Doctor reveals the ‘5 K rule’ to follow for better skin and gut health

Toasts with cream cheese, fresh blueberries gut health and smothie bowl with rolled oats, fresh berries served with kefir, healthy breakfast or brunch, table top view
Kefir is a type of fermented yoghurt that can help skin and gut health. (Getty Images)

Eating a healthy and balanced diet is the key to feeling good, but did you know that certain foods can make you feel better than others?

In fact, one doctor has advised following the ‘five K rule’ for optimal gut health and to help boost skin health.

Dr Lubna Khan-Salim, owner of Time To Bloom clinic in Yorkshire, says that while skincare products and treatments can help to achieve glowing skin, the true transformation should take place on the inside.

"The key to achieving healthy skin should start on the inside, with positive lifestyle choices," Dr Khan-Salim says. "A lot of people don’t realise the importance of gut health in relation to skin health.

"A healthy gut can improve the skin in a huge number of ways, synthesising extra vitamins and minerals that benefit the skin, reducing inflammation and itchiness, improving your skin’s natural barrier function, and aiding skin pigment."


If you’re a regular consumer of yoghurt, you may want to consider switching to kefir for its anti-inflammatory properties.

"A lot of people eat yoghurt regularly, but try swapping your usual yoghurt for kefir which is a type of fermented yoghurt," Dr Khan-Salim says.

"Studies suggest that it can help to reduce inflammation by inhibiting the activity of certain proteins, or proinflammatory cytokines, that play a role in pain and inflammation, and increasing anti-inflammatory cytokines."

Close up of woman eating Korean appetitizer Kimchi with Bibimbap in a restaurant
Kimchi is known for its high probiotic content. (Getty Images)


"Kimchi is a traditional Korean side dish and while its components can vary it’s usually made from fermented cabbage, radish or cucumber and includes other ingredients such as garlic," Dr Khan-Salim explains.

"It’s known for its high probiotic content and as such it helps to reduce inflammation in the body and fight free radicals which can cause changes to the skin including a loss of collagen, which results in fine lines and wrinkles, as well as hyperpigmentation and dullness."


Kamut is a type of bread made with Kamut flour, that Dr Khan-Salim says comes from Khorasan wheat.

"It is lower in gluten and can be easier to digest than the wheat that’s used in other breads," she adds.

"Kamut has beneficial effects on the skin due to the high content of antioxidants and other nutrients which help to protect against free radicals and environmental toxins. It’s also a good source of Zinc which boosts the immune system and helps to maintain thyroid health."

Kombucha pouring in a drinking glass.
Kombucha can help maintain a healthy balance of microorganisms in the gut. (Getty Images)


"Kombucha is a fermented drink made from tea, sugar and a bacterial culture called a SCOBY which stands for symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast," Dr Khan-Salim says.

"Because of its bacteria content it can help to maintain a healthy balance of microorganisms in the gut. It’s also believed to contain antioxidant and antibacterial properties which help to improve skin’s hydration and brightness, as well as reducing hyperpigmentation and inflammation."

Kraut (Sauerkraut)

OK, we’re taking small liberties with this one, but Dr Khan-Salim counts Sauerkraut as a ‘K’ too.

"Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage," she explains. "It contains probiotics which are live bacteria that support digestive health and gut health as well as Vitamin C, which is essential for a healthy immune system, and Vitamin A, which helps to reduce inflammation and promotes healthy skin and hair."

Gut health: Read more