Our world has changed dramatically over the last 100 years. With amazing advancements in technology, sanitation and life saving surgical procedures, the progress has surely been a blessing. In some respects though, this accelerated development of our society has also been a curse; the epidemic rise of chronic and autoimmune diseases are causing millions to suffer needlessly and bankrupting an already fragile and overspent world economy. One of the many factors at the root of this rise of chronic and autoimmune diseases are toxins, which have risen astronomically during this time period. Toxins, which were never known to humanity until relatively recently, are pervasive in our environment and in our bodies.
My previous article on the subject showed how these toxins are harming your thyroid and your hormones, but in reality toxins are linked to just about every chronic and autoimmune disease. For example, diseases like diabetes and heart disease may be caused at least in part by toxins. So how do we stay healthy despite the ubiquity of these substances?
First, let's focus on reducing toxins in your everyday life:
1. Eat organic.
One easy way to minimize toxins is to eat food that hasn't been sprayed with pesticides and herbicides. If you can't get an organic option, make sure to thoroughly wash your conventional produce.
2. Clean green.
Conventional dish soaps, laundry detergents, fabric softeners and household cleaners contain harmful chemicals for your health. Look for products labeled nontoxic, and ones that plant-based ingredients. The Environmental Working Group (EWG), one of the most respected nonprofit groups doing work on this topic, has a great guide to nontoxic cleaners.
3. Get fresh air.
Instead of using toxic air fresheners and candles, essential oils are a great alternative, and have healing benefits as well! Perfumes and cologne may smell nice, but many contain toxic ingredients. Using essential oils instead is a great, healthy way to smell your best!
4. Bring nature indoors.
One way to clean the air you breathe is by having fresh household plants inside your house and work space.
5. Be naturally beautiful.
Remember, your skin is your biggest organ. If you can't eat what's on your skin, don't use it. Your skin absorbs all the toxins that are in conventional soaps, shampoos and makeup products. Instead of conventional store-bought lotions, try using almond, jojoba or coconut oils! There are also great nontoxic beauty options out there; here's a fantastic guide from the EWG for nontoxic beauty products.
6. Wear natural sunscreens.
Knowing that your skin is highly absorptive, can you imagine the absorption rate when you're sweating in the sun and reapplying often? The EWG found that 84% of sunscreen products are harmful to consumers. You read that right: More than four out of five sunscreen products actually harm the people who use them. Due to the scare tactics against even moderate sun exposure, many have gone to the other extreme, and lather up with chemicals that they would certainly never eat for dinner. Many are also vitamin D deficient because of this. The EWG has a great list of safe, nontoxic sunscreens.
7. Drink clean water.
One study found more than 300 pollutants in U.S. tap water. Add a quality water filter in your house to remove at least the majority of common toxins that are found in the water supply.
8. Reduce microwave use.
Microwaves can significantly reduce nutritional content of food. One study found that broccoli cooked in the microwave lost up to 97% of its beneficial antioxidants. By comparison, steamed broccoli lost only 11% or fewer of its antioxidants. Another study demonstrated that garlic lost many of its beneficial qualities after being microwaved.
9. Dump Teflon cookware.
The chemical compound used to make Teflon can be very difficult for the body to eliminate. Instead of using Teflon cookware, try cast iron or nontoxic ceramic.
10. Cook with healthy oils.
The oils you use for cooking all have a specific tolerance for heat, called a smoking point. Using cooking oils that oxidize and become toxic at relatively low temperatures isn't a good idea for your health. Coconut oil and ghee are great options for cooking.
So now that you have started the process of detoxifying your life, here are some tips to start cleaning out your body and resetting your health to overcome your health problems:
11. Sweat more.
Sweating it a great way to start cleaning toxins out of your body. Using an infrared sauna or doing hot yoga are great ways to get your sweat on.
There are tons of detox products out there on the market, and many aren't worth your time and money, but it's worth exploring your options. My goal is to clinically investigate root cause toxicity issues and personalize a comprehensive program to address individual issues. All of my patients are different, with different problems and goals, so their customized detox program has to be tailored just for them.