The Top 5 Sources of Toxins You Need to Know About (And What You Can Do to Protect Your Health)
Did you know that your drinking water could be a major source of toxins? You deserve to look and feel your best…Find out the top 5 sources of toxins and what you can do to reduce toxic exposure.
Each day, we are surrounded by poisonous substances, which affect our minds and bodies.
These poisonous substances are called toxins and your health is affected …much more than you may realize…depending upon how much exposure you have to toxins on a regular basis. In this article, we will cover the top sources of toxins and how you can reduce your exposure to improve your health.
Internal and External Toxins
First of all, it’s important to recognize that toxins can be found externally (outside your body) or created internally (inside your body).
Examples of external toxins are: pollution, second hand cigarette smoke and pesticides.
Internal toxins, on the other hand, include: bad bacteria and yeast create dangerous toxins right inside your body. A low-grade, chronic viral infection and chronic stress, anxiety or negative thinking all add to the total body burden of toxins.
Yes, even your thoughts are a source of toxicity!
So what are the major sources of toxins and what can YOU do to reduce your exposure and feel your best?
Top Five Sources of Toxins and What YOU Can Do to Stay Healthy
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 chemicals and 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 to avoid. Conventional produce is also full of pesticides. In fact, over one billion pounds of pesticides are used on food in the US alone. These pesticides have been linked to symptoms ranging from muscle cramps and heart rate changes to irritability to 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 140 contaminants in tap water. 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 toxins that leach from the plastic bottles themselves.
To reduce your exposure to water toxins: Read the article: The Best Water to Drink, and the Types that Should Be Avoided. If you have only tap water in your home, you might consider getting an whole house water filter or an Aquasana sink and shower filter, to reduce your exposure to the major toxins.
3. Environment – Whether inside your home or outside your home, the environment is also a major source of toxins. Pollution from manufacturing, cars and second hand cigarette smoke can be challenging to avoid. However, you can avoid a lot 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 do several things to avoid environmental toxins. You can choose the non-smoking section of restaurants and public places. At home, you can also switch your cleaning products to those with all-natural ingredients.
You can also choose “green” or chemical free products, like fabrics for furniture, which often have flame retardant chemicals on them; or paint that does not have VOCs (volatile organic compounds).
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, youth creams, soap, shampoo, conditioner, perfumes and makeup are full of toxic chemicals.
Even beauty and personal care products from the health food store can be filled with ingredients that cause harmful symptoms.
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 that live in your intestines and keep your immunity and digestive health strong.
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, which can set the stage for illness and dis-ease.
To reduce your exposure to toxins from stress and negative thinking: Because we believe in creating strong health and well-being both physically and emotionally, we dedicate several articles to creating your best emotional health. Here are some excellent articles on reducing stress and improving your outlook on life:
- How to De-Stress and Refocus on YOU
- Opening the Flow of Your Life Force: How to “Nourish Your Adrenals” (Especially If You Feel Stressed, Overwhelmed and/or Tired)
- Adaptogens: How to Eliminate Your Stress with these Amazing Natural Health Secrets
- If You are Feeling Sorrow About Anything, Remember This
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Reduce Your Exposure to Toxins, Step-by-Step
When you reduce your exposure to toxins, your body will actually feel better because your take away a huge burden on your liver and other organs of detoxification.
While we are surrounded by toxins, you can still feel your best by making better choices in the products you use and the thoughts you think. But don’t get overwhelmed by all of the new habits you might want to put in place!
Instead, take the time to learn about toxins and choose one new habit at a time, following Body Ecology’s principle of step-by-step. Even small steps will reap big rewards when it comes to your health and well-being!
- Pesticides. The Mid-Atlantic Center for Children’s Health and The Environment. October 2008.http://www.gwu.edu/~macche/parents/pesticides.html
- Health/Toxics: Drinking Water. The Environmental Working Group. http://www.ewg.org/featured/220
- Pharmaceuticals In Our Water Supplies. The University of Arizona College of Agriculture.
- Daya, Mohamud, M.D., and Chandler, David B., pH.D. Dangerous Chemicals in Your Closet. National Trade Publications, Inc., 1996.http://www.pbgast.com/Safety_Library/Bleach.htm
- Fackelmann, Kathleen. Stress can ravage the body, unless the mind says no: A positive outlook can reduce impact of stress on health. USA Today, March 22, 2005. http://www.usatoday.com/educate/college/firstyear/articles/20050327.htm