8 Tips To Help You Reduce Your Exposure To Potential Toxins
Many wellness trends come and go, but there are certain healthy practices that will always be in style. They include eating lots of plants, keeping your body moving, prioritizing sleep, and surrounding yourself with natural, unprocessed materials when you can in order to avoid potentially toxic chemicals (think pesticides on your food and phthalates in your beauty products). Let's dig into what that last one looks like in practice and explore eight ways to live a healthier, more natural life:
1. Buy organic when you can (and wash your produce when you can't).
One easy way to minimize your exposure to potentially dangerous chemicals in food is to eat fruits and veggies that haven't been sprayed with pesticides and herbicides. Prioritize the ones on the Environmental Working Group (EWG)'s Dirty Dozen List since they are the most commonly sprayed. If organic options aren't readily available to you, just make sure to thoroughly wash your conventional produce.
2. Know what's in your cleaning products.
Laundry detergents, fabric softeners, and all-purpose household cleaners can also contain chemicals that might aggravate your body, especially if you're prone to skin irritation or have an underlying respiratory issue. The FDA actually doesn't require companies that sell cleaning products to disclose all of their ingredients, so you're better off going with a brand that prioritizes transparency or making your own cleaner from scratch (it's easier than you think!).
3. Get outside more.
Indoor air tends to be more polluted than outdoor air. Not to mention, walking in nature can boost your physical and mental health. So get out there!
4. Bring nature indoors with houseplants.
One way to reap the benefits of nature without taking a long hike is to fill your home with low-maintenance houseplants. Greenery can even help filter your air a bit, too.
5. Opt for green beauty.
The beauty space is championing clean ingredients more than ever before. Here are some of mindbodygreen's favorite natural beauty products on the market.
6. Make sure you're using the right sunscreen.
The EWG does extensive research on the sunscreen market every year, and they often find that the simpler the formula, the better. The watchdog group recommends looking for ones that contain zinc oxide or titanium oxide—two tried-and-true ingredients that don't seem to pose a threat to human health (unlike some other popular sunscreen additives).
7. Drink clean water.
In the past, tap water in certain districts of the U.S. has tested positive for harsh pollutants like chloroform, chromium-6, and PFAS. To be safe, consider buying a water filter for your home. (Here's a guide to finding the right one for your water supply.)
8. Cook with healthy oils.
The oils you use for cooking all have a specific tolerance for heat, called a smoke point. Using cooking oils that oxidize at relatively low temperatures (think sunflower oil, safflower oil, and cottonseed oil) could fuel inflammation in the body. Instead, use oils with a higher smoke point like avocado oil, ghee, olive oil, and coconut oil.