Toxin overload is real.
Toxins enter our bodies everyday through the air that we breathe, food that we eat, products that we use on our skin and even through the medications that we use.
We really need to do our best to avoid toxins and also become serious about supporting our body’s detoxification process.
I first became aware of the impact that toxins have on our health way back in 2014. I was doing some research on a way to heal my daughter’s severe eczema at the time. Till then I had absolutely no idea how much these hidden chemicals in our environment impacted our health.*
I shared this story in a recent live session and you can watch it here.
Living in a toxic soup
In the past, toxins exposure was mostly limited to occupational exposure. Only people who were in certain professions were exposed to certain toxins. For eg, coal miners were in danger of inhaling coal dust.
And those who made felt hats in the 18th and 19th centuries were exposed to mercury. This led to mercury poisoning with symptoms such as slurred speech, trembling tremors and even hallucinations. This is where the phrase “as mad as a hatter” originated.
However, with the explosion of industrial activity over the past several decades, toxin exposure is no longer limited to a few professions.
Now, all of us are at risk.
Especially our children.
Body burden and toxin overload
NO ONE is exempted from this toxic load in their bodies, not even newborn babies.
Infact studies have shown that babies are being born already carrying a toxic load of as many as 287 different chemicals in their bodies, and that breast milk is filled with various environmental pollutants.*
Children and babies are also more susceptible to environmental toxins since their bodies are smaller by weight. Plus, their immune and organ system are still developing and their exposure to toxic chemicals puts them at greater risk for chronic disease.
Our toxin tolerance is individual
We are designed to manage and excrete toxins and we do it all the time. Our urine, sweat, stool , hair and fingernails, and breath. However, what we can not or do not excrete then circulates for a longer period of time, and eventually gets stored.
We all have different abilities to clear and tolerate toxins. It depends on our genes, our environment, the kind of toxins we are exposed to, and our nutrient status.
The important thing to understand is that it’s not about avoiding toxins 100% but rather, reducing our loadAnindita
I have talked more about this topic in my recent IGTV live and you can watch it here.
Reducing toxin exposure
Many people mistakenly believe that there is nothing they can really do to mitigate the harmful effects of toxin exposure. As a result, they do not pay much attention when buying food and other products for their home, kitchen and personal use.
One of the things that I educate my coaching clients on is to become adept at reading the ingredient list of products before buying them. And personal care products are the place where we begin with.
You see, your skin is actually a giant mouth and whatever comes in contact with your skin usually gets absorbed pretty well. This is why you need to prioritise cleaning up your personal care products first. But you need to know what you are getting exposed to first.
5 common toxins that we are exposed to on a daily basis-
- Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP): These toxins enter the body when we eat the foods prepared on these surfaces. These are mainly Poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) like PFOA and PFTE which are found in non-stick, stain resistant and water repellant surfaces. This is usually in cookware, water-resistant clothing, pizza boxes, microwavable popcorn bags, food wraps, paint and cleaning products.
When non-stick cookware is heated, these toxic chemicals like PFOA and PFTE are released which are likely carcinogens, are contributors to weight gain and obesity apart from other health concerns.
2. BPA, BPS (bisphenols): These are chemicals that disrupt our endocrine system. They wreak havoc on our hormones and have an adverse impact on the development of the reproductive organs of children.
This can cause weight gain and obesity, neurological disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity in children and other health conditions.
These are usually found in storage items like plastic bottles, food cans, containers, baby bottles, soothers, and plastic microwaveable plates and dishes just to name a few.
3. Phthalates: Phthalates are also found in a host of products like plastic food containers and children’s toys. Hence it becomes very important to be aware of the toy’s quality especially if the children are young and teething.
They are also routinely found in cosmetic, makeup and personal care products which contain artificial “fragrances” and perfumes.
4. Parabens: These are another group of chemicals with endocrine disrupting properties especially as far as estrogen is concerned. It works as a preservative and inhibits the growth of bacteria, yeast, and mold and amongst other health issues has now been associated with wheezing and eczema in children.
Parabens are used in countless personal care products lotions, perfumes, anti deodorants, shampoos and conditioners to name a few.
5. Triclosan: It is yet another endocrine-disrupting chemical and is routinely found in antibacterial soaps.
These are just a few of the many thousands of chemicals that we are exposed to on a daily basis.
Supporting your body’s detoxification process
We absolutely need to avoid toxins. But we also need to promote persistent clearance and detoxification from our bodies. This is where our nutrient status matters a lot.
Given below are some of the ways that you can support your body’s detoxification process
- Use organic produce whenever possible including fruits and vegetables; eat local and seasonal produce rather than ones shipped over thousands of miles
- Improve overall nutrition by limiting processed foods, artificial flavours, colourings, sugar (including juices and beverages), and refined carbohydrates (pasta and bread) and eating a nutrient dense diet
- Cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, radishes etc). Add to your diet on a daily basis
- Consume high-quality sulfur-containing proteins or foods, including eggs, garlic (a few cloves a day), leeks and onions
- Add detoxifying and anti-inflammatory herbs and spices, including turmeric, cayenne pepper, thyme, rosemary, chili powder, cumin, sage, oregano, onion powder, cinnamon, coriander, cilantro, paprika, and parsley
- Make sure to have plenty of fibre (in vegetables) and water
- Try and eat the colours of the rainbow as fruits and vegetables during the week
Overwhelm is also a toxin.
So start with what comes easy for you, start small. You will need to prioritise a few key to areas focus on as you get started.
If you would like to know more about how I can help you with this, send me a DM on Instagram
“We cannot change what we are not aware of, and once we are aware, we cannot help but change”.Sheryl Sandberg
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