Every single day we are exposed to literally thousands of chemicals. The inconvenient truth is that there are more than 80,000 chemicals available in the United States today that have never been fully tested for their toxic effects on our health or the environment. Many of these chemicals are known carcinogens and have been proven to have many other adverse health effects, such as hormone disruption. Unfortunately, the regulations for chemicals in the United States are pathetic, at best. They are severely under-regulated and companies continue to keep using them because oftentimes they are much cheaper than their safer alternatives.
The good news is, there is a lot you can do in your daily life to drastically reduce your exposure to these toxic chemicals. Here are the top 10 ways to detoxify your life.
1. Change Your Cleaning Products
Cleaning products are completely loaded with a slew of toxic chemicals; many contain chemicals that are in fact known to be completely toxic, such as ammonia and formaldehyde. It’s really interesting to think that, even after countless studies have proven something is a danger to our health and it is even common knowledge, these chemicals are still legally allowed to be put in products we use every day. Luckily, consumers are waking up to the potential hazards of chemicals and safer alternatives are becoming readily available. Non-toxic, environmentally friendly cleaning products are easy to find and in most cases work just as well, so you can ask yourself, why wouldn’t you choose this product? You can also make your own products quite simply with many common household ingredients.
2. Cut Down or Eliminate Your Processed Food Consumption
“The problem is we are not eating food anymore, we are eating food like products.” –Alejandro Junger
This statement couldn’t be more correct; up to 70% of the average American diet comes in the form of overly processed foods. This means foods that have been far removed from their natural state and had unnatural ingredients added such as: high fructose corn syrup, monosodium glutamate, trisodium edta, nitrites, and other preservatives. These foods are designed to provide a sensory overload to the consumer and to also be addictive; this way, the consumer keeps coming back for more. Interestingly, many of these ingredients, so commonly used in food products in the Americas, are banned in other countries, specifically in Europe.
Again, this is something that as a consumer you have complete control over. You have a choice every time you bring that fork to your mouth exactly what is on it. Choose whole foods more often and whenever you can for you and your family. A whole food is something that has not been removed from its natural state, like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes, and organic animal products.
3. Conventional Foods
There are two main issues with conventional foods that are on the market today. Firstly, they are often laden with chemical pesticides, and secondly, have commonly been genetically modified. This is a problem because many of the pesticides that are being sprayed on our food are ending up directly in our bodies. The concern with genetically modified foods (GMOs) is that the DNA of the plant’s seed has been manipulated to withstand being excessively sprayed with a chemical that would otherwise kill it in order to effectively kill insects instead. No one yet knows what long-term effects these genetically modified foods could have on our systems and there are many different resources to show that it could be very detrimental to our health over time.
To avoid both toxic pesticides and GMOs the solution is simple: choose organic. Aside from drastically reducing your exposure to these toxins, choosing organic is great for the environment and helps to support local farmers.
Much like cleaning products, most makeup products contain a large amount of entirely unregulated toxic chemicals. This is an issue because many women are putting makeup into their skin nearly every single day. People seem to forget that what goes on your skin, goes in your skin. For the most part, ingredients in makeup products are not even listed, and many companies can use the terms “natural” and “organic” without even having any way to back that up. Don’t be fooled by what these companies are selling you, nowadays natural and organic are more appealing to most people and the marketing industry knows this.
There are many safer alternatives out there; with just a little bit of research you can find much better alternatives. There are even a number of blogs that teach you how to make your own makeup products!
5. Personal Hygiene Products
Personal hygiene products range from soap to feminine products and everything in between. These products are another dumping ground for toxic chemicals that we often use on a daily basis.
Again, because people are starting to become a bit more wary of what products they are choosing to use, there are many safer alternatives to shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream, deodorant, soap, body wash, face wash, cream, shaving cream, sunscreen, tampons, you name it! And the best part is, every time you choose a safer alternative product, you are telling the companies that are making the unsafe products that you are not interested in what they are selling. You may not feel like you are making a difference, but just imagine what would happen if everyone stopped buying these popular products and switched to more natural alternatives. Not only would we be ridding ourselves of these toxic chemicals, but the natural brands could lower their prices as a result. Just like makeup, you can make practically any personal care product yourself using completely natural and organic ingredients.
This is something that is generally entirely overlooked. No one really thinks they need to watch out for their furniture, but the truth is, a large portion of the furniture being sold in North America has been sprayed with extremely toxic fire retardant chemicals. The annoying part about this is that it is basically entirely unnecessary and is a ploy designed by the chemical companies. House fires are very rare these days; it was more common back in the 40’s-60’s where everyone was smoking, and indoors, but the incidence of house fires has dropped tremendously since then, and these chemicals are absolutely doing more harm than good.
With a little searching around, you can get non-toxic furniture for your home!
Ahhh… water. Here’s a big one, which unfortunately comes with a lot of controversy. Water is very important for us, I’m sure we all know this by now, but currently, the majority of the water supply in America and a good portion of Canada is being treated with chemicals such as hydrofluorosilicilic acid (more commonly referred to as fluoride) and chlorine. Many believe that fluoride is good for our teeth, but there are countless studies which show that it is not safe to ingest every single day. Many cities across Canada have recently voted to have it removed, that right there says something.
It can be difficult to remove these chemicals from your water, but it can be done. There are a number of filtration systems available today that range in price depending on exactly what you want. Please note that “Brita” and other types of store-bought filters do not remove these chemicals. Please look into “Berkey” for reasonably priced filters. If this is not an option for you, spring water is a great alternative to tap water, and there are many springs to collect from. Check out www.findaspring.com for more info!
8. Get Your Sweat On
Sweating is one of the most efficient ways to detoxify your body of unwanted toxins that have been accumulated. You should sweat daily, though this doesn’t mean you need to go for an intense run every day. You can sweat by simply walking or even stretching or doing yoga. Doing this actually releases feel-good endorphins in your brain and can reduce stress as well. Another great method to get your sweat on is to sit in a sauna; this can be very beneficial to your health.
Also, it is important to allow your body to sweat, and if you are using anti-perspirant daily, you are actually stopping this process, since anti-perspirant = anti-sweat. Consider switching to a natural deodorant. You can even make your own by following the recipe in this link. (Trust me, this is the BEST natural deodorant I have ever used and it works extremely well!)
9. Dry Brushing
Dry brushing is an ayurvedic practice that involves brushing the skin with a dry, natural bristle brush daily to remove the top layer of dead skin cells. This is amazing for detoxification because around one third of the body’s toxins are excreted through the skin, and dry brushing helps to unclog pores and excrete toxins that have been trapped under the skin.
An added bonus to this method is that it can completely replace the need for harsh soaps and lotions as well.
Yep, straight up cleansing, this one may seem obvious to some, but it’s something we probably don’t think of too often. Cleansing is a great way to “re-boot” our digestive system and clean out our livers and kidneys. There are so many different types of cleanses available to choose from, so with a little research you can find one that’s perfect for you. Most advise to cut out the consumption of alcohol, sugar, and processed foods for the duration of the cleanse. This is not only a great opportunity to detoxify your body, but also to take a step back from these foods that you may not even realize you are addicted to. It can be difficult, but you should feel the benefits of a clear mind and hopefully be on track for some more permanent, positive changes in your life.
I want to wish you all the best and encourage you to share your experiences with some of these methods of detoxifying your life in the comments section below!