How bad are chemicals, really?
A lot of people at this time of year are now (finally) ready to get back into the swing of things by being consistent with their training and making better nutritional choices. It’s not uncommon for some to even go on a ‘drastic detox’ for a few days or weeks if they’ve been partying harder than Lamar Odom, with veggie juices/less sugar/less alcohol etc to try and right the wrongs done to their bodies over summer. But the best detox you could ever do, will not only have you looking, acting, thinking and feeling better, but will also decrease the likelihood of cancer and help you live substantially longer.
By reducing your exposure to certain chemicals and making better lifestyle choices, these ‘environmental toxins’ will be less likely to cause severe complications later in life.
Over the last 40 years, we’ve been exposed to over 20,000 new chemicals, introduced in our quest to make things more convenient, taste and smell better, cook foods and grow produce faster than ever before, while our waistlines expand to epidemic levels and our daily activity output plummets to record lows.
We live in a highly convenient time, but our increasing rates of life threatening cancers are proving most inconvenient to millions of people. We rely on so many chemicals to make our lives simpler that in reality, we are creating a whole litany of health and medical issues from this.
One of the first things that happen to all mammals when we’re exposed to toxicity, is that our metabolism slows down, so you will feel lethargic and tired. This subsequently leads to your thyroid slowing down. Your thyroid controls your hormones and their outputs. When this is affected, autoimmune disorder rates increase.
In 2010, the US government released a study called the Presidents report, in it, they state that 75-80% of cancers are due to environmental toxins. Read that again. Wow.
How are we affected by these toxins?
We absorb them on a daily basis without even knowing it. We breathe air fresheners that contain phthalates (pronounced thal-ates), we wear perfumes and lotions marketed to make us look better but in fact can contain some toxic chemicals, we drink from plastic bottles that have been exposed to the hot sun in the car on a summer’s day, leading us to drink the leeching chemicals. We eat foods that have been sprayed with so many pesticides the soil loses all nutrients, thus growing nutritionally depleted foods, hence the reason you hear people harp on about eating ‘organic’. That’s not to be all hippy and weird, but rather, to ensure that the quality of your produce is how it’s supposed to be: nutrient dense. Full of vitamins and minerals.
One other thing I actively encourage my clients to do is to get rid of their microwave. In my opinion, they kill every nutrient in the food, so essentially, you’re eating a dead corpse of what once was food. I tell my clients they need to learn to reuse the stove top/oven to cook and reheat their foods. You would be amazed as to what amount of body fat my clients have dropped, simply by throwing away the microwave and eating their left over meals cold.
Enough of the doom and gloom, and be happy that for all of these problems, there are some solutions.
Here are a few key things to help you reduce the toxic load on your precious body.
- Don’t lather yourself in cosmetics.. If you do, use an organic one that hasn’t been treated with the harsh chemicals. Go to EWG.org to find a complete list of products that have been least treated and won’t suffocate your body or download the ThinkDirty app to tell you what is in your products.
- Don’t re-use plastic water bottles. Better yet, buy an aluminium drinking bottle to take with you and make it last forever. Bonus: if everyone stopped buying plastic water bottles, imagine how good that would be for the extensive garbage problem we have in our oceans.
- Take Glycine. It’s an amino acid which flushes the liver of plastics. 5gm per day. The best sources are protein rich foods – meat, fish, dairy, legumes.
- Vitamin D, yes, in the warm summer months, getting 20 mins per day of some good sunshine will help you detoxify naturally. Every receptor cell in your body has the ability to absorb Vitamin D which if it’s low, then your ability to sweat out toxins is greatly reduced. So slip slop slap, and enjoy a quick burst of our awesome Aussie sunshine.
Being aware of the dangers we are exposed to is one thing, taking the small amount of time to make better choices for yourself, your family, and ultimately, the planet is another.
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