multiply and keep the intestinal mucosa healthy, thus enabling smooth nutrient absorption. The secondary plant substances in particular must be processed by the gut bacteria so that they can enter the bloodstream via the intestinal cells. According to studies, once they reach the bloodstream, they protect the skin from oxidative stress, i.e. from free radicals formed by environmental pollution, nicotine, metabolic processes or by too intense UV rays.
Therefore, eating vegetables and legumes regularly, like the Metabolic Balance Nutrition Plan advocates, are optimal to build a certain inner protection and also to stimulate vitamin D formation at the same time.
In addition, beautiful skin and a healthy gut also need high-quality protein, B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin A and zinc to build mucous membranes, connective tissue and collagen, as well as to regenerate them. These individual building blocks are found in a wide variety of natural foods. However, in the past the real beauty booster have proven to be legumes. Often spurned and labeled as poor people’s food, they provide almost all nutrients from which the skin and gut can benefit.
Anyone who wants to do something for their skin and also for their gut, whether due to illness or purely for cosmetic reasons, should be prepared that a change through nutrition does not happen overnight. This is an ongoing project that will only be rewarded with a little patience.
A balanced nutrition, as practiced in the Metabolic Balance nutrition program, which is rich in selected skin boosters, such as sufficient vegetables, legumes, fruit, as well as sufficient liquid in the form of water, forms the basis for optimal care of the skin and gut. Furthermore, under no circumstances should you skimp on fat and pay no attention to the rumor that a nutrition too rich in fat leads to blemished skin. Foods rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as high-quality vegetable oils, nuts and seeds, or fatty fish, provide flexible and pliable cell walls that can more easily absorb nutrients and also release metabolic waste products. In addition, the omega-3 fatty acids have an anti-inflammatory effect, which benefits both the gut and the skin. With a nutrition according to Metabolic Balance you can once again kill several birds with one stone and that full of pleasure!
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