Aside from our jobs, home is where we typically spend most of our 24 hours each day. Wouldn’t it make sense for us to have a home that is comfortable and as toxin-free as possible? Think about it, toxins are everywhere! From the dish soaps and laundry detergents commonly used, to the air fresheners and candles, as well as our beauty products we use. Luckily there are many toxin-free and health-promoting alternatives.
Toxins are Everywhere!
Supermarkets and drug stores are filled with products that contain synthetically-created chemicals that the body cannot recognize and treats as a toxin. Our body can quickly become filled with toxins, which may lead to various health conditions or even cancer. Because these products are massed produced, all of the ingredients are made up of these synthetic chemicals which allows the products to be created very quickly to keep up with demand. Unfortunately, the quality and safety of the products typically aren’t a concern.
Making the change to a toxic-free life is not as daunting as it sounds. Is it a long term commitment? Yes, but the results are certainly worth it! Here are five steps you can take immediately to jump-start your healthy, toxic-free lifestyle today.
1. Clean air
Pollution is real, you are what you breathe in. More than 40% of Americans breathe unhealthy air everyday. Besides affecting your lugs, air pollution can also have an effect on your heart. While it’s impossible to demand clean air in public places, you can control what you and your family breathe in at home. Invest in that high quality air filter for your home to reduce the risk of allergies, lung and heart diseases associated with breathing bad air.
2. Get familiar with your everyday products
Even some brands that people trust the most use toxic ingredients that can lead to negative health effects down the road. As consumers, it is essential that we understand how to pinpoint the dangerous ingredients on a label to avoid them when purchasing your products. A few ingredients to watch out for include: Parabens, Phthalates, Artificial colors, and synthetic fragrance. I love the app ‘think dirty’ it details and grades products to help you make the best choice.
3. Avoid pharmaceuticals
While prescription medication has its place, it’s not the solution for everything. Eating the right foods and living a healthy lifestyle should primarily make up your healthcare regimen. Medications like acetaminophen, or Tylenol, are largely overused as a quick-fix that can have long-term effects on your health. Addressing the issue through lifestyle, diet and nutrition, workout routines and living environments are very impactful in the long run and can help prevent the needs for these pharmaceuticals.
4. Everything in moderation
You’ve heard it before – usually when it comes to indulgences, everything in moderation. But even some healthier options have their flaws when over consumed. Processed meats, meats that are smoked, frozen or canned are typically preserved in some type of chemical. Eating processed meats may increase your chances of stomach cancer. Simply stay away from high meat consumption. Increase your intake of whole food, plant based proteins such as beans and nuts to get your daily dose of protein. Stay away from canned veggies and fruit—no need to expose your family to the aluminum and plastic linings leaching into the food.
5. You clean your house with what?
Toxins accumulate quickly in our homes. We want to enjoy a clean living environment that helps us stay well, but have you ever thought about how the chemicals in your cleaning products affect you and your family? The ingredient lists are pretty scary even on the most popular products. Dangerous chemicals include but are not limited to:
Triclosan2-Butoxyethanol and 2-Butoxyethanol AcetateAmmoniaQuaternary Ammonium CompoundsFormaldehydePhthalates
Do we really know what these are?! The warning labels on these is enough to keep me from using them. Children get into everything and run all over the place, your pets lick their paws and lay on the ground all day, don’t you want to protect them with a non-toxic alternative? Make the switch and start using natural cleaning products. Some of our favorites include white vinegar, castile soap, and essential oil based products (thieves oil).
Eating well and exercising are certainly key components to living a healthy lifestyle but there’s more to it. You must decrease and learn to manage your stress, get enough sleep, and be aware of the environments you choose to be in.
Keeping our homes free of toxins is a never-ending issue. If we keep ourselves informed, and make healthier choices over time, we can gradually create homes that are less toxic and better for our family’s overall health.
What Should You Do Now?
If you think issues with your child’s health may be related to toxins, your first step is to have your child tested. It’s critical to seek help to find out the underlying issue. Once you know the issue, you can then work to put your child’s body in a position where it can begin healing itself and heal the gut.
Pediatric nutrition does not follow a “one size fits” all philosophy. Dr. Amber Brooks' integrative approach helps parents find solutions to their child’s underlying health conditions. Just as each child is unique, the proper nutritional balance for each child is as well. Through the patient’s history, exam and laboratory tests,
Dr. Amber Brooks FNP, CACCP, BCIP, DC is able to create highly individualized plan to help your child’s body heal itself and help you take control of your child’s health.