Feeling Like It’s Time for a Cleanse? The Top 5 Sources of Toxins That Could Endanger Your Health
In an ideal world, our diet and our environment would be toxin-free. There would be little need to tackle a full-body cleanse. The news is full of how our modern environment—whether it be the food we eat, the water we drink, or the air we breathe—is being contaminated.
Pollution is considered one of the largest global killers. It affects more than 200 million people around the world. According to the nonprofit environmental organization Pure Earth, children are especially vulnerable. More than 3 million children under the age of five die each year due to environmental factors.1 Toxic pollution can hinder a child’s development and cause a lifetime’s worth of damage. Over 3.7 million toxic chemicals (and counting) have been released by industries into the environment this year alone.2
The NIH confirms that environmental chemical exposure, even at low doses, can affect human growth and development. The environment contributes to up to 85% of all diseases.3 Washington State University researchers even discovered that environmental toxin exposure during pregnancy could cause inherited diseases, like cancer and kidney disease, to be passed on to descendents.4
How to Work with Your Body While You Detox
Body Ecology’s LivAmend is the detox kickstarter you have been looking for. The herbs can naturally, gently, and deeply detoxify by increasing bile flow, supporting a healthy liver and improving bowel elimination.
It’s important to remember that some forms of cleansing can be shocking to the body. We may experience emotional outbursts. We may develop a rash, break out with cystic acne, catch a cold, or discharge large amounts of mucous from our lungs or even in our stool.
When the barrier systems in the body are not strong, the effects of a cleanse can be extreme and even debilitating. This is why it is essential to work with the body.
Working with the body during a full-body detox means that we:
- Cleanse the major pathways of elimination first—such as the colon.
- Support a cleanse with plenty of little helpers, such as beneficial bacteria—many of which can naturally metabolize toxins and heavy metals.
- Make sure that important barrier systems, such as the lining of the gastrointestinal tract and the blood-brain barrier, are intact before beginning a more aggressive cleanse, such as chelation therapy.
- Support the body with plenty of antioxidant-rich foods and botanicals.
- Listen to the body and stop or slow down when necessary.
If you have never gone through a full-body cleanse that includes diet modifications, probiotic-rich foods, and botanicals, move through the detox program one step at a time.
5 Top Toxins to Watch Out For
Here are the top 5 sources of toxins, along with recommendations to reduce your exposure:
1. Food – Your food has more toxins than you may think. The biggest culprit for toxic exposure is processed foods, which are full of chemical additives that can create symptoms ranging from cravings and weight gain to poor digestive health and food allergies.
But it’s not just packaged food you must avoid. Conventional produce is also full of pesticides. In fact, over one billion pounds of pesticides are used on food in the U.S. alone. These pesticides have been linked to symptoms ranging from muscle cramps and heart rate changes to irritability and emotional instability.
To reduce your exposure to food toxins: Choose whole foods instead of processed foods. In addition, choose organic fruits and vegetables. Organic produce is grown without harmful pesticides and, even better, the soil is more mineral-rich. Eating organic, whole foods is a great step you can take toward health and wellness.
2. Water – Do you know the source of your water? These days, knowing where your water comes from is of the utmost importance. Your body is between 70-90% water, and the water you drink is critical to hydrating your body at the cellular level.
Tap water is teeming with toxins. The Environmental Working Group found over 316 chemicals in tap water, based on analysis of 20 million records from state water officials.5 In addition, over the past few years, studies have shown that pharmaceuticals, like prescription and over-the-counter drugs, are being found in tap water. Some of the most common drugs found in water are: antibiotics, anti-depressants, birth control pills, seizure medication, cancer treatments, pain killers, tranquilizers, and cholesterol-lowering compounds.
Many bottled waters have been shown to be just as bad as tap water in most cases—not to mention the toxins that leach from the plastic bottles themselves.
To reduce your exposure to water toxins: Choose well-sourced spring water and avoid drinking tap water or showering without a filter.
3. Environment – Whether inside your home or outside your home, the environment is also a major source of toxins. Pollution from manufacturing, cars, and secondhand cigarette smoke can be challenging to avoid.
However, you can minimize many of the toxins inside and around your home. Too many people use harsh household cleaners containing bleach, ammonia, and other toxic chemicals that can cause health problems ranging from nausea to skin destruction, fluid in the lungs, and wheezing.
To reduce your exposure to environmental toxins: Some people choose to live in rural locations for the clean air and land. However, short of moving, you can switch your cleaning products to those with all-natural ingredients.
4. Beauty and Personal Care Products – The products we use to look our best may actually be the biggest source of aging and other adverse symptoms. Beauty products like toothpaste, lotion, anti-aging creams, soap, shampoo, conditioner, perfumes, and makeup are full of toxic chemicals.
To reduce your exposure to toxins in beauty and personal care products: Read ingredient labels on your personal care products. Anything you put on your skin is absorbed into your body.
Some important ingredients to avoid in your beauty and personal care products are: Sodium laurel sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, triclosan (found in antibacterial products), Parabens (Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, p-Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben, n-Butylparaben and Benzylparaben), mineral oil, petroleum, Diethanolamine DEA, Cocamide DEA, Lauramide DEA, alpha and beta hydroxy acids, talc, lanolin, and phthalates.
5. Stress and Negative Thinking – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that up to 90% of all illness and disease is due to stress. Stress can kill the good bacteria and yeast living in your intestines that keep your immunity and digestive health strong.
To reduce your exposure to toxic stress: As the good bacteria and yeast die off, the bad bacteria and yeast are able to take over. Body Ecology teaches that this creates an imbalanced inner ecosystem. Strengthening your inner ecosystem with fermented foods and probiotics can buffer stress and reduce the risk of illness and disease.
Want a detox plan that really works? Join us for the 30-Day Detox Challenge starting June 1, 2015!
What To Remember Most About This Article:
A full-body cleanse relieves the toxic burden on the body and can give the digestive system a much-needed rest. To cleanse the body successfully, it’s important to support your inner ecosystem with beneficial bacteria and move through the detox slowly, working with your body step-by-step.
To start the process, watch out for the top 5 sources of toxins that can affect your health:
- Food: The biggest contributor to toxins in the body comes from processed foods, full of chemical additives.
- Water: Tap water is full of toxins, including pharmaceuticals like prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
- Environment: Outside pollution and even the use of household cleaners can contaminate your body with toxic chemicals to cause a wide range of health problems.
- Beauty Products: Read product ingredient labels carefully—any ingredient you put on your skin will be absorbed into your body!
- Stress: 90% of all disease is related to stress. Stress can even kill friendly bacteria in your intestines to affect your immune system for the worse.
- “Fact Sheet – Pure Earth.” Pure Earth.
- “Toxic Chemicals Released by Industries This Year.”
- “Child Development and Environmental Toxins.” National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
- “WSU Study Shows Environmental Toxins Can Cause Inherited Diseases.” WSU News Service.
- “National Drinking Water Database.” EWG Tap Water Database 2009.