Whether you realise it or not, you are surrounded by toxins – in the air you breathe, the food you eat, the cosmetics and beauty products that you apply everyday. Despite their poisonous nature, there is little regulation imposed to protect us from the harmful effects of toxins. While they only cause serious harm in large quantities, low level exposure to toxins on a daily basis can accumulate, causing headaches, fatigue and nausea, to name just a few.
Limiting your exposure to toxins will support your body’s natural detoxification process and will result in you feeling more energised, improved digestion, weight loss, a clearer complexion, better sleep and healthy bowel movements. Drinking plenty of water and partaking in a yearly cleanse will further aid this process. A good quality cleanse protocol such as Renew Life CleanseSMART provides nutrients and herbs that help optimise the body’s channels of elimination, supporting the body as it naturally processes toxins from your system. For more details visit www.renewlife.co.uk/cleanse-challenge.
Here, I’ve pulled together four easy ways you can limit your exposure to potentially harmful toxins…
Choose natural household cleaners
Household cleaners can contain highly toxic chemicals that vary in their damaging effects. In some cases, toxic chemicals can lead to severe burns to the skin and eyes. Other chemicals may cause less acute damage but have been linked to long term health effects such as cancer and hormone disruption.
TIP: Swap to non toxic cleaners based on natural ingredients which are now widely available at supermarkets and health food shops. Green Seal and EcoLogo are independent organisations who independently certify environmentally friendly cleaners that don’t contain certain toxic chemicals so look out for their seal of approval. Or use cleaning methods involving baking soda and vinegar – they are both non toxic and have been used for years as household cleaning agents.
Opt for an eco-friendly dry cleaner
Perchloroethylene (perc) is a toxic chemical used in the dry cleaning of clothes. It’s classified as carcinogenic (a substance involved in causing cancer) to humans by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Research shows that perc is retained in dry-cleaned clothes and that levels increase with repeat cleanings, making your clothes increasingly toxic the more you have them dry cleaned.
TIP: Increasing numbers of dry cleaners offer perc-free cleaning, a newer and more eco-friendly technique using liquid silicone from sand or a CO2 blasting process. It’s thought the chemical will be phased out by 2020 but consumers need to drive the change.
Use cosmetics and perfumes based on natural minerals
Many cosmetics and perfumes that we use day to day could be exposing us to unnecessary and potentially harmful toxins. Chemicals used as dyes, fragrances, preservatives to add shine and even help products foam can be damaging to our health in a multitude of ways, not to mention damaging to the environment once we wash them down the plug hole.
TIP: Consumers are increasingly demanding more natural health and beauty products so there are increasing numbers of natural cosmetic products available that are paraben free and sulphate free. Opt for make up based on natural minerals formulations and instead of spraying yourself with chemical laden perfume, consider using natural essential oils.
Avoid canned and processed foods
You might know that it’s wise to avoid artificial ingredients added to your food, but there are other potentially toxic chemicals lurking in food packaging. Take for example the lining of food cans. They contain BPA, a chemical which acts as a hormone disruptor has been linked to increasing the risk of certain cancers as well as promoting obesity and even behavioural problems in children.
TIP: Aim to opt for fresh and uncanned foods wherever possible. There are companies who will deliver vegetables to you direct from the (organic) farm, so consider signing up with a fresh vegetable delivery company to get your weekly supply direct from the farm. This cuts out unnecessary packaging – toxic for both you and the environment.