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With all the news about toxic chemicals found in our plastics, cosmetics, food and even in our water and the air we breathe, keeping you and your family safe can seem overwhelming.
These chemicals have been linked to everything from hormone disruption to cancer to behavioral issues in children. Although the thousands of chemicals we are exposed to in our daily lives can seem daunting it is comforting to take heart in the fact that the human body is quite capable of removing these chemicals through detoxification.
Detoxification programs are not new and there are many different types of programs out there. Some detox programs use strong chelators that pull toxins out of tissues while others restrict calories with juicing or fasting, making certain detoxs inappropriate for children and pregnant or nursing mothers. Here are some easy steps that the whole family can do to decrease toxic exposure and burden in the short and long term:
Do a Cleanse
An important piece of any cleanse is the detoxification of toxins held in the body. While some cleanses use intense detoxification measures there are ways to safely detox for the whole family. A recent study showed that avoiding food packaged in plastic and canned food for as little as three days can dramatically reduce the levels of BPA and DEHP (chemicals associated with hormone disruption and cancer) in the body.
Eating fresh food for three consecutive days is an easy way to reduce the toxin burden of the whole family. And we know that a diet rich in organic fruits, vegetables, whole grains and quality proteins like organic grass-fed beef or other organic meats is not only nutritious but it decreases exposure to chemicals and pesticides. Organic dairy and wild fish are also important choices when trying to reduce your family’s toxic burden. The Environmental Working Group's analyzes Department of Agriculture data about pesticide residue and ranks foods based on how much or little pesticide residue they have. The group estimates that people can reduce their exposure by 80% if they switch to organic when buying these 12 foods: apples, celery, strawberries, peaches, spinach, nectarines (imported), grapes (imported), sweet bell peppers, potatoes, blueberries (domestic), lettuce, kale/collard greens. Whether a short term cleanse or a daily meal selection, your choices in food can have a dramatic effect on the toxic burden of your family.
Green Your Clean
To green your clean, start by choosing green products. Many cleaning products on the market today contain harsh chemical cleansers. Luckily there are many green cleaning products available as well. Cleaning out your air ducts, changing your furnace filters regularly with high quality pleated filters and not wearing shoes inside can decrease the amount of dust in the house. The toxins we want to avoid are actually in the dust. Using a hepa filter for vacuuming can also reduce the amount of dust and therefore limit toxins exposure of your family. Tackling toxins by minimizing dust and avoiding harsh chemical cleansers are important tools in detoxing your family
Detox Your House
Several things can be done around the house to lessen the toxic load. There are low emission options for carpets, bedding, paints and furniture that can reduce your family’s exposure to chemicals. Choosing cosmetics and personal hygiene products that are free of mineral oil, paraffin, propylene glycol, parabens and phlates limit your family’s contact with these toxins. There are many natural, organic cosmetic and personal hygiene lines for the whole family. Adding plants to your household can help filter toxins out of the air making house plants a beautiful way to detox your house. By choosing greener choices in your home and personal care products you safely detox the whole family.
There is a ton of research showing that simply sweating can be one of the most powerful ways to detox. Whether you want to rid the body of heavy metals or manmade chemicals, sweating is an easy and natural way to make sure you are getting rid of those toxins. Drink plenty of water to replace any fluid lost while sweating. While some detoxification programs call for saunas and profuse sweating that would not be suitable for the entire family, gentle sweating is a safe and easy way to boost the body’s detoxification processes.
Whether it is a three day cleanse with fresh food or choosing green cleaning products, the next time you buy supplies these simple tips can help green up your family today!
Catherine Clinton is a board certified naturopathic physician currently practicing in Oregon. With the birth of her son in 2009, Dr. Catherine founded the nutritional supplement company WellFuture and released the first ever nutritional support for babies and kids during vaccination. For more info visit www.vaccishield.com