toxins in the environment

What Toxins Do to Your Body and How to Avoid Them

There are toxins present everywhere in our environment. From the water we drink to the air we breathe, we are surrounded. Agencies like the FDA regulate how much of these toxins we are allowed to get exposed to, but these guidelines are often not stringent enough, and even at low levels these chemicals are not a natural part of our environment and can cause toxic buildup.

There are steps we can take to avoid the brunt of such toxins and live a relatively healthy lifestyle, and it is imperative that we do because the presence of high levels of these toxins your health can be severely affected.

How Toxins Affect the Body

Our bodies are naturally designed to handle a certain amount of toxins, and the body does an incredible job of processing these toxins and keeping them out of vital systems. The lungs, large intestine, skin, kidneys, and especially the liver all contribute to detoxify the body, neutralizing toxins and excreting them. However, when overloaded with too many toxins these systems can no longer keep up and toxins will back up in the body.

It begins in an overburdened, unhealthy intestinal tract that is unable to eliminate enough toxins through excretion and must leak an excessive amount to the liver. In the weak liver, it is unable to neutralize the toxins completely, so it is stored in fatty tissue instead. Typically these toxins would be safely excreted through the kidneys and out of the body, but because the toxins are not neutralized, they cannot be safely processed this way so the body must adapt and store them, which is not ideal.

This backup of toxins creates a loop of unhealthy organs which continue to get worse at detoxification and as a result continue to become more toxic.

These fatty tissues located in the nervous system, brain and adipose tissue store the toxins. When stored like this, the body is reluctant to lose fat because doing so releases the toxins into the body which forces the liver and kidneys to work even harder, potentially burning them out and causing chronic problems. Explaining why many toxic people can go on extreme diet and exercise regiments and still struggle to lose weight, their body is trying to keep them alive.

Also, this is why extreme weight loss transformations and weight loss pills are potentially dangerous; you risk burning out an already overloaded system by releasing massive amounts of toxins into the body. The safer, healthier process is the methodical process of detoxification I will describe later.

Furthermore, when toxins get stored in the nervous system (which contains a lot of fatty tissue) function will eventually be impaired, especially with heavy metals. IQ lowers, memory becomes impaired, reaction time impeded, and concentration reduced.

Other symptoms of toxicity:

  • Weakened immune system
  • Chronic ill health
  • Poor sleep
  • Inability to adapt to training
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Fluctuating mood or personality
  • Constant infections
  • Need for stimulants
  • Fatigue or the inability to relax

Why We Are Overloaded with Toxins

As I alluded to earlier, our environment is full of toxins at levels higher than ever in the history of our evolution. The FDA makes some regulation, but there are still over 10,000 chemicals that are allowed directly into our food supply. Then there are “safe” levels of toxins present in the water, air, and soil that are allowed in far too high concentrations. The average American eats about 14 pounds of additives each year, in addition to the massive amounts of sugar and industrial seed oils we consume.

About 10 million tons of chemicals are released into the environment each year, with 2 million tons of these chemicals listed as recognized carcinogens. The feed we give our food stocks is cut with ground plastic, cement powder, sawdust, industrial waste, and dead animal remains to save money. Millions smoke cigarettes, there are heavy metals, chlorine, and fluoride in our water supplies, our cooking equipment leaks toxins into our food, and the materials we live around are almost all synthetic and potentially toxic.

All of this enters our system through the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe, and the environment we touch.

Never before have humans (or other animals) been exposed to such high levels of toxins. The evidence for this is clear when looking at the bones of modern human beings and seeing that they contain 1000x the lead of pre-industrial people. That is only lead, imagine all the chemicals that didn’t even exist when our biological ancestors did. Our bodies are obviously not designed to handle toxic loads at these levels as made evident by the amount of people with chronic health problems from toxicity.

What Can We Do to Avoid Toxicity?

There are many steps one can take to reduce the number of toxins to which they are exposed. Of course, they can never all be removed, but you can easily get your toxicity to levels that your body can manage. As I said, the body is incredible at neutralizing toxins, so if you help it out, it can do its job.

