All symptoms of the body—from thin, dull hair and sallow skin, to acne breakouts, body aches, and sluggish energy—all point to the gut. Gut health is incredibly important, making mindful eating an essential part of longevity and anti-aging. If you want to feel vibrant and maintain a youthful appearance, Christopher Calapai, D.O., suggests it's time to start weaving these key foods into your diet.
- Garlic: When we have an overgrowth of candida—an internal yeast—in the gut we experience things like acne breakouts, bloating, and constipation. Garlic mitigates all of this because it kills candida. Garlic also aids in digestion and immunity. It has anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it ideal for joint aches. Allicin, which provides anti-aging and antifungal benefits to garlic, aids in smoothing the skin and preventing acne and other skin conditions.
- Ground Flaxseed: Responsible for helping food to travel effortlessly and smoothly through the GI tract, flaxseed keeps us regular. Flaxseed also contains cancer fighting agents called lignans, which also ward off heart disease. Flaxseed helps minimize rashes, skin flare ups, and irritation. When you consume flaxseed, your skin becomes more even toned and less sensitive.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: One of the best ways to address any digestive issues is to combine a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a cup of water or in tea and drink it before a meal. This helps your body to break down food. It helps to prevent indigestion and stomach issues after eating, as well. Anytime you can aid the digestive process, you’ll notice glowing skin featuring a youthful radiance.
- Celery and Celery Juice: Another anti-inflammatory and cancer fighter celery, which also lowers blood pressure and rids us of sugar cravings (which can make the skin sallow and leads to breakouts). The natural salts in celery juice maintain a healthy gut pH. The common recommendation is to drink 16 ounces on an empty stomach, and improvements to digestion and physical appearance will be evident within 10 days.
- Cauliflower: High in fiber, cauliflower helps the gut maintain healthy microbes. This is important because when microbes or gut flora are out of whack, a whole slew of symptoms become evident. These include digestive issues, depression or anxiety, and skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne.
- Fermented Foods: Kimchi, sauerkraut, or pickled vegetables can make for a nice topping to a salad or mid-day snack. These fermented foods are packed with good bacteria which balances the microbiome, which is the anchor for our health and immunity.
- Asparagus: Another prebiotic fiber that keeps the gut healthy and balanced is asparagus. You can add garlic to it and broil it in the oven offering a one-two punch of gut friendly foods in one delicious side dish. It’s important to note that people who suffer from stomach pain may not do well with prebiotics in larger amounts. If the gut is already inflamed, these foods can cause a flare up.