First of all, it is important to understand toxins.
We get hit by a toxic overload from the air we breathe, the food we eat, the beauty products we slather on our bodies and from various other products in our environment. Our lymphatic system, liver, and kidneys are designed to filter out these toxins, HOWEVER, the toxic load that we are being bombarded with today is more of a burden than our bodies can handle. So, if we can be educated about some of the most toxic ingredients in some of our everyday foods and products, we can take preventative action to protect ourselves.
SOME OF THIS STUFF MAY BE SHOCKING TO YOU ALL, SO LET’S CHECK IT OUT!
#1. Let’s address one of my favorite delicious and nutritious foods, Tuna Fish!
We know tuna to be a healthy source of protein,
right? Well, there is a specific heavy metal that we have to be cautiously aware of when consuming tuna: Mercury!
Mercury is extremely hazardous to our health and is mainly found in 2 main places:
- In dental amalgams (silver fillings)
- In tuna fish and mackerel (freshwater fish)
Naturally, there is mercury vapor in the air that comes from volcanoes, coal plants & mines. This vapor settles in our oceans; sea life then consumes the mercury residue and continues to pass it to their offspring. Mercury is then passed on to us when we consume this otherwise nutritious freshwater fish.
Mercury is proven to be extremely hazardous to our health:
- directly damaging lungs and kidneys causing respiratory issues and renal failure
- impairing brain function, causing neurological & psychological conditions
- damaging our cells and liver function affecting hormones and detoxification
For this reason, health advocates recommend that anyone weighing under 200lbs should only consume 1 can of tuna per week!
#2. Let’s talk about Rice & Bottled Waters.
So, what do these two abundantly consumed products have in common? Arsenic! Yes, Arsenic, the hazardous and even lethal poison that is used as a doping agent is being introduced into our bodies when we drink certain waters and eat rice!
Like mercury, arsenic is also found in nature but is often the result of a mineral erosion from waterfalls and in our soil. Scary amounts of arsenic are found in some of our bottled water and rice, especially brown rice because it is more abundantly absorbed in bran found in brown rice.
Concerning the bottled water, there are certain brands from specific springs that tested above the 10ppm legal dose, of these waters Stark and Crystal Gauzier were on the list. Some leaders and activist in this space are fighting to get this legal limit down to 3ppm. Thankfully, there are plenty of waters that are safe but it is important to be educated!
Arsenic is undoubtedly hazardous to our health and has been tied to
- neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s, dementia and Parkinson’s
- it is extremely hazardous to infants and children, contributing to ADHD, learning disabilities and low IQs
- may lead to even more serious issues like stillbirths and cancer
#3. Now moving on to some beauty care that I don’t go a day without; Nail Polish & Mascara.
So, what crazy toxic ingredient is found in both of these products? Formaldehyde!
When you think of formaldehyde, how can you not immediately think on embalming fluid?!? This flammable and stinky gas is a hazardous chemical. It is also often used to treat and coat wood and found in glue adhesives and is not made to be applied to our bodies!
In addition to formaldehyde, most nail polishes also have a chemical called toluene in them, this is equivalent to paint thinner. This soaks into our bloodstream from the surface of our nails and also wreaks havoc on our health as well.
Most of the standard nail polish and mascara brands found at your local drug sore tested positive for containing formaldehyde and other harmful ingredients. Cover girl, Rimmel, wet n wild & OPI, were among the top of the list of high concern.
Formaldehyde can cause immediate negative health issues such as:
- anxiety & depression
It is also tied to:
- neurological dysfunctions
- damaging both men and women’s reproductive systems
- heart failure and death!
#4. Here is a big one: Shredded Cheese and Feminine Hygiene Products, say what?!?
These two products have one thing in common: Cellulose.
Cellulose is ground wood chippings and is used as an anti-caking agent in shredded cheese and as an absorbent in sanitary pads and tampons.
I don’t know about you, but I prefer not to consume wood chippings in my diet. This is not only a building material that is not meant for consumption but furthermore, it is likely treated with some type of chemical such as formaldehyde.
