My patient Ruby was glowing. Her skin was radiant. Her hair was thick and healthy. It was as though she was surrounded by a shimmering aura of health.
“All my friends want to know what my beauty secret is,” she told me on our last appointment. Then she laughed. “They wouldn’t believe it if I told them it was bacteria.”
Ruby’s new glow was indeed the product of bacteria: the community of trillions of bacteria known as the microbiome. Each of us has a microbiome living within our digestive tract and elsewhere in our bodies. When your microbiome is healthy and balanced, your skin, hair, and energy levels are at their peak. When your microbiome is out of balance, you feel tired, dragged out, foggy, anxious, and depressed.
The power of the microbiome to support or undermine your health is truly extraordinary. Its power to support the natural beauty of your skin, hair, and general appearance is pretty amazing as well.
Kimchee and Sauerkraut
As a physician, my patients’ attractiveness is not usually my first concern. But I can’t help noticing that when you take care of your microbiome, your skin and hair are quick to benefit. So before I prescribe creams or exfoliants, I take advantage of the natural synergy of the microbiome to improve your skin from within—the most powerful type of skin support.
The collective intelligence of those trillions of microbes knows far more than any human physician could master. It knows exactly how to support every cell in our bodies—skin and hair included.
When the microbiome is strong and balanced, the immune system is strong, too. You don’t get acne—an infection of the follicles.
A strong microbiome helps keep you from absorbing toxins, the very stuff that causes skin decay and accelerated aging. It allows you to absorb nutrients—including the nutrients that support your skin, hair, and overall appearance. It reduces inflammation, an immune-system response that prematurely ages your skin by breaking down collagen and creating wrinkles. A balanced microbiome revs up your metabolism, so that you effortlessly drop those extra pounds and maintain your healthy weight.
Your microbiome also gives you boatloads of energy, restoring your sense of vitality and joy. Those are just the qualities that bring out your natural beauty. Instead of the latest cosmetics line or anti-aging cream, let’s start relying on the microbiome!
Six Beauty Foods That Are Part Of The Microbiome Diet Food Plan
Sauerkraut: a type of fermented cabbage whose live bacteria replenishes the friendly bacteria in your microbiome.
Kimchee: a Korean cabbage dish that is traditionally super-spicy, but which you can now get moderate and even mild versions. It, too, is laden with live bacteria that help balance your microbial community.
Leeks: What does your microbiome eat? It feasts on fiber—specifically, the fibers known as inulin, which are abundantly found in leeks. Try them with a vinaigrette, perhaps garnished with some slices of hard-boiled egg, in the traditional French preparation.
Onions and garlic: These foods are also rich in inulin, as well as many other healthy nutrients. Throw them into soups, stews, omelets—any time you want some pungent flavor and microbiome-friendly fiber.
Tomatoes: Another type of microbiome food is known as arabinogalactans, and tomatoes are rich in that. Its bright red color tells you that it’s full of the antioxidant known as lycopene, as well as Vitamins A and C—all good for your skin, your hair, and your overall health.
Apple cider vinegar: A couple of tablespoons taken before each meal helps you to digest your protein, which in turn nourishes your skin and hair. It also supports the production of growth hormones, which keep your skin looking healthy and renewed. Apple cider vinegar also seems to activate the receptors for healthier foods rather than sweet foods, which helps eliminate those pesky sugar cravings.