What I mean by chemicals are fake compounds made in a factory or lab that our body can’t use when they get into our system. Bisphenol A, or BPA, found in some plastic containers is a good example. Compounds like BPA stress the body out because they have to be sorted and then kicked out, a process that wastes our body’s resources. These compounds can also hang out in our bodies for a long time, getting in the way of normal functions.
This is a hard area to research, because we are exposed to chemicals through food, food containers, body care products, and our general environment. It’s hard for scientists to determine what the offending chemicals are and where they are coming from. However emerging research has made connections between toxic load and allergies, heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes, obesity, several types of cancer, and more.
Here are some simple ways you can decrease the toxic load in your life:
Wash your produce thoroughly. Wash all your fruits and vegetables for at least 10 seconds under cold running water before you eat them. In addition to getting rid of any chemical residue, this will wash off all the germs of the many people who handled that produce before it got to you.
Eat clean. Eat less packaged foods, don’t buy foods with ingredients you don’t recognize, buy organic when possible.
Use glass or metal containers in place of plastic. Even BPA-free plastic containers have other chemicals that can leach into your food.
Use natural body care products. The Environmental Working Group has a great database where you can look up the least (or most) toxic soaps, lotions, and shampoos. Fake fragrances contain many toxic ingredients, so go fragrance-free or look for something that is scented naturally.