Regarding our feminine hygiene products, the manufactures lead us to believe that these products are made of cotton by using phrases such as “cotton feel” and “cotton-like softness” however this is mostly a compound of cellulose and styrofoam (which is also highly toxic, especially to our hormone function).
It is also important to consider the bleaches and fragrances that are used that also contain dangerous chemicals. Month after month, these products are in direct contact with our most delicate organs, creating a multitude of issues.
Consumption of cellulose may result in:
The long-term effects of consuming and using cellulose-containing products may result in:
- toxic shock syndrome
- yeast infections
- skin rashes and irritability
While this sawdust may not be as hazardous to your health as some of these other carcinogens, it may contribute to malabsorption of nutrients. This is because cellulose mocks fiber, however, our bodies do not have the enzymes to digest it. Be sure to read labels, cellulose is found in some surprising places!
#5 Potato Chips, get ready for this one....
if it were up to me, you would not be consuming these due to the poor nutrition benefits, but if that doesn’t get your attention, maybe this will!
Potato chips have tested positive for Sodium Bisulfite which is used as a toilet bowl cleaning chemical!
Do I even need to explain why we should NOT be consuming this product?
Sodium bisulfite works by releasing sulfur dioxide gas, which inhibits bacterial growth on the potato chips while also preventing discoloration. You will not usually see this on an ingredient label because these large companies can get away with writing it off as a by-product rather than an ingredient.
Other names for Sodium bisulfite are sodium acid sulfite, sodium hydrogen sulfate, sulfuric acid, and monosodium salts.
Consumption of Sodium Bisulfite may result in:
- low blood pressure
It is also tied to:
- Gastrointestinal diseases
- Heart failure
- Kidney and lung cancers
HEALTHY ALTERNATIVES TO LIGHTEN THE TOXIC BURDEN ON YOUR BODY
I know it can be discouraging to learn that some of your everyday products are extremely toxic to your health, but there is good news! At Alternative Wellness Solutions, our mission is to help you find better and safer natural alternatives to all types of toxins!
#1 What to do about Mercury?!?
Because of the Mercury that contaminates our oceans, you should only be consuming 4-6oz of tuna, maceral and similar cold-water fish per week UNLESS you are eating brands like Safe Catch and Wild Planet.
These companies do a phenomenal job of checking each tuna for mercury and providing the cleanest products to the consumer.
Eating fish, high in Omega 3’s is so beneficial for your brain and heart! It lowers inflammation and can even be helpful for detoxification. So instead of limiting your tuna intake, just choose Safe Catch and Wild Planet to get your Omega 3’s!
P.S. If you have mercury amalgams (silver fillings in your mouth) you should SERIOUSLY consider getting them removed professionally, they can literally ruin your life.
#2 How to best avoid Arsenic...
When discussing the Arsenic found in our water bottles and rice, we touched on a couple of the water brands that we want to avoid, but thankfully there are plenty that is not a threat to our health.
Of course, I want you to drink plenty of water! Half your body weight in ounces is recommended, just make sure that it is coming from a clean source. This includes the water that you are cooking in and using in your coffee maker!
The #1 best option is a full home reverse osmosis (RO) water filtration system. These RO water filtration systems better for the environment due to less plastic use from water bottles, they make drinking water safe especially if you live in parasite-laden areas that may be heavy in pesticide and herbicide usage, and remove up to 99.99 percent of heavy metal toxins such as lead, mercury, nickel, iron, etc. RO systems require no energy to operate and are usually easy maintenance depending on which system you decide to go with.
Here are some of the filters I recommend:
- Under sink water filters
- Whole house water filter
- Zero pitcher/countertop water filter
There are less expensive options as well including:
- Stainless steel filtered Brita pitcher
- Bottled waters sold in glass or those that test negative for arsenic such as Essentia and Mountain Valley
How do you know if your water is contaminated? You can buy test strips that identify and notify you of several different contaminants. Baldwin Meadows makes a wonderful 14-in-1 drinking water test strip that detects even low-level ranges for contaminants. They are easy to use and even carry with you on the go.
What about my rice???
Rice is a starchy carbohydrate that is a primary food in many cultures, while some rice is fine in moderation, consuming rice in excess may lead to weight gain, insulin resistance, and even arsenic poisoning.
