Toxins: The Invisible Invaders

Guest post author: Rio Richards

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We’ve all heard of the concept of environmental toxins.  We know they’re bad, and for some people, this is pretty much the extent of our knowledge.  Sure, let’s avoid frolicking through fields being doused in pesticides and okay, I guess my cat and I can leave the premises while my home is being fumigated, but what else should we be concerned about?

Let’s start with where environmental toxins are found and why we should care.  Toxins are everywhere, and we’re exposed to thousands of them through various vessels such as our food, the things we cook our food with, health and beauty products, and even the air we breathe. They’re invisible, and they have the capacity to do some serious damage to our health, including our brain which, as we know, is pretty essential to our functioning. Some of these toxins, such as BPA, can even interact with and throw off our body’s natural hormone cycles, creating a host of other health issues.  Mildly to extremely concerned yet? Me too. So, what do we need to know and what can we do? Fighting an invisible army does sound seemingly fruitless, but rest assured, with some knowledge and consistency we’ll be equipped for battle.

What we do need to keep in mind is that the susceptibility to toxins varies greatly from person to person because of factors such as how much we’ve been exposed and for how long.  However, while we can’t be certain of how we’ll react to toxins compared to the next person, we can agree that any exposure is unwanted.  With that said, let’s look at a few fundamental areas we can start making changes within to combat our daily exposure to environmental toxins:

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Nutrition- This is a big one. Not only do we need to be choosing organic products to avoid ingesting pesticides and unwanted chemical treatments, but fruits and vegetables naturally contain antioxidants ready to protect us. Farmers markets are a great way to get organic, local, seasonal produce while also soaking up some of that much needed natural light.

Water- Filter it!

Beauty products- Pay close attention to the list of words you can’t pronounce under “ingredients” on all of these.  Most are extremely unnatural and toxic and we’re lathering our poor epidermis’ with them every day. However, there are several credible brands that make shampoos, deodorants, and makeup using only organic, natural ingredients (and they don’t suck! Click here for one of my personal favorites).  If you happen to use minimal products anyways, you might even consider making some of them (like toothpaste with coconut oil) on your own. 

Your Gut- Be nice to it! We now know how harmful antibiotics are to our gut micro-biome, so it goes without saying to avoid this route as much as possible.  Daily intake of fermented foods and probiotics are an easy and actionable way to promote a healthy gut.

Now, let’s put these basics into action and our non-foggy, high-performing brains will thank us later!

To read more about how to eliminate daily exposure of toxins, check out Chris Kresser’s great article here.