I developed my Just For Tummies range of products to help treat a wide variety of digestive and gut disorders. Four of these products (Live Bacteria, Digestive Enzymes, Omega 3, and Garlic) have been put together in the popular ‘30-day starter’ Perfect Balance Kit. This kit is not only designed to help treat IBS, bloating, abdominal pain, constipation and indigestion, but outward signs of an imbalanced digestive system, such as skin conditions – eczema and psoriasis being the two most common that I encounter in my clinic. (Buying the four products in the kit also gives the buyer a saving of £8, so its popularity is understandable!)
The Perfect Balance Kit holds the key to addressing a much broader range of health issues than you might expect – in a nutshell, it nurtures our wellbeing starting from the inside and working outwards so that we radiate vitality and a naturally glowing appearance. Beauty and good health go together like strawberries and cream. However they cannot co-exist in harmony if the health of your gut is in any way compromised. Both beauty and good health depend very much on how your digestive system and gut are functioning – is your food being digested properly? Are important nutrients, vital for healthy skin, being absorbed effectively, ensuring that there are no ‘endo-toxins’ leaking out of the gut into the bloodstream? That can be catastrophic for our general health and the health of our skin. Skin problems are often the result of chronic inflammation both in the digestive system and gut and the tissues of the skin. You can put the most expensive creams on your skin to help with spots, eczema and psoriasis, but you first must fix whatever digestive and gut imbalances you have otherwise your skin will never improve.
Inflammation is part of the body’s healing response and the immune system will be directed to that area of inflammation with responses and substances to heal damaged tissue. However, to enable healing to take place, nutrients have to be made available. You can eat the finest, freshest organic food available, but if you’re not digesting your food efficiently and absorbing those nutrients, you are wasting your money.
With more than 80% of the body’s immunity located in the gut, it’s hardly surprising that what is living in there is going to have a significant impact on our overall health. The medical world is gaining a deeper understanding of the microorganisms that inhabit the digestive tract and there’s now strong evidence that suggests that the balance of bacteria in our gut may have an effect on several areas of our health – from our body fat to our mental health, and yes, to our complexion.
So what is a healthy gut – and how can we ensure we have one? To begin with, wherever possible, avoiding antibiotic medication and finding other effective, more natural solutions to treating common infections goes a long way towards maintaining good gut health. We need to be mindful of the antibiotics that are in our food, particularly meat and fish. Buy local and ask your grocer, fishmonger and butcher where they source their produce and if it has been treated with antibiotics.
If we don’t suffer with common digestive and gut issues like bloating, indigestion and constipation, if we have very few infections, if we get up in the morning full of vim and vigour, then we have to assume that our gut is functioning pretty well, but for me that extra ‘insurance’ of taking daily probiotics that contain lactobacilli and bifidi strains is de rigeur to maintain good health in this fast-paced world where our bodies and our minds are being assaulted by all manner of ‘pollutants’.
Not all skin complaints are caused by an imbalance in the gut flora, but it is a significant piece in the jigsaw. As I mentioned earlier, there are other areas that you need to address too – diet of course being a key player.
If you have a skin issue, then it’s important to follow an anti-inflammatory diet by eating a wide variety of brightly coloured fruits and vegetables. Where possible, eat fruit and veg that are in season, so at this time of the year, berries -– raspberries and blueberries mixed with natural yogurt are a great choice, as are English apples (preferably organic – but always wash thoroughly), plenty of prebiotic vegetables like onions, leeks and garlic as these are packed full of important antioxidants crucial for healthy collagen production. Try fermented foods too like sauerkraut and kimchi, full of healthy lactic acid bacteria. Eat whole grains and other slow-digesting carbohydrates and don’t forget fatty cold-water fish such as mackerel or herring for their anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. Snack on nuts and seeds and try to consume a good range of plant-based proteins, beans, pulses and lentils. Eliminate dairy and ‘beige’ food (supermarket white bread, wheat-based pasta and pizza) for the time being.
Foods that promote inflammation in the body and skin are processed carbohydrates (the aforementioned ‘beige’ food), fast foods and fried foods so steer clear of them. Ensure you stay well hydrated and drink plenty of herbal teas that will help cleanse the liver. The liver is implicated in many skin conditions so it’s important to ensure it is getting good support. Get plenty of sleep – at least 7-8 hours, DO NOT smoke, and try and incorporate some time into your day for stress management – meditation, mindfulness, yoga.
It may look like a daunting list but tackle one area at a time and as you make a few tweaks to your diet and lifestyle habits, you should start to notice positive changes that will motivate you to keep going and fine-tune things even further.
