5 Ways To Reduce Hidden Toxins From Your Life
Not feeling your best lately? If so, your first thought might be to exercise more or to clean up your diet.
Whilst those areas are important, one of the biggest hidden culprits could be your exposure to harmful toxins.
You have probably heard the phrase, ‘You are what you eat.’
However, you are also what you ingest, what your expose yourself to in your environment and what you absorb through your skin.
Over time, harmful toxins in processed and packaged foods, beverages, household products and personal care items, all contribute to what can be referred to as your toxic load.
Carrying a high toxic load stresses out your liver and disrupts your endocrine system which is responsible for filtering toxins through your lymphatic stream.
This is where lowered immunity silently manifests itself over time and shows up in your inability to resist harmful pathogens and 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 do just that.
Toxic Load Symptoms
Firstly, let's talk about some of the obvious signs of toxicity in your body or blood stream that should prompt you to make adjustments to your lifestyle, in order to live a healthier, happier life. These include:
- Regular digestive discomfort
- Frequent bad breath
- Chronic Fatigue
- Skin conditions
- Mood disorders
- Metabolic issues
- Trouble sleeping
- Constant Irritability
- Chronic pain
If any of these sound familiar to you, it's time to take a close look at some of your daily habits and the following key areas to help your body reset and rebuild optimum function.
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.
This research states, “Their presence in food destined for human consumption and in air samples has been reported. Thus, microplastic exposure via diet or inhalation could occur, the human health effects of which are unknown.”
If you want to get away from plastic, there are many possible alternatives:
- Stainless steel and compartmentalised lunch boxes
- Cotton lunch wraps
- Glass jars and bowls
- Stainless steel bowls
- Ceramic plates to cover your bowls in the fridge
2. Ditch The Chemical Cleaning & Personal Care Products
Take a look at the ingredients lists on the bathroom sprays, floor cleaners, commercial laundry detergents, and antibacterial soaps you are using to clean your house. You’ll discover many are loaded with harmful chemicals such as phthalates, parabens, sodium lauryl sulphate, and triclosan.
You’ll also find many of these same harmful chemicals in most commercial, big-brand personal care products: Soaps, shampoos, conditioners, and even toothpaste.
Why are these chemicals toxic? As an example, parabens are endocrine disruptors that behave like estrogen which are very harmful to your immune system.
You can replace these products with less toxic or non-toxic alternatives, which you can find in good health food markets these days, or in our online store. One of the best ways to pivot your household cleaning, skin care and personal care routine is to start embracing the wander and versatility 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.
EWG 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 fruits, veggies, and grains at your local supermarket may look wholesome, but much of what you see has been transported thousands of miles and held in storage for weeks before reaching the shelves. 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.
Whenever possible shop for fresh fruits and vegetables at your local farmer's markets. Talk to your local growers and you'll quickly develop a whole new appreciation for quality whole foods and the variety and colours available.
When you shop for produce, also be aware of what's commonly referred to as the, ‘dirty dozen’ - the most commonly over sprayed fruits and vegetables, where you should definitely choose spray-free or organic whenever you can.
Thankfully there is also the ‘clean fifteen’.
These are known to have much lower levels of pesticides. Almost 70% of them showed no pesticides or chemicals at all during testing, so you can be less concerned about these foods when you shop. They are as follows:
- Sweet corn
- Sweet Peas (Frozen)
- Honeydew Melon
Produce that is locally and organically grown and labeled spray-free is always your best bet. Even though rinsing your produce before consumption is always a good habit to get into, when it comes to conventional produce (that you no has been sprayed), be sure to soak your produce in a sink full of cold water mixed with a 1/2 cup of organic apple cider vinegar for 3-5 minutes to reduce the residues. Then, rinse off with 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.
5. Replace Toxic Cookware & Utensils
Avoiding plastic utensils is common practice, but did you know that some metal utensils can be problematic as well?
The Seattle Times reports, “More than 120 shipments of contaminated goods, including cutlery, buckles and work tools such as hammers and screwdrivers, were denied U.S. entry between 2003 and 2008 after customs and the Department of Homeland Security boosted radiation monitoring at borders.”
That’s right - you could be eating with radioactive utensils. Using silver or bamboo cutlery may help you avoid this problem (or shopping with a Geiger counter).
As for cookware, non-stick pans may be coated with chemicals such as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). Research suggests PFOA exposure may raise the risk of certain cancers and reduce fertility. 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.
Make Conscious Choices To Reduce Toxins For A Healthier Life
When you replace the processed and packaged foods, beverages and chemical products in your life with non-toxic or low-tox alternatives, you will have taken the essential first step to detoxifying your body and living environment and you'll be on the way to a healthier life.
Add conscious, healthy habits to your diet and lifestyle, get outdoors, practice regular exercise and get plenty of rest and you'll soon find that your energy and outlook on life will greatly improve and you'll look and feel your best more often.
After all, this is what embracing self care and being self care aware is all about.
Tolman Self Care.