Chemicals are often neglected by those who are trying to get healthy, while portion size and exercise routines steal the spotlight. This is unfortunate because one could argue that toxins are more guilty of causing weight gain than over-eating or sedentary habits. You see, our livers job is to escort everyday pollutants out of the body, not just from alcohol, but from artificial scents, food additives etc. Hundreds of years ago, before so many pollutants were created, our liver was busy working full-time. Today however, we come into contact with millions of toxins daily and our poor liver has to work overtime without compensation.
Because the liver is flooded with so many new chemicals, it cant possibly excrete all of them. When toxins aren’t fully flushed out of the system, the body creates fat cells, where chemicals are stored to prevent them from harming essential organs. It’s actually a brilliant mechanism, but also a common reason for the inability to lose weight.
Some other symptoms of toxicity include:
Muscle Aches and Pains
More serious diseases include but are not limited to:
Alzheimer’s disease/ dementia
Hormonal problems (menopause, menstrual cycles, fertility etc.)
Many people look to detox from chemicals by doing seasonal (usually summer) juice cleanses. While this can be moderately helpful, a more effective approach would be removing preventing exposure to toxins by following these simple steps:
Eat organic foods- Whether its fruit, veg, meat, diary or grains, choosing high-quality organic food is extremely important. Organic food will not be sprayed with chemicals in the form of pesticides and fake fertilizers, nor will they be treated with preservatives.
Cut out the scented candles, air fresheners and perfumes- Many health experts predict that scented products are the modern second-hand smoke as they continually fill your lungs with synthetic chemicals.
Don’t put anything on your body that you wouldn’t eat (lotion, face-wash, toothpaste etc)- Our skin is our largest organ and anything that it comes into contact with enters straight into our blood stream. If nothing else, make sure your products are paraben and sulfate free.
Avoid aluminum-containing deodorant!- Almost all deodorant (unless stated otherwise) contains aluminum. This is a heavy metal that is highly toxic and difficult for the body to rid of it’s system. Using organic deodorant is specifically important as your under arms have the biggest pores and are located directly next to the breast, which is the last place you want carcinogenic chemicals to enter.
Avoid canned foods, especially tomatoes- Tin cans contain high levels of BPA with is a toxin that mimics estrogen in the body. That compound then contaminates the food in the can. Tomatoes are the worst offenders because of their acidity levels. If you’re buying pre-packed fruit or vegetables make sure they come in a glass container.
Avoid plastic containers- Plastic also contains BPA and other cancer-causing compounds. So swap our your plastic lunch containers for glass and drink out of a glass or steal jar.
Reducing your exposure to everyday chemicals is a process so don’t feel overwhelmed. Any small step you make, whether it’s switching lunch containers, or getting a new deodorant will have a great impact on your health. Watch for next weeks post where I will talk about some enjoyable ways to detox.