The first step, though it might seem unrelated, is to “detox” your mind. Our thoughts and words express what we are feeling to the world and influence our decisions. If these ideas are dysfunctional, then the choices one makes will be too. People will gravitate towards behaviors such as eating junk food, not caring about their environment, using substances, taking medications, and inviting toxins into their system. However, with a healthy mindset, one is much more inclined to make thoughtful decisions that reduce toxicity. For more on how to have a positive mindset take a look at this post or invest in books such as The War of Art or The Power of Now.

Next, one needs to take care of their water and food. Buy a high-quality water filter, such as an AquaCera for under the sink, or the Big Berkey for on the counter. Start investing in high-quality foods, avoiding all processed foods. Whole foods are a step up from processed foods, all-natural meats, and organic vegetables are the next step, and finally, all high quality, local, organic, free-range, grass-fed, or wild caught meats, and fresh grown, organic, local vegetables are the best. Be sure to clean all of your fruits and vegetables with a safe but powerful cleaner, such as Fit.

Especially for detoxification and liver health, eating dark green vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, milk thistle, kale, and swiss chard supply nutrients essential for liver health. Also, garlic, organic eggs, and free-range organic meats are packed with healthy nutrients free of toxins. Also, drinking a lot of water can help to flush out toxins and improve kidney function, but it has to be water, not tea, not Gatorade, but pure, clean water.

Also, take a look at your cookware. For storage, throw out anything that is plastic and invest in glass and steel. Do the same process for drinking cups, water bottles, and plates. For pots and pan, avoid aluminum or anything coated in a synthetic material such as Teflon or anything labeled non-stick. Stainless steel is okay, cast iron is better, and high-quality steel such as Saladmaster is the best.

Change out any cleaning products you have to more natural alternatives. Though I have to admit Dawn soap is a godsend in the kitchen, you can replace sprays such as Windex with much cleaner alternatives, or replace them with something like vinegar and water. The same goes for almost all sprays, powders, soaps, and cleaners in your house. The process includes going through the laundry room.

In the bathroom, begin using fluoride free toothpaste, natural hair products, natural deodorants, air fresheners, mouthwash, and so on. Most products like this can are found at health food stores like Trader Joes, Whole Foods, or Sprouts. Also consider getting a water filter for your shower, because your skin can absorb 60% of the toxins from water that you would get if you drank it instead.

Invest in a high-quality air filter as well, because the EPA reported that U.S. indoor air contains the nation’s worst pollution, up to seventy times worse than what is outside. Breathing all of that can lead to high levels of toxicity. Stop using air fresheners as they are highly toxic and unnecessary.

After this, the steps you can take to reduce toxicity in the house become more costly, but for some, it is worth it. Basically, and synthetic material in your house, from shower curtains to mattresses, can be replaced with more natural, less toxic options. The same goes for clothing, paint, building materials, pipes, electronic appliances, and so on.

Outside of buying higher quality products, one should also focus on learning to breathe better, to better filter the air and expel toxins. Deep, three-part breathing (belly, chest, top of chest) through the nose will give you a natural boost in how you detoxify. Rest is also crucial for detoxing. Getting high-quality sleep for enough hours each night gives your body the opportunity to clean itself and facilitates healing and a reduced stress response. Even exercise is an effective way to detoxify through sweat and producing a metabolic response. If one is overweight, though, they must take care not to try to lose weight at a drastic rate because this will overload their liver and kidneys and threaten to burn them out. Exercise at the level that is right for you to maintain a healthy body and keep your weight at optimal levels.

Toxins Be Gone

These are the basics of what toxins do, why they are everywhere, and what you can do to reduce your exposure to them and improve your ability to detoxify. I’m sure there are more in-depth guides for each of these steps out there if you search, but I think this gives a good demonstration of the big picture and why this is important at all.

For help along this process, feel free to reach out to Dr. Bradley at any time, or to follow guides such as Paul Chek and other Chek practitioners who are trained to deal with such things.

Good luck!

About the Author Joshua Bradley

I am a certified CHEK Exercise Coach and Holistic Lifestyle Coach. I have been on a personal journey finding myself and my passion through applying what I have learned about holistic health to my own life, and continue to grow because of it. I couldn't be thankful enough and want to share what I have experienced with others, and invite them to open their minds and hearts to the information and practices that have changed me for the best.

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