We are surrounded by toxins. We get it. The thought of how many toxins we encounter every day almost makes us want to vomit (and in some cases, probably does). Although every toxin is something you want to avoid, in many cases, it is simply not possible. However, you can start to eliminate the more serious toxins you touch daily to significantly lighten your toxic load.
Most people start their day by waking up on their chemically treated mattress, glancing at their EMF emitting cell phone, while considering how many more minutes they can wait before they hit the shower.
This is where the toxin onslaught begins.
More than 2,100 toxic chemicals have been detected in America’s water systems, with fluoride, chlorine, and VOC’s being the main culprits. These chemicals have been linked to behavioral, brain, and thyroid problems as they bio-accumulate in your tissues. These chemicals have also been known to create allergies and increase cancer death rates.
So if you are of the majority who showers in treated water with no filter to remove these contaminants, you are slowly absorbing these toxins through your skin on a daily basis. Don’t be fooled into believing the dose is not harmful; over a period of time these toxins will take their toll.
Personal Care Products
Now that you are all cleaned up (using soap, shampoo, and possibly conditioner in the shower) , it’s time to finish making yourself fit for interaction with other human beings. This process could include any number of personal care products. The typical applications include deodorant, hair products, cologne/perfume, and skin lotions.
The majority of personal care products contain a number of chemicals and preservatives like phthalates, parabens, aluminum, and petroleum distillates, just to name a few. These chemicals are known hormone disruptors and can cause allergies, attention deficit disorder, and breast cancer.
Consult the Environmental Working Group and their skin deep database to determine the safety of your personal care products, and make better choices if necessary. There are many companies producing organic soaps, shampoos, and personal care products.
Now it’s time for what we have been looking forward to ever since we woke up – coffee. Nothing seems to make our heart sing more than the anticipation of the sight, smell, and boost that is our morning coffee.
Too bad most coffee drinkers are completely contaminating themselves.
Coffee is one of the most heavily, chemically treated crops and coffee is highly acidic, with a pH often ranging between 4.5 and 6 (alkaline is closer to 7.4). If your non-organic coffee is not toxic enough for you, the refined white sugar (or worse, HFCS flavourings or artificial sweeteners) and dairy you add to it is sure to add another layer of contaminants that gives your gut a serious knockout punch. Oh, and don’t forget the toxic tap water that is the main ingredient.
If you drink coffee, make it organic and consider drinking it black or with better sugar and dairy alternatives to reduce the toxic load.
Seriously, is there anything on the shelves that doesn’t have corn in it nowadays? This crop really needs to take a rest and remove itself from a lot of our food supply.
Corn is largely GMO, and is difficult to digest for most people, which automatically makes it a toxic choice. But if GMO corn in the produce aisle wasn’t enough, nearly every other aisle contains it.
Corn can be found in pork, beef, bread, sodas, chicken, fries, chips, cereals, and spaghetti sauces. The only way you can really avoid GMO corn is to buy only organic corn and corn products.
To learn more about how GMO corn gets on your plate without you knowing, watch the documentary, King Corn.
A staple in many people’s diets, rice has also found its way onto our plate and in our cups on a daily basis. The only problem is with the source and the contaminants that cannot be easily cleaned up.
The majority of rice production takes place in China and India (the top 2 rice producing countries in the world), and accounts for up to 40% of production. This isn’t necessarily a problem until you factor in the major pollution problem these two countries are dealing with and the fact that it directly affects soil composition and makes even “organic” a difficult label to apply.
Recent reports have shown that products containing rice sourced from China are riddled with heavy metal contaminants–lead, tungsten, cadmium, and mercury at far beyond acceptable limits. This makes eating rice in any form from these regions very risky, as heavy metal toxicity is a major health compromising factor.
Cleaning up soil in a heavily polluted environment is a task that takes decades. Until these limits come down to acceptable levels, choose organic rice from reliable producers outside of those regions.
Although soy was once considered the darling of all things healthy, research now suggests otherwise. Soy in its most common forms is actually detrimental to our health.
GMO soy shows up in a variety of packaged foods, most notably soy sauce, soy milk, and soy protein isolate that is found in the majority of protein and meal replacement shakes, as well as protein bars and snacks. These products are difficult to digest and disrupt your hormones to the point that they can cause breast and other cancers related to the hormonal system.
If you choose to consume soy, make it organic (non-GMO) and fermented (like miso and tempeh) to almost completely alleviate the toxic load.
