Balanced nutrition, rest and exercise: it sounds so simple. At the same time it requires a way of life that is very difficult to consistently achieve and maintain in our hectic society. Keeping these factors in check is extremely valuable to stay as healthy as possible the natural way. In which forms of therapy does this advice form the basis? What are simple tips to get as close as possible to the ideal routine?

This week, pillar 2: Hygiene.

Keeping your mouth healthy

Strong, clean teeth and a healthy oral microbiome are important aspects of our health. Important, because your teeth, saliva and oral flora prepare your food for digestion in the stomach and intestines. Prevent tooth decay (and its possible long-term effects on your body) naturally starts in your mouth as well -- with what you put in it.

The higher quality your food and the more precisely it is tailored to your specific needs and goals, the better your dietary basis. Consider the following foods to nourish and support your oral flora:

  • Eat plenty of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K2. Staying off animal products? Supplements can help; these vitamins are significantly less present in plant foods.
  • Eat mineral-rich foods: zinc, magnesium and calcium, for example, are important for keeping your teeth and mouth flora strong and healthy.
  • Regularly choose foods rich in pre- and probiotic factors such as fermented dairy and vegetables. This way you nourish your mouth flora and give your digestion a hand. Be as economical as possible with (refined) sugar and flour-based products.
  • The more you eat, the more often your mouth microbiome has to work. Give them a few breaks by limiting yourself to no more than 3 eating moments a day, so that it can relax and periodically regain balance.

You keep your mouth clean by means of dental hygiene. Of course, brushing and flossing as needed is important for strong teeth and healthy gums. Rinsing your mouth with a lukewarm saline solution provides extra natural support. This can relieve cuts or inflammation in your oral cavity and help fight bad breath.

Hydration is also important. Drink enough water; but your sleep affects this as well: sleeping with an open mouth dries out your oral cavity, promoting unwanted bacterial growth.

Find more tips for a healthy mouth in our special blog on the subject.

Clear your inner being

Washing your hands is of course key to hygiene (read all about it in our blog). However, when your body has to contend with a severe bacterial infection, antibiotics are all too readily used as a solution. We today know that antibiotics use has many disadvantages for the environment and the microbiological balance in humans and animals, in addition to the fact that more and more bacteria are becoming increasingly resistant to it. This could lead to what has been called 'post antibiotic era': a future in which microbes can resist antibiotics and have free rein in our bodies. The good news is that science is making promising strides in researching more natural alternatives to antibiotics.

Have you ever heard of the following developments?

  • An alternative, or supplement, to antibiotics for non-life-threatening persistent infections are bacteriophages. Each bacterium has its own bacteriophage nemesis, which also occurs naturally in the body. It attacks the bacteria by binding to it and injecting and multiplying its DNA in it, in order to destroy the bacterium from within. The advantage is that in case a bacterium is not very impressed by its nemesis phage; a combination of several bacteriophages can present a second attack tactic. In several places worldwide bacteriophages are being experimentally used when antibiotics offer no solace.
  • Another innovative development is the use of lysine (an essential amino acid) in the fight against bacterial infections. By slightly adjusting lysine by laboratory means, it obtains a more selective target area, so that lysine, like bacteriophages, can selectively eliminate bacteria. No more throwing the baby out with the bath water when it comes to the microbiome and infections!

These are some interesting concepts that are broadening our horizons in the field of tackling bacterial infections. Scientific studies are also underway in the field of food extracts and their potential antibacterial properties, which we are following closely.

Smooth and clean skin

Your skin also benefits from your nutritional choices. Clean, healthy skin is a combination of genetics and epigenetics, but your intestines also play a role. This should not be underestimated. The gut-skin axis is key here: the connection between your intestines and your skin.

Since 1930, the connection between the gut and the skin has been described and researched. Your gut health has a strong connection with your immune system, sleep, stress resistance and metabolism. But if your intestines are healthy, your skin will also benefit.

For example, a study found that participants with rosacea (in which the skin is red and more blemishes occur) suffered from small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) up to 10 times more often than participants without rosacea. When the SIBO was addressed, the impurities also cleared up, the study found.

It is also known that a gluten allergy or intolerance can manifest itself through Duhring's disease, a skin condition that causes bumps and blisters. 10-15% of all celiac patients have this condition, but even without a known gluten allergy, a gluten-free diet is in fact the most important and effective treatment for Duhring's disease.

Just as your intestines and mouth, your skin has its own microbiome. In addition to your nutrition, stress level and sleep, you influence this dermal microbiome by how you care for and clean your skin. Especially now that we are no longer only dealing with exposure to sunlight, but also taking in more and more blue light through screens, it is good to take care of your skin from the outside. But have you ever considered the following types of skin care?

  • Skin care from the inside out: drink plenty of water, which is very important for supple, healthy skin. And in addition to the types of nutrition beneficial to your oral health, make sure that you also consume sufficient fiber, fat and collagen-rich products.
  • Get active. It benefits your circulation, and sweating helps to remove waste products. Exercising outdoors also gives you your portion of sunlight - two birds with one stone!
  • You can often replace cosmetics with natural products such as pure jojoba oil or rose hip oil to care for your skin, or natural sea salt and apple cider vinegar for exfoliating. And you can buy aloe vera as a cosmetic product because of its soothing properties. With an aloe vera plant in your home you can also apply pure nature to the skin. Just cut off a piece of the leaf.

As you have read, rest, gentle hygiene and nutrition are crucial parts of a healthy body that is clean and balanced as much as possible. But which foods allow the body's self-cleansing and regenerative capacities to function optimally? We will discuss this in the closing blog in our triptych on the good life: Keto.