When it comes to boosting your health and wellbeing, one of the best things you can do is to reduce the harmful hidden toxins in your life.
In other words, if you're feeling sluggish, run down, or simply not in your best health, what you avoid and eliminate is just as important as the lifestyle changes you make.
The problem is there are hidden toxins everywhere these days - in packaged and processed foods, household cleaning products and big brand personal care items - so for vibrant health, it's very important to be conscious of limiting your exposure to these chemicals.
Here we explore the main factors that cause toxicity in your body and share 5 recommended ways to reduce hidden toxins in your life.
Toxic Load Symptoms
Firstly, let's talk about some of the obvious signs that you may have toxicity in your body.
These are common signals that should prompt you to consider making adjustments to your overall lifestyle. They include:
- Regular digestive problems
- Frequent bad breath
- Chronic fatigue
- Rapid weight gain
- Inflammatory skin conditions
- Regular mood swings and irritability
- Irregular sleep patterns
- Ongoing muscle and join pain
All of these symptoms are an indicator that it could be time to take a close look at your daily habits. By doing this, you will identify key areas that may be contributing to these problems.
It's important to realise that carrying a high toxic load in your body stresses out your liver and can disrupt your endocrine system which is responsible for filtering toxins via your lymphatic stream.
This is where lowered immunity silently manifests itself over time and shows up in your inability to resist harmful pathogens and even chronic disease.
So how can you reduce your toxic load?
It all starts with eliminating the sources of harmful chemicals in your life. And here we share with you five simple ways to begin doing that.
1. Use Alternatives To Plastics
Do you have food in plastic containers or plastic wrap in your fridge? Do you drink out of a plastic water bottle? Do you ever eat with plastic utensils?
It seems as though the world revolves around plastic nowadays. But the problem is that most plastic products are responsible for leaching harmful chemicals into our bloodstream, which can cause a raft of health problems.
The Guardian quotes Dr. Leo Trasande, director of the Centre for the Investigation of Environmental Hazards at New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine, as saying, “there are clearly still gaps in our knowledge … there is sufficient evidence that exposure to these chemicals is problematic.”
Additionally, The Guardian states, “Manufacturers don’t actually have to provide toxicology data for substances they use if they estimate human exposure falls below 0.5 parts per billion (ppb). Yet scientists believe some endocrine disrupting chemicals can have effects at even lower amounts, particularly in vulnerable populations like infants and pregnant women.”
In short, we still are not sure how safe plastics are, even if they qualify as ‘food safe’ plastics. On top of that, using plastic means contributing to plastic pollution. Microplastics ultimately can make their way back to you.
If you want to get away from plastic, there are many possible alternatives:
- Stainless steel lunch boxes
- Glass food storage containers
- Bamboo disposable utensils
- Ceramic, stainless and glass drink bottles
- Stainless steel and glass mixing bowls for cooking
- Ceramic plates to cover your bowls in the fridge
The point is that avoiding plastic is actually fairly easy when you're conscious of its harmful effects and when you get into the habit of using the alternatives.
2. Ditch The Chemical Cleaning & Personal Care Products
Take a look at the list of ingredients on the household and personal care products you use. If you can't pronounce or recognise those ingredients, chances are they are toxic and should be avoided.
Everything from bench and bathroom sprays, floor cleaners, laundry detergents, and antibacterial soaps should be put under the spotlight if you want to minimise your toxic load because they are generally loaded with harmful chemicals such as phthalates, parabens, sodium lauryl sulphate and triclosan to name a few.
You’ll also find many of these same harmful chemicals in most commercial, big-brand personal care products that you probably use on a daily basis, such as soaps, shampoos, conditioners, cleansers, moisturisers, mouthwash and toothpaste.
Why are these chemicals toxic?
Because many of the chemical ingredients are known endocrine disruptors that behave like estrogen which can be very harmful to your immune system.
The good news is, you can replace these products with less toxic or non-toxic alternatives which you will find at good health food markets or in our online store at tolmanselfcare.com
One of the best ways to fix your household cleaning, skin care and personal care routines is to start embracing the versatility and natural benefits of products made with pure essential oils.
Derived from flowers, roots, bark and sap of plants, essential oils are nature's gifts when it comes to healthy, natural lifestyle.
Essential Oils come in a wide variety of refreshing and beautiful natural scents and are loaded with anti-bacterial, anti-septic and anti-fungal qualities that make them ideal for overhauling both your household cleaning and personal care routines.
