Eli Brecher is an expert on Gut Health & Nutrition and Nutritionist. Marion and Eli have collaborated to promote the launch of Inur on Eli’s social media channels, and she has also hosted the first Inur Event raising awareness on the connection between Gut-Skin Axis and skin health.
‘Gut Health’ is the theme explored by Marion and Eli in this interview, where they will reveal how taking care of gut health is important to live well not only inur body, but also inur skin.
Marion: What is gut health? And why is it important to overall wellness?
Eli: Gut health describes the health of our entire gastrointestinal (GI) tract, but is often used to refer to the health of our intestines only, and implies not only optimal digestion, but also excellent overall wellness. This is because the gut links to so many other systems in the body. For example, when it comes to mental health, 90% of serotonin is produced in the gut. This “happy hormone” is essential for maintaining mood balance, so it’s no surprise that the gut is known as the “second brain”, as our gut and brain are constantly communicating via the gut-brain axis.
The gut also affects your immune health, with 80% of the immune system being located in the gut and it is the first line of immune defence. The gut is home to its own microbiome, which consists of trillions of bacteria, fungi and viruses that are essential to your health. The gut microbiome weighs about 2kg and is bigger than the average human brain. It has been linked with everything from controlling appetite and ability to digest food, to overcoming anxiety and supporting immunity – so you can see how important it is that we support our gut microbiome.
Marion: How does your gut health affect your skin health? And why?
Eli: Your gut health affects your skin health via the gut-skin axis. This is the relationship between the intestinal microbiome and the skin microbiome. If the gut microbiome is compromised, if there is an overgrowth or a deficiency in gut flora, that imbalance is likely to be reflected in the skin’s microbiome. That’s why it’s so important to nourish your skin from the inside out.
Marion: How can I improve my gut health to achieve healthier skin?
Eli: Everyone’s gut flora is as individual as their fingerprint, which is why there is no “one size fits all” diet. Having said that, studies show that eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruit among other healthy sources of fibre (like lentils, beans, nuts, seeds and whole grains), and low in sugar and processed foods, can help the balance of bacteria in our gut. Aim to eat the rainbow and include as much colour on your plate as possible, as the micronutrients are what give our food its colour – think about beetroot, carrot, kale, blueberries. You can also try to avoid or limit ultra-processed junk foods that are high in sugar, salt, artificial chemicals and stabilisers.
Marion: Pre Probiotics are essential for a healthy gut and healthy skin, and they are present in food as well as in INUR products. What nutrients would you combine with INUR range to get the maximum benefits for healthy skin and gut?
Eli: Just as the pre and probiotics in INUR’s products nourish our skin microbiome, we also need to consume these in the diet in order to support our gut microbiome. Try to incorporate fermented food into your diet in order to get your probiotics. This is the live bacteria, and includes sauerkraut, kombucha, kimchi, miso, kefir, tempeh and live yoghurt.
While probiotics as the good bacteria, prebiotics are the powerhouse that makes them thrive. It is important to include prebiotic fibres as a prominent feature of the diet, with foods such as onions, garlic, asparagus, bananas (slightly under-ripe) and oats.
When you combine probiotics with prebiotics, you get a :
Omega 3: oily fish (salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, herring), walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, algae oils
Vitamin E: sunflower seeds, almonds, pumpkin, red bell pepper
Vitamin A: liver, carrots, sweet potato, spinach
Vitamin C: citrus, kiwi, strawberries, bell pepper, broccoli, spinach
B vitamins: organic animal meats, eggs, oily fish, shellfish, dark leafy greens
Marion: You are a specialist in nutrition and the gut, could you explain to us why and how they are linked? How does nutrition affect the microbiome?
Eli: Nutrition and the gut are intrinsically linked, because everything we eat a has to transit through our gut. Our diet has the potential to affect our microbiome, either positively or negatively depending on our food choice. The way we eat has a direct impact on the way we feel and function, and a poor diet that lacks variety can prevent you from getting essential nutrients. What’s more, it can damage and change the composition of your gut microbiome, causing an inability for proper nutrient breakdown.
To function optimally, our gut microbes need about 30g of fibre per day, but the average intake in the UK is only around half of this! That’s why it’s important to make sure we’re consuming a variety of fibre sources on a daily basis.
Marion: What’s inur mind, body and skin?
Eli: mind:My mind can get very “busy” so I try to slow down with daily meditation. On days when I find it hard to clear my mind, I do a guided meditation on an app such as Just Breathe, Headspace or Calm. Techniques such as mindfulness, meditation and breathing exercises are great for minimising stress, which in turn helps to improve gut health thanks to the gut-brain axis.
Body: Porridge with stewed berries, cinnamon, almond butter and chia seeds – one of my favourite breakfasts. And a matcha latte with almond milk!