Living Better Green: Lifestyle Choices and Your Health
We’re exposed to thousands of chemicals everyday in our Environment, Food and Water. These harmful chemicals wreak havoc on the immune system and brain and if exposure to these dangerous toxins isn’t reduced, we’ll continue to see an increase in acute and degenerative disease. This article will highlight key areas in our lives that are exposed to numerous chemicals which create both immediate and long term negative effects on our health. We’ll also identify a few ways that we can begin living better now. The 2 main areas we’ll discuss today are Diet and Environment. Illness can be traced to one or more of 3 sources; Diet, Genetics or Environment. It’s when we start to take an interest in our health that we begin to enable ourselves to live life to the fullest.
Our bodies attempt to cleanse itself by eliminating toxins through the skin, lungs, kidneys, liver, and colon. The body not only has to deal with toxins we consume, but those from external sources as well. If the body is constantly dealing with toxins from many sources, there’ll be times when the body can no longer fulfill all its other major functions, leading to premature aging and disease. Ever growing research links brain disease like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Depression, Autism, and many others with environmental toxins, chemicals and altered fats in our food supply. A recent report on toxic pollution in our nation, states: that no matter where people live, how old they are or what they do for a living, they’re contaminated with measurable levels of chemicals that can cause Cancer, Disrupt Hormones, Affect Reproduction, Cause Respiratory Problems or Impair Neurological Development.
Diet: The problem: There are over 3,000 chemicals added to our food supply today with another 1,000 introduced each year. Some of these include: Aspartame, Chlordane, Fluoride, DDT, Dioxins, MSG, Pesticides as well as many foods being genetically engineered. Many times these chemicals cause immediate side effects such as: Headache, Nausea, Dizziness and Fatigue; But more often build up in our bodies causing long term effects such as: Cancer, Hormonal imbalances, Immune system depression, Muscle and Vision problems, Neurological and Reproductive disorders. Americans can experience up to 70 daily exposures of a class of toxic chemicals known as persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Today’s Cancer rate is spinning out of control and Neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s has more than doubled since 1980.
A solution: Avoiding all of these chemicals is almost impossible, but there are a few things we can do to reduce our exposure. Choose organic foods and avoid processed and artificial additives. Organic can be expensive, but you Can do it on a budget. Take the time to learn how to shop smart; buy store brands and shop the coupons. Your eating habits will likely have to change, but you’ll find that organic actually tastes better. Getting off track is easy, so plan your meals a week in advance to stay on target.
These toxins store up in our bodies at the cellular level and will eventually cause poor health conditions if not eliminated. One thing we can do for this issue is to cleanse the body on a regular basis. There are many cleansing products on the market, choose one you’re comfortable with. Replace your Aluminum cooking pans with stainless steel; many studies have linked Aluminum to Alzheimer’s. Eat more fruits and vegetables and try to limit your consumption of canned foods. The fresh fruits and vegetables will help kill free radicals in your body, which build up from toxins. When we begin feeding our body living – clean foods, we’ll begin to feel a difference in our overall health and vitality.
Environment: The Problem: Some of the chemicals we’re exposed to in our environment include: Asbestos, Chlorine, Formaldehyde, Heavy Metals, Lead, Phthalates and VOCs’. According to the EPA, indoor air is 2-5 times more polluted than outdoor air; due to the large presence of VOC toxins in household products such as: Drinking Water, Carpet, Paints, Deodorants, Cleaning Fluids, Cosmetics, and Air Fresheners. Metals like Arsenic, Mercury, Lead, Aluminum and Cadmium, which are prevalent in many areas of our environment, can accumulate in soft tissues of the body. These heavy metals are found in our Drinking Water, Fish, Vaccines, Pesticides, Antiperspirant, Building Materials and Dental Fillings. Add electromagnetic pollution, irradiation, ultra pasteurization, fluorescent lights and toxic additives like MSG and Aspartame to the equation, and we arrive at the explanation for rising rates of acute and degenerative disease.
Household cleaners and products: Begin replacing toxic household cleaners in your home; there are safe, effective and natural alternatives that cost the same and can be found at most major retailers or by searching online. Use natural brands of toiletries, including shampoo, toothpaste, antiperspirants and cosmetics.
Cigarette smoke - first and second hand: If you smoke, odds are you’re aware of the health risks. If you’re not willing to do what it takes to quit, at least reduce the exposure of second hand smoke to other people by not smoking indoors.
Pesticides: Avoid using them in your home and garden. It’s likely that you’ve consumed enough pesticide this week through your food, that you’d be able to keep the bugs away with your saliva alone. Again, many natural alternatives can be found at major retailers or online.
Due to the exposure of numerous chemicals from multiple sources, doctors are often unable to diagnose or properly diagnose the symptoms related to ingesting and breathing in these toxins. There’s not much we can do to avoid all of the chemicals that we’re exposed to everyday, besides move to Fiji and live in an underground bunker. However, there are measures we can take to reduce some of our exposure. Supplementing your diet with a highly soluble Vitamin C will do wonders for your immune system. If we can begin taking initiative into our own health and begin to apply the tips shared today, we’ll be on our way to a healthier life.
1. http://www.westonaprice.org/envtoxins/ article: Environmental Toxins
2. http://womenshealth.about.com/cs/azhealthtopics/a/envtoxrephealth.htm article: Environmental Toxins and Reproductive Health
3. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2005/02/19/common-toxins.aspx article: How to Avoid the Top 10 Most Common Toxins
4. http://www.socialworktoday.com/archive/marapr2007p37.shtml article: Chemical Kids — Environmental Toxins and Child Development By Dan Orzech Social Work Today Vol. 7 No. 2 P. 37
5. http://envirocancer.cornell.edu/FactSheet/General/fs45.chemical.cfm articles: Environmental Chemicals and Breast Cancer Risk