Reducing Toxin Exposure
Toxins are everywhere. They are ubiquitous. And while we cannot avoid every single toxin, I am a firm believer in reducing toxin exposure where we can to reduce our Total Toxic Load and the problems associated with the many toxins out there.
Over the past several years, starting when I was pregnant with my first, I have swapped out products and worked to reduce toxin exposure for myself and my family. It has been gradual and surely did not happen overnight. Reducing toxin exposure can seem daunting but one thing I did that made it easier was, when I would run out of a certain product, I would replace it with a higher quality, organic or non-toxic version. I followed the Environmental Working Group’s Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen when shopping for produce and made small incremental changes over the years to reduce the number of toxins we are exposed to. Here are some key points to remember when reducing toxin exposure in what we eat, drink, breath and touch on a daily basis:
- Don’t smoke and make sure wood burning stoves in the home are well ventilated
- Minimize exposure to car exhaust (don’t exercise near a highway if possible)
- Eat fresh foods, limit processed and packaged foods
- Emphasize organically grown foods, especially meat and dairy (prioritize the EWG Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen EWG LINK)
- Wash all produce using mild soap and water, rinse well
- Stay well hydrated and drink filtered or purified water (check out what toxicants are in your water HERE)
- Minimize alcohol as much as possible (alcohol is a lifestyle toxin!)
- Do not take acetaminophen (tylenol) while drinking alcohol or for a hangover
- Limit plastic products in the kitchen and home
- Use glass, ceramic or stainless steel containers for heating or storing food
- Avoid plastic wrap and only buy canned foods that are BPA-free
- Avoid food additives such as: high fructose corn or rice syrup, BHT, BHA, benzoate, sulfites, artificial colors/dyes, artificial flavorings and sugars
- Avoid nonstick pots and pans
- Switch to cleaner home care and cleaning products that are fragrance and solvent free (my favorite is Branch Basics all in one cleaning solution)
- Opt for natural personal care products, cosmetics, and fragrances (Check out the EWG Skin Deep database)
- Remove your shoes when entering your home so you aren’t tracking toxins through your living spaces
- Avoid using pesticides and herbicides on your lawn or garden
- Limit foods high in heavy metals and toxins like tuna, swordfish, shark, mackerel, tilefish
- Avoid mercury amalgam fillings and consider removal in certain cases using SMART technique with trained dentist
- Get clean air in the home by opening up the windows, add houseplants to clean indoor air, or consider air purifier
This may seem like an overwhelming amount of things to tackle when trying to reduce toxin exposure but again, take it slow and try to control what you can control and try not to stress about what is out of our control. Remember the best way to ensure adequate detoxification is to eat a healthy, nutrient dense diet, stay well hydrated, have a bowel movement every day, and sweat regularly!
If you are looking for someone to work with to make sure you are minimizing your toxin exposure, book a free 15 minute call today!
If you want to learn more about the Functional Medicine paradigm and how we look at the body as a whole system check out this blog post!