It’s not a pleasant thought, but the truth is toxins are all around us.
Most times we don't know that what we're taking into our bodies is toxic because we don’t feel an immediate effect.
But that doesn't mean damage isn't being done...because it is. Slowly but surely, toxins wreak havoc with your health.
Let’s look at the dangers of toxins, see how toxic you might be, and how you can help turn that around.
The danger of toxins
Your liver is your main organ of detoxification, and when it detects toxins in your bloodstream, it works to filter them out and put them into your urine to be eliminated by the kidneys.
But it has its limits. If there are consistently high levels of toxins in your bloodstream, that places a tremendous strain on your liver and it can become overwhelmed, eventually leading to liver disease or failure.
Your GI tract is also an exit for toxins...but for people who have poor digestion or constipation, this process doesn't work so well. The toxins can get lodged in any existing waste build-up you may have, or seep through the intestinal wall into your bloodstream (called autointoxication).
From the bloodstream, toxins can travel to your tissues, muscles, bones, joints, and organs. They can then stir up inflammation which eventually manifests itself as a variety of sicknesses or diseases.
Arthritis, cancer, atherosclerosis, and heart disease are all prime examples of chronic inflammation in action.
So, just how toxic are you?
According to the Environmental Working Group, everyone in the US carries over 100 chemical pollutants, pesticides and toxic metals in their bodies!
Take this quiz to see how toxic you might be:
1) Do you use (unfiltered) tap water for cooking or drinking? Yes: 1 No: 0
2) Do you have at least one bowel movement a day? No: 1 Yes: 0
3) Do you brush and floss your teeth daily? No: 1 Yes: 0
4) Do you have amalgam dental fillings in your teeth? Yes: 1 No: 0
5) Do you get vaccines? Yes: 1 No: 0
6) Do you use bug sprays in your home? Yes: 1 No: 0
7) Do you use weed killer or bug killer on your lawn? Yes: 1 No: 0
8) Do you smoke or are you exposed to second-hand smoke? Yes: 1 No: 0
9) Do you eat non-organic fruits and vegetables? Yes: 1 No: 0
10) Do you eat GMO (genetically modified organism) foods? Yes: 1 No: 0
11) Do you eat processed foods or fast food? Yes: 1 No: 0
12) Do you take prescription or OTC medications of any kind? Yes: 1 No: 0
13) Do you drink alcoholic beverages excessively? Yes: 1 No: 0
14) Are you exposed to solvents, paints or chemicals at your place of work? Yes: 1 No: 0
15) Do you suffer from unexplained headaches, joint and muscle pain or fatigue? Yes: 1 No: 0
16) Do you wear clothes that have been dry cleaned? Yes: 1 No: 0
17) Have you ever had chemotherapy or radiation treatment? Yes: 1 No: 0
18) Do you use commercial cleaning products or personal care products? Yes: 1 No: 0
19) Do you eat farmed fish? Yes: 1 No: 0
20) Do you drink soda? Yes: 1 No: 0
21) Do you use artificial sweeteners? Yes: 1 No: 0
22) Do you live near a factory, refinery, power plant or waste disposal facility? Yes: 1 No: 0
23) Have tests shown a high level of radon in your home? Yes: 1 No: 0
24) Do you frequently travel on airplanes? Yes: 1 No: 0
25) Does your home have new carpeting or a deck or swing set made from treated wood? Yes: 1 No: 0
The closer your total score is to 25, the more toxic you are.
What can you do?
The most obvious answer is avoiding the sources of toxins that I mentioned above as much as you can.
Every little bit counts, and three of the biggest bangs for your buck are:
1- Using a filter for your tap water.
2- Buying organic produce whenever you can. Shop local farmer's markets or participate in community supported agriculture (CSA) programs.
3- Staying away from processed and fast foods and soda.
Help from within
You can also help your body eliminate toxins and recover from the harmful effects of past toxin exposure.
1) Eat real foods and support sound digestion
You are what you eat, so if you eat garbage that is what you will be. Choose real foods.
Keep your meals simple—proteins and veggies OR starch and veggies. Don’t eat proteins and starches together—that combination is extremely taxing on your system and is the primary cause of constipation and acid reflux.
If you need meal planning guidance or want a collection of luscious good-for-you recipes, check out Great Taste No Pain.
2) Support your intestinal flora
Toxins are murder on your microbiome, which can lead to poor immune system functioning and constipation.
In addition to eating gut-friendly foods like fresh vegetables, yogurt and sauerkraut, a full-spectrum probiotic supplement like Super Shield can help restore a healthier friendly flora balance for you.
3) Ease inflammation
Omega-3 essential fatty acids are your body’s natural anti-inflammatory...but thanks to our typical diets of grain-fed animals, vegetable oils and processed foods, the average person is deficient in Omega-3 EFAs and has way too MANY inflammatory Omega-6 EFAs.
In addition to incorporating more (wild-caught) fish into your diet, a fish oil formula like VitalMega-3 can help you attain a more optimal level of crucial Omega-3 EFAs.
4) Consider infrared saunas and get regular exercise
Sweating through saunas and exercise are two of the best ways to eliminate toxins from your body.
Just be sure to get your doctor’s OK before exercising.
Reduce your toxic load now and see how much better you can feel!