The connection between the gut and the brain, or the gut-brain axis, has been discussed for centuries. That said, our mood, memory, and stress levels are not the only things that our microbiome affects. Because the gut and the skin are our two interfaces between the internal world and the external world, having a healthy microbiome is also essential to maintaining healthy skin.
While we often defer to creams and serums to treat skin ailments, they are often a bandaid solution to a greater internal problem, so, when it comes to sustainable skin care, it's important to start with what we eat and drink. To do so, there are a whole host of herbs and antioxidant-packed ingredients that are easy to incorporate into your diet that can help improve your skin's texture and appearance, as well as prevent or reduce signs of eczema, rosacea, and acne. On the latest episode of Plant-Based, herbalist Rachelle Robinett shares her recipe for an herb-filled smoothie that will help nourish your skin from the inside out.
"Globally and historically in herbalism traditions around the world, especially in Traditional Chinese Medicine, you see the concept of the gut and the skin as being almost one organ," says Robinett. Changes in gut and liver health, hormone imbalances, dehydration, lack of sleep, and inflammation can all show up on the skin as telltale signs that we need to make a change. One way to kickstart this process is by adding demulcent herbs into your diet. Demulcents, like aloe vera, marshmallow root, flax, and chia, are a category of herbs that are slippery and slimy if you add water, explains Robinett. What makes these herbs so special is that they can actually help combat inflammation. They do this by creating a "goo that is hydrating to the mucus membranes." This means that they can be used internally and externally to hydrate both the skin and the gut.
Antioxidants are another vital component of maintaining good skin health and contain many anti-aging properties. Found in brightly colored produce, fruit skins and peels, and in superfoods like goji berries and rosehips, antioxidants promote cell turnover and fight the resulting oxidative stress to aid with our body's and skin's natural cleanup processes. According to Robinett, the best part about using antioxidant-rich berries and greens as the base of this smoothie is that, because blending these ingredients makes them more digestible, it makes it easier for your body to absorb all of the nutrients which will then show up in the skin. Scroll down for a refreshing and hydrating, herb-filled smoothie recipe that is sure to nourish your skin from the inside out.
Smoothie recipe for skincare from the inside out
Marshmallow root powder
Collagen booster powder
Shot of aloe juice
1. Add ingredients to blender.
2. Blend till smooth.
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