Week 18: Top (food) Toxins to Avoid – 52 Weeks of Wellness

We’ve covered MSG and chemical sweeteners in the past few weeks but there are many others to be aware of.

The food we eat could have one or more of the more than five hundred chemical pesticides routinely used in conventional farming. Pollutants in the air, water and soil including toxic levels of mercury and arsenic contaminate our waterways and impact our health. Anything that filters through the environment ultimatly infiltrates our bodies.

Pollutants store in our tissues causing damage to our immune system impairing our ability to digest, absorb and utilize the nutrients we consume. Pesticides and herbicides are just the beginning as manufactures may add these problematic toxins as well:

  1. Artificial food colors. These have been shown to lead to allergies, asthma, and hyperactivity; they are possible carcinogens.
  2. Nitrites and nitrates. These substances can develop into nitrosamines in the body, which can be carcinogenic. Found in most processed meats, lunch meat, bacon, etc.
  3. Sulfites (sulfur dioxide, metabisulfites and others).These can cause allergic and asthmatic reactions. Found in wine and dried fruits.
  4. Preservatives (BHA, BHT, EDTA, THBQ, and others). These may cause allergic reactions, hyperactivity, and possibly cancer; BHT may be toxic to the nervous system and the liver.
  5. Artificial flavors. These may cause allergic or behavioral reactions.
  6. Olestra (an artificial fat).This may cause diarrhea and digestive disturbances. Look for these in “light” versions of salty snacks.

Other concerns:

  • •Food waxes. The protective coatings applied to produce, as in cucumbers, peppers, and apples, may trigger allergies and can contain pesticides, fungicide sprays, or animal by-products.
  • Plastic packaging. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is car-cinogenic and may cause immune reactions and lung irritation.

What can you do from an environmental standpoint to reduce toxins?

Here are some ideas to help...

Buy local, pesticide free foods. Aim to switch all your food buying habits so that you are preventing toxin exposure.

Also consider stoping or reducing the spraying toxins on your lawn or garden, seek alternative options or ask your pest control company for natural safer options. Ask your carpet cleaner to reduce or eliminate the chemicals in their cleaning solution. Switch personal and home care to safer, natural ones. Stay away from commercial air fresheners, scented candles and such.

Remember, our choices today impact our children and grandchildren for years to come.

Week 18 Action Step:

How have you limited your toxic exposure in foods or in your environment or what ways to do you think we can all do so? Tell us in the comments below.

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