Did you know that toxin buildup in the body is a major contributor to auto-immune conditions, weight gain, metabolic syndrome, endocrine disruption, and a number of other chronic health issues?
There are over 85,000 chemicals listed on the EPA’s Chemical Substance Inventory, with several thousands more that are categorized elsewhere. It’s hard to believe, but very few of those chemicals have ever been tested for possible effects to human health.
Toxins are everywhere around us and can be absorbed through our skin, ingested in our food, and breathed in from the air. When the body has an onslaught of toxins to deal with, many of them end up getting “packaged up” and stored in fat cells as described in this article.
In the long term, the accumulation of toxins can cause the fat cells to swell and become inflamed. This results in weight gain and low-level chronic inflammation that can trigger the immune system and contribute to immune system dysfunction.
You simply cannot avoid all of the toxins in our modern environment, so don’t stress! Following these 5 tips will help to decrease your toxin exposure significantly:
Although organic produce is not completely free of pesticides, it is significantly better than conventionally grown produce. If you cannot afford to buy organic, then purchase a natural produce wash and soak your fruits and veggies for 15 minutes.
You can also follow the EWG’s yearly “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean 15” lists. The produce classified in the “Dirty Dozen” should always be purchased organic due to the high use of pesticides on these products. The produce listed in the “Clean 15” is okay to be consumed if conventionally grown, because they are less likely to be laden with pesticides.
Unfiltered tap water can contain traceable levels of lead, aluminum, chlorine, PFAS, perchlorate, and many other compounds which can contribute to the body’s toxicity. There are many types of water filters that can fit any budget and will help to decrease the levels of potentially harmful compounds.
ZeroWater Filters are an affordable option for a countertop filter. Berkey water filters offer larger, higher quality stainless steel options in various sizes. The gold standard would be a reverse osmosis filter either for your main sink or for the entire home. (Bonus points for putting a water filter on your shower heads as well!).
BPA, or bisphenol A, is a chemical used to make plastics. Sources report that “…in a recent unpublished study, vom Saal found that BPA affected rodent fat cells at very low doses, 1,000 times below the dose that regulatory agencies presume causes no effect in humans.”
A great way to avoid BPA is to discontinue use of any plastic water bottles and food storage containers. Opt for a stainless-steel water bottle instead, and replace your plastic containers with glass or stainless-steel options. Avoid using plastic wraps, and definitely do not heat your food in plastic wrap or plastic containers.
When plastic containers say, “microwave safe,” it means putting it in the microwave is safe for the container… not for YOU! Surprisingly, another common source of BPA is paper receipts. Decline paper receipts when you can, and opt for an emailed receipt if you need one (you’ll be helping the environment too!).
“EPA studies of human exposure to air pollutants indicate that indoor levels of pollutants may be two to five times – and occasionally more than 100 times – higher than outdoor levels.” Whether you live in a new or an old home, indoor air can contain VOCs, flame retardants, toxins from flooring and paint, mold, and many other contaminants.
If affordable, a whole home air purifying system is the gold standard to reduce the toxicity of the air in your home. If you cannot afford to purchase a whole home air purifier, opt for a smaller system that you can place in the room where you spend the most time. If an air purifier is not an option for you, at least be sure to open your windows on a daily basis to allow for fresh air circulation!
No matter how hard we try, we will never be able to live a toxin free life in the 21st century! It is true that we have a built-in detoxification system in our bodies led by our liver and kidneys. However, our liver and kidneys do not have the natural capability to deal with the sheer magnitude of toxins that we all are faced with in modern times!
The best way to fight back against inevitable toxin exposure is to support the liver with all of the nutrients it needs to function optimally and perform all phases of detoxification. Completing a high-quality functional medicine liver detox 3-4 times per year can help to keep your total toxic burden low and offset the potential health effects of toxin buildup.
Let’s face it… toxins are everywhere! It can become overwhelming trying to avoid all of them. The truth is, it’s not possible to completely avoid exposure to toxins. The best thing you can do is control the controllable factors in your life by starting with the 5 tips above! Commit to the 5 steps in this article and you will be surprised at the health benefits that lowering your toxicity can provide!
Do you suffer from an auto-immune condition or other chronic disease? Have you tried any of these tips, and did they make a difference for you? Have you ever completed a toxicity test or a functional medicine detox or would you consider doing so? Do you follow the Clean 15 and the Dirty Dozen?
Tags Healthy Aging