Ideally, I recommend keeping rice consumption in moderation, enjoying ½ c of rice a couple of days a week. I still prefer brown rice over white rice due to its nutritional profile.
Brown rice is considered a whole grain because it contains all parts of the grain including the fibrous bran, the nutritious germ, and the carb-rich endosperm. White rice has the bran and germ removed depleting it of nutrients, making brown rice higher in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. One cup of brown rice includes 46g of carbs and 4g of fiber while one cup of white rice includes 52g of carbs and only 1g of fiber.
Two excellent rice alternatives are quinoa or cauliflower rice. Either of these options can now be easily found at your local grocery store and you can find many healthy and delicious ways to prepare them! Check out my recipe for my yummy Rainbow Cauliflower Rice bowl here!
#3. What woman wants to be told that they should not be using Nail Polish & Mascara?!?!
Thankfully, that is not what I am saying at all! BUT I am urging you to switch to a safer brand when purchasing these beauty products.
Most of your products from your local grocery store or drug store are going to contain toxic ingredients, but here are some non-toxic brands that work really well!
- Piggy polish
- Lauren B
- Earth Minerals
- Lily Lolo
- Skin Spirit Mineral Mascara
You can find these online, or there is a way more fun option for Houstonians! Go check out a store in the River Oaks District called Switch2Pure for all natural “health off the shelf” beauty care. It is such an amazing space and all the work is done for you, you can trust that everything in that store is free from the harmful carcinogens, toxins, and dangerous ingredients. Even if you do not live in the area, you can most definitely order online!
#4. Cellulose, how do I avoid this!?!
Wood chippings and sawdust are not welcomed by the body, as we do not have the enzymes to break down his foreign substance. A few simple ways to cut back on Cellulose is to buy Organic Blocks of Cheese to shred yourself and choose Organic Feminine Hygiene Products.
We have become so spoiled with shredded, bagged cheeses that most of us have forgotten how easy it is to shred cheese ourselves. It literally takes only a couple minutes to shred and store in a glass or stainless-steel container in the refrigerator. This provides you with a cleaner source of organic cheese without the side of sawdust!
Ok ladies, let's talk about tampons and sanitary napkins...
you can even find the natural and organic products at CVS and Walgreens now, so there is no excuse. However, your better brands are found at HEB, Target, Whole Foods and Central Market.
Here are my top brand choices and where you can find them!
LOLA - Amazon
CORA - Target
Honest Co. - Amazon
O.B. Organics - Walgreens
Natracare - Central Market & Whole Foods
L. Organic - Target
The FDA regulates the ingredients found in tampons, most of which are made from cotton or rayon or a combination of the two. Rayon is made from cellulose fibers derived from wood pulp and is normally bleached using chlorine or other chemicals that are made from dioxins (chemical compounds that affect reproductive and developmental problems). And although the FDA states they are no longer relying on conventional bleaching methods and have switched over to using hydrogen peroxide, there is still a concern with including rayon in tampons (Miller, 2017).
The plastic applicators are not only bad for the environment and often end up on our oceans where sea creatures think they are food and block their digestive tract, but they also come in contact with women’s reproductive organs. These organs are very absorbent and toxins found in plastic can leave harmful residues (Butler, 2016).
#5 Now let’s address the potato chip issue!
Cut out Sodium bisulfite entirely by avoiding your standard, store bought, potato chips, even the baked ones! There are so many better choices that you can find, you won't even miss them!
Consider healthier chip options such as:
- Vegetable Terra Chips
- Siete Grain Free Tortilla Chips
- Quinoa Chips
- Lentil Chips
- Almond Nut Thins
These will not only be free of sodium bisulfite but also add some great nutrients to your diet from the veggies and legumes, making these options a much better choice!
We live in a toxic world, there is no way around this, but just by making some of these simple changes, you can greatly decrease the toxic load on your body! Take baby steps and begin to take charge of restoring your health naturally! You are worth it!
For more great articles and info, visit my blog and website. You can also reach out to Krystal directly at firstname.lastname@example.org!