3. Filter Your Drinking Water
The water you drink directly from the tap in your home can also contribute to your toxic load.
The Environmental Working Group in the USA writes, “EWG’s Tap Water Database collects data from nearly 50,000 local utilities in 50 states – everything their required annual tests found in your community’s drinking water. The disturbing truth shown by the data is that when most Americans drink a glass of tap water, they're also getting a dose of industrial or agricultural contaminants linked to cancer, harm to the brain and nervous system, changes in the growth and development of the fetus, fertility problems and/or hormone disruption.”
Thankfully, you can remove contaminants such as chlorine, fluoride and heavy metals from your tap water by filtering or distilling your water.
Consider investing in a high-quality ceramic filter, or get your hands on an at-home distillers that mimics the process of natural rainfall. You can remineralise distilled water by placing it in glass bottles in the sun for one hour, before refrigerating it for later consumption.
If you must purchase bottled water on-the-go, make sure it is water bottled at the source from a free-flowing spring or underground aquifer, as these types of water products have undergone their own form of natural filtration prior to bottling at source.
There are a number of boutique bottling companies that provide this type of water in the marketplace. And these are the brands you should look for when purchasing bottled water.
Finally, it's a good idea to take a reusable glass water bottle (with a rubber exterior casing) where ever you go, to avoid the plastic bottles that abound.
4. Locally Grown, Spray-Free Produce
The produce you'll find at your local supermarket may look wholesome on the face of it, but you don't really know how long it's been on the shelf, in storage or transportation, or how and where it was cultivated.
Not to mention, most conventional produce these days has been heavily sprayed with pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, which all add to your invisible consumption of toxins.
This is why whenever possible, it's best to shop for fresh fruits and vegetables at your local farmer's markets from growers from your region.
It's a great way to minimise the chain from farm to table, meaning greater nutrition and freshness for you and your health.
Talk to your local growers and you'll quickly develop a new appreciation for quality whole foods, the variety and colours available, and you'll also always have access to what is in actually 'in season'.
Quick Tip: When you shop for produce, it's good to be aware of produce that is among the most heavily sprayed, commonly referred to as, ‘the dirty dozen’.
Be on the look out for locally grown, spray-free and organic varieties of the following fruits and vegetables wherever possible:
Thankfully there is also a group of whole foods known as the ‘clean fifteen’.
These are the fruits and vegetables known to have much lower levels of pesticides used in their farming or where the chemicals used have less impact on the produce quality.
In fact, studies have been done to indicate that about 70% of these show no pesticides or chemicals at all during testing, meaning you can be less concerned about these foods when you shop. The clean fifteen are the following:
- Sweet corn
- Sweet Peas (Frozen varieties)
- Rock Melon (Cantaloupes)
- Honeydew Melon
- Kiwi fruits
Once again, produce that is locally grown and labeled spray-free or organic is always your best bet, which is why your local farmer's markets should be where you choose to shop.
Also, even though rinsing your produce before consumption is always a good habit to get into, when it comes to conventional or non-organic produce, you can minimise the impact of pesticides by soaking them in an apple cider vinegar rinse before storage.
Add 1/2 cup of organic apple cider vinegar to a sink full of cold water, swish your produce around in the mix for 5-10 seconds, then allow to soak for 3-5 minutes. Rinse with plain cold water, pat dry and store.
As for animal products, if you’re not vegan or vegetarian, always choose pasture-raised, hormone-free options, from animals that were allowed to graze, roam cage-free and were raised humanely to minimise your intake of harmful chemicals and toxins.
5. Replace Toxic Cookware & Utensils
Much of the cookware and non-stick pans on the market are know to be coated with chemicals such as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).
Consider replacing your non-stick cookware with products made of cast iron, ceramic, or glass. Not only are they healthier, but you will also find that they last longer and provide you with greater value.
Also, consider giving up using regular metal utensils which are often made from radioactive metals. Far better to use real silver or bamboo cutlery wherever you can to minimise your exposure to unwanted toxins.
The Main Take Away
To build and maintain robust health and immunity, it's important to begin by reducing your toxic load.
Constant exposure to chemical toxins places a heavy burden on the vital systems of your body, in particular your immune system, which can lead to a life time of health problems.
Become more conscious about the chemicals and products you use in your everyday life when it comes to your household cleaning and personal care routine.
Embrace healthy habits, source locally grown fresh food, breathe clean air and get regular exercise - and you'll go a long way to protecting your health and immunity which is what basic self care is all about.
Tolman Self Care.