10 Tips to Detox Your Life
Studies have shown that our food, office supplies, beauty products and everyday consumer goods contain significant levels of toxic substances that are finding their way inside our bodies. From houseplants that clean the air to non-toxic school and office supplies to the EWG's list of Clean 15 produce, these 10 tips will help you detox your life in simple, everyday actions. The task of eliminating or at least reducing our exposure to toxins can seem like an overwhelming job. The Environmental Working Group determined in 2005 that there are approximately 287 industrial chemicals found in newborn babies. Clearly, something has gone wrong. It seems as though there is new evidence daily that links our food, beauty products and consumer goods to harmful toxins. While much of our exposure to harmful toxins is beyond our control, the majority of our choices can go a long way in guarding us against the toxic effect of accumulating toxins in our bodies. Here are some simple daily actions to help detox your life. 1. Shop with The Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists of produce. Not only are some foods cleaner of pesticide residue, but they actually help to detoxify our bodies. Some of these cleansing foods, especially if they are organic, include: broccoli, garlic, spinach, cabbage, sprouts, ginger and turmeric. It is also advisable to limit our foods from high up on the food chain, like meat, fish and dairy. These are foods that have accumulated higher concentrations of toxins through the process of bio magnification. 2. Beautify your home with some plants that actually purify your air. These household plants can clear the air of pollutants and toxins, counteract off-gassing, and help balance humidity levels. Boston ferns, reed palms, dracaenas, English ivys, peace lillies and rubber plants will do the trick. 3. Install a carbon monoxide detector in your home if you heat your home with gas or oil. Your olfactory senses will not pick up a carbon monoxide leak, which can lead to persistent headaches, fatigue or even death. 4. Getting rid of mold in the house will help with allergies and breathing problems. Replacing old carpet or furniture that smells mildewy, as well as cleaning with a few drops of tea tree oil, will help get rid of mold. A word of caution to cat owners: tea tree oil, lavender and other essential oils commonly used in cleaning can be harmful to our feline friends. 5. Purchase non-toxic school and art supplies for your home. Dry-erase markers, paints, glues, glazes, and sculpting and modelling materials can all have toxic ingredients. Look for non-toxic and low-odor markers and paints, and search for homemade recipes for art and craft supplies like clay, paste, paints, dyes and sidewalk chalk. 6. Akin to using non-toxic school supplies, avoid chemical cleaning products in favor of natural cleaning ones. A quick online search will result in homemade recipes that use ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, soap flakes and orange oil. These concoctions can be used to replace commercial all-purpose cleaner, window cleaner, dishwasher detergent, laundry soap and even dryer sheets. 7. Choose no-volatile organic compound (VOC) paints for your home. Long after the paint has dried, the paint off-gasses its chemicals, which have been linked to cancer. 8. We’ve already learned about never heating plastic in the microwave or dishwasher. Now we have to ditch the non-stick pans. While they were novel when they first came onto the market, the coatings in Teflon and Silverstone have since been classified as carcinogens, as they emit perflourochemicals (PFCs). 9. Regular exercise has many benefits, one of which is to help eliminate toxins through the skin in sweat. As well, massage improves circulation and helps stimulate the lymph nodes – the organs that pick up toxins throughout the body. 10. Avoid commercial fragrances like plug-in air fresheners, pot pourri, and fabric softeners which are loaded with toxic ingredients that have been linked to hormonal imbalances, mood swings, fatigue, and brain damage. Equally disturbing are the potential effects of perfumes, colognes and other personal care products that contain parabens, phthalates and diethanolamine (DEA). These chemicals are derived from petroleum and can be linked to cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders, hormone disruptions and allergic reactions. For natural perfumes made of essential oils, try Nantucket Natural Oils, Aubrey Organics and Tigerflag Natural Perfumery. With the mindset that every little effort counts, these 10 simple ways to detox will create a momentum and drive to lighten the pollution load in our bodies, and help us breathe a little easier.