We’ve all heard the phrase “listen to your gut”, and in this case, it’s more to do with what you’re putting inside it rather than following your intuition. Filling your shelf with topical creams and moisturizers may provide temporary results for glowing skin and shiny hair, but with an unhealthy diet, you’ll never hit your full glow potential. So, while drinking detoxifying elixirs can give you a boost, to get a long-lasting healthy glow, food consultant, dietician, and chef, Aphisith Phongsavanh, says you’ll need to make what’s going on inside your tummy your main priority. Fortunately, Aphisith is here to break it down for us.
“No matter how many nutrient-dense foods you eat, if your body isn’t absorbing them properly then you definitely aren’t reaping the benefits” he explained, which is why you need to balance your gut health. “Your gut contains millions of good and bad bacteria that go up and down in levels on the daily. To ensure that you keep a balanced level of good bacteria in your system microbiome, adding probiotics to your lifestyle will boost the number of these helpful microorganisms.”
Why go pro?
“Probiotics are abundant in fermented foods and cultured milk products. These good bacteria are not only amazing for your digestive and immune systems, but they also aid in nutrient absorption as well. Your hair, nails, and skin are some of the last parts of your body to receive vitamins and antioxidants because your vital organs get first pick” Aphisith says. So basically, if you aren’t absorbing nutrients properly, then your glow game will suffer. Fortunately, probiotics are found in many cuisines from around the world and “you can get your fair share of them naturally by adding yogurt, kimchi, kefir, miso, and sauerkraut into your daily meals.”
The primer and foundation
“While adding probiotics to your diet is a good idea, combining them with prebiotics will make sure that your gut is performing at optimal levels. Prebiotics feed the good bacteria and help them thrive – think of them as if they were the primer to your gut, and imagine probiotics as the foundation. For the probiotics to work well in your system (foundation), laying down a dose of prebiotics is key (primer). Yes, they can be taken together!” Finally, an analogy we can make sense of!
Aphisith told us that while there are plenty of probiotic supplements on the market, “who wants to take capsules when eating yummy and nutritious food is better.”
Aphisith Phongsavanh’s Super Easy Pre and Probiotic Breakfast Recipe:
“You can liven up your ordinary bowl of cereal, granola, or muesli by sprinkling a few items on top to jumpstart your microbiome on your road to building a healthy gut and great glow. Add slices of unripe banana (prebiotic), a tablespoon of wheat bran (prebiotic), half a cup of greek yogurt (probiotic), and a handful of fresh mixed berries with a pinch of cocoa nibs (antioxidants and vitamins) to your regular morning meal. If you’re a fan of eggs, onions and garlic in an omelet (prebiotic), with a few tablespoons of greek yogurt (probiotic) on top work as well.”
Sounds delicious and nutritious – we know what we’re having for breakfast tomorrow! Stay tuned for Aphisith Phongsavanh’s monthly health advice, next month he’ll be sharing his fav skin-boosting summer recipes.