Refined Wheat Flour
Wheat has been the poster child of all things bad, and the gluten free movement has gained more momentum than any other health concern.
Even it its whole form, wheat causes severe toxicity issues. The digestive system is not set up to handle copious amounts. Gluten is very difficult to digest, especially with our deficiency of good gut bacteria. Then you strip it of any remaining nutrients to make it white, and wheat ends up being a better insecticide than food because any bug that tries to live off it eventually dies.
In addition, wheat appears to be making some headway as a fully blown GM crop thanks to Monsanto announcing new research into GM wheat in 2009, with industry groups jumping on board. Thankfully, there has been push back by consumers that has stalled some of their efforts.
Refined wheat is found in nearly every packaged product. If you do choose wheat products (even though it is not recommended), ensure that they are organic and sprouted to limit the toxic load.
Sugar is one of the most difficult foods to avoid due to our own cravings and the fact that it is found in nearly every packaged product in the grocery store.
Aside from being largely GMO (sugar from sugar beets), refined sugar is literally feeding the candida outbreak that is silently ruining people’s health through hundreds of different disease labels, from arthritis to cancer. Yet, we can’t seem to keep this food out of our diet as it shows up in a variety of forms in packaged foods, as well as our coffee, tea, and baked goods.
Even though dairy has also received widespread attention as a gut menacing food or beverage, it still has a stronghold in people’s diets across the world.
If you aren’t putting it into your coffee, cereal, baking, or sauces, you still have to deal with it in chocolate, yogurt, dressings, cheese, shakes, soups, and many packaged and fried foods (often disguised as whey or casein).
The main issue with dairy is that it is largely pasteurized (making it a “dead” food”), and loaded with hormones and antibiotics. Combine that with natural sugars like lactose that are very hard to digest, and you have a
toxic touch point that makes it into many people’s diets everyday.
Most of us have grown up eating animal meat in one form or another. This daily habit is now more toxic than ever.
Meat is not as simple as it once was. Meat production has become a huge industry infatuated with pumping out as much product as cheaply and in as little time as possible. The cost to us is tainted meat that introduces a variety of toxins into our physiology.
Most of the animals are raised in horrible, inhumane conditions. On top of this, they are often fed toxic animal parts and low quality grains laced with elements like arsenic to fatten them up quicker at a reduced cost (this is most prevalent in the chicken industry). In addition to these horrific acts, these animals are injected with or fed hormones and antibiotics, which ends up on your plate, now creating a health issue for you. According to data from 2011, more than 80% of the antibiotics produced were fed to livestock.
If you choose to eat animal meat, look for labels saying organic, free from, grass fed, and free range. Even better, know your farmer and understand their operation so you know they are being treated respectfully, fed well, and naturally maintained.
Another common habit, alcohol use has been perpetuated as a way to really enjoy yourself. Although alcohol may seem to help, beer, wine, whiskey and other spirits have created a host of health problems associated with the gut and liver.
Alcohol does not promote health. Although there may be some useful nutrients associated with wine and beer, they are overshadowed by the toxicity created from the alcohol, grains, sugar, and yeast that are present in them. This combination puts a serious smack down on your gut and your liver, two parts of your body that contribute largely to your livelihood.
If you do choose to drink alcohol, exercise moderation and choose organic.
Most people have caught on by now that prescription medications are some of the most toxic things you can put in your body. With that being said, it certainly isn’t stopping many as it is now estimated that 70 percent of Americans take at least one prescription drug, and more than half take two or more. Antibiotics, antidepressants, and painkillers are the most prescribed drugs.
The unfortunate part of this bandaid solution is that it creates a massive array of complications, with the most damage being inflicted to the intestinal system and liver. This creates a wide variety of symptoms. Just listen to a drug commercial; 10-15 seconds is dedicated to listing the side effects, a clear indicator of just how toxic the side effects can be.
Until an individual is able to come off of prescriptions, there will always be an onerous toxic load from this one act alone.
The Rabbit Hole Goes Deep
Although these daily toxic touch points make up a large portion of your daily intake, there are hundreds of others that make their way into our lifestyle. The list is so pervasive, unless you have done hundreds of hours of research, you can’t even begin to imagine the bombardment our bodies are subjected to over a course of a day.
The safest way to avoid these daily toxins is to buy whole, fresh, and organic foods that do not come in a package. For those that do, ensure the ingredients are minimal and clean, and be mindful of the origin of the product. Choose more natural personal care products, and keep your water clean for hygiene and drinking purposes.
If your health and happiness is worth it, why not get started today?