Probiotics & Clear Skin: What to Eat for the Benefits of Friendly Bacteria

Posted on September 18, 2014 by Rachel Duran

Rachel DuranTo keep your body in its prime, good digestive health is a must—and a healthy gut may even help improve your skin. You've probably heard about probiotics, the naturally occurring “friendly” bacteria, found in some foods and supplements.

These bacteria are thought to support our microbiome, the billions of organisms that live in our guts and on our skin. Scientists are only now discovering the many ways the microbiome plays a role in our wellness. 

While antibiotics are used to wipe out bad bacteria, probiotics work to rebalance the microbiome. In other words, helping the good bacteria flourish may keep the bad bacteria in check.  

Our understanding of the microbiome is just beginning. But that hasn't stopped probiotics from becoming the poster child for intestinal fitness, with yogurt steadily claiming its place in the celebrity-endorsed spotlight.

That said, it's important to note that probiotics are not a cure for acne or other skin conditions. Unfortunately, most of the beneficial bacteria in probiotics are killed in the digestive process before they can help.

But a growing body of research suggests that probiotic foods and supplements may have some benefit for a range of conditions. And yogurt isn't the only choice. In fact, many probiotic foods can be part of a healthy—and delicious—diet.

If it doesn't hurt and it might help, why not add some healthy deliciousness to your diet?

Seven Foods with Good Bacteria: 
  1. Goat Milk Yogurt: A non-dairy alternative particularly high in probiotics, perfect for those with acne who find that lactose aggravates their skin.
  2. Miso: A Japanese favorite, the salty broth is made of fermented rye, beans, rice, or barley. A tablespoon in hot water makes a comforting soup.
  3. Tempeh: A substitute for meat or tofu, tempeh is fermented, probiotic-boasting soy. It's rich in vitamin B12 that can be sautéed, baked, or eaten on salads.
  4. Sauerkraut: The classic recipe of fermented cabbage is stocked with live cultures. It's great topping for cooked meats and grilled veggies.
  5. Kimchi: The Asian version of sauerkraut, kimchi is spicy-and-sour fermented cabbage that may just be the best probiotic food you can add to your diet. 
  6. Kombucha: Used for centuries to increase energy, enhance well-being, and control weight, this fermented tea is a sweet and refreshing treat for your gut.
  7. Probiotic Supplements: Not keen on these pungent foods? Supplements are an easy way to reap the benefits without picking up a fork. 

  • Rachel Duran is an editor at Arithmetic
  • Photo: Miso Soup by flickr user Jeremy Keith
  • About Us: Arithmetic is a new skincare company focused on helping adults achieve clear, healthy skin.

Posted in acne, adult acne, microbiome, nutrition, probiotics, skincare, supplements, tips


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