Too many toxins in your body at once will overload your system, and can lead to increased inflammation and oxidative stress if you don't reduce your exposure.
Each day we are exposed to hundreds of chemicals that slow our bodies down and accumulate over time. It’s important to reduce our toxin burden if we want to be healthy and happy for years to come.
Most toxin exposures are chronic, involve more than one toxin, and happen after years, even decades of accumulation. This accumulation overloads the body’s detox mechanisms and causes symptoms such as:
Over time, if the environmental toxicity and detox pathways aren’t addressed, the toxic burden can lead to conditions like:
Some toxins are unavoidable, but many are things we don’t even consider the possibility of being harmful. For example, many of us - maybe even most of us - associate a pleasant smelling scent with ‘clean’ - which is why most of our personal care products, household cleaners and air fresheners contain such alluring fragrances.
Yet fragrance is one of the most harmful offenders and is a serious irritant, neurotoxin and known endocrine disruptor. Synthetic fragrances add a huge chemical load to the amount our bodies have to process.
Laundry products are a prime example of unnecessary and heavily fragranced detergents and powders. And we use these to wash our clothes, bed and bathroom linen - all of which sit on our skin and close to our breathing zone, creating a perpetual source of additional chemical substances our bodies will have to process.
As with so many things in our lives, moderation is key. Look for opportunities to reduce the load your body has to process by removing or minimising chemical substances that don’t benefit you.
This is extremely important - not only are most commercial personal care products loaded with synthetic fragrance, they also contain a slew of other chemicals and substances that you most likely wouldn’t dream of ingesting. Our skin is our largest organ and is able to absorb chemicals such as fragrance, which then has to be processed by your body’s detoxification system including your liver and kidneys.
Go back to basics and use only the purest and natural products. An easy rule to remember is never put on your skin anything you wouldn’t feel comfortable eating.
Household cleaning products are another major supply of everyday toxins. Swap chemical cleaners for vinegar or natural soap-based solutions like Cleanz Concentrate, which can be made up into a fragrance-free and hypoallergenic laundry liquid along with many other dilutions for different uses around the home.
Cleanz is particularly helpful if you or someone in your household are already suffering from allergies and irritations, sensitivities or chronic illness, and has helped many who suffer from asthma, eczema and other skin irritations. It is also an effective way to cleanse your home and wash away residues from previously used cleaners and chemicals.
Furniture is one of the lesser known sources of hazardous chemicals. Flame retardants have been added to many furniture fabrics to prevent them from easily catching fire – but at the expense of our health. This also includes mattresses, carpets, curtains and blinds.
Check out New Zealand’s own natural, sustainable and chemical-free furnishings company Innature who make everything from baby and adult beds and mattresses, mattresses for your boat and motor home as well as lounge furniture.
While purchasing only BPA-free plastic is a good step – BPAs are still lurking in many other sources. Places BPAs hide include food packaging plastics, food can liners, children’s toys, detergents, and fabrics.
Reduce your exposure to BPAs (and other endocrine disruptors in plastics) by not microwaving any plastic, switching from detergent to a natural soap-based cleaner, minimising use of plastics with #3 or #7 on the bottom, and of course, only purchasing plastics that are BPA-free.
Avoid adding scents to the air that aren’t natural essential oils or products you are sure are clean and organic. Many air fresheners and scented candles are packed with chemicals such as phthalates, paraffin, and terpene.
Check out our blog on Non-toxic air fresheners and natural odour removal in our HomeHealth section for safe and natural solutions.
It’s a little-known fact that most indoor air is actually worse than the pollution outside. When most people think of pollution, they usually think of outdoor pollution due to cars and industry, but indoor air quality is typically very poor in most homes.
This is usually due to poor ventilation, building materials, smoke, pollen, gases such as radon and carbon monoxide, household products, furniture that is off-gassing toxic chemicals and more.
Mould spores in the home can be extremely toxic.
Mould thrives in moist and warm conditions. When these conditions combine with a suitable food source, mould can spread very quickly, often in unseen places. Mould easily lives on paper, cardboard, wood, fabric, carpet, drywall, and many other common building materials.
Diet plays a huge part in your body’s ability to process and eliminate toxins from your body successfully. If your detoxification system is compromised, i.e. your liver and kidneys, then your organs will take longer and be less capable of expelling toxins from your body.
Here are a few things you can do to support your body’s detoxification system and optimise your health and immunity:
And remember to support your general health and wellbeing by getting daily exercise in fresh air, managing stress levels with mindfulness, meditation and if possible, time spent in nature.
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Inflammation (swelling), which is part of the body’s natural healing system, helps fight injury and infection. But it doesn’t just happen in response to injury and illness. An inflammatory response can also occur when the immune system goes into action without an injury or infection to fight.
Optimizing your immune system has perhaps never felt as critical as it does going into 2021. When it comes to bolstering the immune system, a lot of people just want a quick fix or magic pill, but unfortunately, there is no such thing.