Improving Your Health by Reducing Your Toxic Load

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toxic hazard sign on brick wall

Is your body overloaded with hazardous chemicals that are hurting your health?

We live in a toxic world. It’s difficult to control your environment, but you can make some improvements and give your body tools to cope with whatever it faces. Toxins are poisonous substances produced within living cells or organisms. Since this isn’t a chemistry blog, I’m just going to use the term “toxin” the way it’s used on a day-to-day basis – basically bad stuff that your body takes in that causes you harm.

The Bad Stuff

We’re talking about mercury, lead, petrochemicals, fertilizers, pesticides, medicines, and certain bacteria, fungus, and yeast. It’s not my intention to either complicate or over-analyze any of these potential threats. Obviously, most are dose-dependent and few are possible to avoid entirely. Let’s take a look at how to reduce the effects of some of these harmful substances.

Reduce Exposure

You certainly don’t want to be standing in a corn field when it’s being sprayed with fertilizer, but there are plenty of other ways that you’re exposed to harmful chemicals on a daily basis. Cleaning products, room fresheners, shampoos, lotions and potions, plastic food storage containers, furniture, mattresses, and plastic baby products all release chemicals that can be harmful to your system.

Don’t freak out!

I’ve agonized over all of these chemicals and what our exposure to them does, especially while I was pregnant and now that I have a young baby at home. We can’t avoid these chemicals entirely (unless you want to live somewhere in a wooden box with a mud floor, just make sure the wood isn’t treated with any harmful chemicals!), but it’s best to limit what you can. Do your best, but don’t get carried away. You’ll only stress yourself – and everyone around you – out.

Choose natural cleaning products or use household items like vinegar, lemon juice, and baking soda for cleaning. Pick shampoos, soaps, and moisturizers that are as natural as possible. Anything you put on your skin is absorbed into your body so think carefully about anything you put on your skin.

Go Organic…and cut the crap!

One of the best things you can do to reduce your chemical exposure is eat organic food. Food impacts your performance directly on a daily basis and the long-term implications of those choices shouldn’t be overlooked. I probably don’t need to tell you that eating healthy, natural, whole foods is going to make you feel a lot better than a diet of processed takeout crap and Diet sodas.

I’m not even going to get into all the artificial additives and preservatives that you consume when you’re making poor food choices. Yes, you can “get away with it” occasionally, but if most of your diet is crappy food you’ll be overloading your system with toxic substances.

Think of toxic load as a balance between the bad stuff you’re exposed to and your body’s ability to cope with it. The best results come when you hit the issue from both sides: reduce your exposure to the bad stuff (chemicals) and give your body as many tools as you can to cope with the onslaught (healthy food, correct supplementation).

Give your body a fighting chance.

Ivana Chapman 

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Ivana Chapman

Ivana Chapman

Ivana Chapman BSc BA CSCS is a Canadian fitness and nutrition coach, happy wife, and mom to an energetic 5-year-old boy. She is a writer, published fitness model, speaker, 3rd Dan black belt in Shotokan Karate, former World Cup Karate Champion, one-time marathoner, and CBBF National level Natural Bikini competitor. She loves weight training and chocolate, not always in that order of preference.
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