It’s easy for us Brits to not bother using sunscreen – after all we don’t get many days of hot, blistering sun. That’s the wrong approach! Even when the sun is hiding behind a blanket of cloud, it can still cause damage to our skin, so make sure your summer skincare routine includes a moisturiser with a minimum SPF of 15, and avoid any creams or lotions that contain parabens and phthalates.
The bottom line is if you want clear, healthy skin you need to start from the inside – gut first – and to establish the right balance between good and bad bacteria, there are some important supplements that support and maintain healthy ‘internal skin’ which will have a positive impact on your ‘external skin’. The delicate balance of gut flora was the pivotal reason behind the creation of my Perfect Balance Kit – it includes four key supplements for addressing any imbalances in the gut – probiotics, digestive enzymes, garlic and omega-3 essential fatty acids – a combination that will heal your gut and in doing so heal your skin, leaving you radiating good health.
Here’s what Rachael had to say about the Perfect Balance Kit:
“I was recommended the Just For Tummies products by a friend and they’re the best thing I’ve bought! When I messaged Linda Booth with my problems, she was like a breath of fresh air – everything made sense so quickly. I had been having problems with my tummy for over a year and had been constantly back and forth to the doctor. I was suffering with a lot of bloating and had abdominal pain constantly – it was really getting me down and I felt very uncomfortable in social situations. It was only recently I discovered I had an overgrowth of yeast. I tried so many diets, changed my eating habits but it didn’t seem to calm down.
Linda recommended I try her 30-day ‘Perfect Balance Kit’ including Live Bacteria, Digestive Enzymes, Garlic and Omega 3. Within 5 days, the bloating had gone and I was feeling so much more comfortable again! I have been taking these natural health supplements for 6 weeks now and I feel so much happier and haven’t had problems with my tummy since.
I can’t thank Linda enough for her help and overall great service. I would recommend anyone with tummy issues to try this out. Linda genuinely cares and keeps in touch with you to follow your progress. Quick delivery of products also. Thank you again.”
Linda’s Top 5 Skincare Tips
These are my golden rules for skincare – none of them are rocket science, but sticking to them will go a long way towards to keeping your skin healthy and glowing for years to come.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
Without adequate water intake, our skin can look duller and wrinkles and pores more prominent. The best moisturiser for your skin is water – when it is well hydrated, it looks plumper and the signs of ageing are minimised. Aim to drink 2 litres throughout the day.
If you get fed up of drinking water, coconut water and herbal teas are also fantastic natural moisturisers. Green tea is filled with inflammation-fighting antioxidants; in fact, research shows that it may reduce your risk of skin cancer. Try to drink at least three cups a day for an antioxidant boost.
- Fill your plate with antioxidants
There are certain foods that give your skin that healthy glow – they are rich in antioxidants, the powerhouse ingredients that keep skin supple and smooth and fight age-related damage. Blueberries, salmon, avocados, broccoli, sweet potatoes, pomegranates, tomatoes, dark chocolate, and red wine (remember, you only need one glass to get the benefits!) – squeeze as many of these age-defying foods into your shopping basket as you can!
- Get your beauty sleep
Sleep is a time for the body to heal, renew and eliminate toxins from the skin. When sleep is reduced, so is the body’s ability to carry out these functions. As we age, just one night of insufficient sleep is enough to show on our skin – it sags, looks dull, the wrinkles are more noticeable, and we start to look a lot older than we are. Aim to get the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep a night, and you’ll see the difference.
Irrespective of what skin type you have, you need to use a moisturiser! Your skin goes through a lot of abuse in one day and there are so many factors that will take the moisture from your skin (air pollution, poor diet, stress, extreme weather conditions) that we need to give it some added help to hydrate it and provide the nourishment it needs to look healthy and radiant.
- Protect your skin from the sun
With so many things happening over the summer months, skin care often veers off course, the biggest crime being improper use of sunscreen. We’ve all been caught out on those days when we wake up to thick cloud, only for the blistering hot sun to break through an hour or two later. When we slack off on using sunscreen, the evidence shows on our skin in the form of painful sunburn, more fine lines and wrinkles, dry, cracked patches, sunspots, or even skin cancer. Choose a natural, mineral sunscreen that contains no nasties – one that’s incredibly light on the skin, doesn’t cause blockages or prickly heat, and is ideal for the most sensitive skin types – adults and children alike. It’s absolutely vital for our skin to protect it against prolonged damage – no one wants the wrinkles, sun spots and other unwanted after-effects of being outdoors without applying the sunscreen.