Have you ever wondered what’s hidden in your beauty products, food or even water? Dr. Lauryn Lax shines a light on the toxins we’re exposed to every day.
By Dr. Lauryn Lax
You value a healthy lifestyle and make an effort to eat green salads at lunch, but for whatever reason you don’t feel 100 percent. Your digestion is off, you feel bloated, your skin is breaking out and you experience frequent fatigue. What’s the cause?
Environmental Toxins: The Hidden Health Enemy
Of the 10,500 chemicals used in personal care products, nearly 90 percent of these have not been evaluated for safety. Toxins refer to the synthetic chemicals in our environment that are associated with disease, posing threat to your body’s natural state of health and well- being. Toxins in our beauty products, cleaning products, water supply, plastics and environmental inhalants have the ability to disrupt hormones, your metabolism and blood sugar balance, ultimately causing oxidative stress in the body which is connected with a myriad of diseases. When your liver is exposed to more toxins than it can process, health consequences are inevitable.
You can consume the healthiest diet in the world, but if your body is overstressed from other factors—toxins included—than optimal health becomes an uphill battle. Enter constipation, bloating, allergies, thyroid imbalances, low energy and fatigue.
5 Ways to Detox Your Body and Lifestyle
While completely avoiding toxins is unrealistic, there are measures you can take to reduce your exposure and reverse the health issues you are experiencing.
(P.S. These are tips your personal trainer, doctor or a Google article probably won’t tell you.)
- Food Detox. One of the biggest things you can do is change your diet. Even foods marketed as healthy, like protein bars and shakes, Halo Top ice cream, grilled chicken or even apple juice, can contain synthetic chemicals and pesticides that can wreak havoc on your body. Sodium dioxide, aspartame, natural flavors and pesticide spray are all frequently consumed through the foods we eat. With consistent or frequent exposure to these toxins, you may experience an irritated gut. Reach for organic and non-GMO foods as much as possible. Read the ingredient labels on your food and choose sustainably-raised and grass-fed meats.
- Water Detox. Water is equally, if not more, contaminated than food. The Environmental Working Group has identified 316 contaminants in the public water supply, 202 of which are unregulated. There’s no question that chemicals in our water can negatively impact our health. For example, chlorine and chloramine in water have been linked to bladder, kidney, rectal and breast cancer. To avoid contaminants, ditch the plastic water bottles and buy a stainless steel bottle.
- Beauty Detox. No pre-market safety testing is required for chemicals that go in beauty and personal care products. In its 36 years, the Food and Drug Administration has only rejected 11 ingredients in cosmetics, while the European Union has banned hundreds of chemicals. Your body eats what your skin eats, so it’s important to pay attention to what products you are using. Think of conventional mascaras, powders, lip glosses and toothpastes as the McDonald’s Big Mac and fries of the beauty world. Swap your shampoo for a sulfate-free and paraben-free option. Avoid products with added fragrance or consider making your own cosmetics at home.
- Cleaning Product Detox. Similar to beauty products, the cleaning products you use may be highly-toxic. Ditch the Clorox and bleach for natural cleaners. For an all-purpose countertop cleaner, mix citrus peels with white vinegar.
Overwhelmed? Start out by doing simple research, replace old makeup staples with cleaner brands when you run out, buy a stainless steel water bottle and make your own laundry detergent or all-purpose cleaner. Investing in your health is important, and remember it’s about progress and not about perfection.