We Are Living in a Toxic World
No matter how much we try, we can't escape the surrounding toxins that are the unfortunate by-product of today's society. The key to health and well-being is to get rid of stored toxins and lower the toxin intake to a level at which our body - with a little help - can quickly process and eliminate them before they can do any harm. This dramatically contributes to our short and long-term health, reverses chronic diseases and slows down aging processes.
Intoxication can lead to numerous symptoms, chronic diseases, and premature aging. It can cause or contribute to most of the gruesome consequences of unhealthy nutrition. Unfortunately, there is no direct reverse one-to-one relationship of a particular symptom or chronic disease to a specific intoxication or intoxication in general. Therefore intoxication as a cause of a disease is often overlooked and not considered by conventional doctors. This is particularly true for Heavy Metal Intoxication. We think that it is no use trying to treat any chronic disease without implementing proper nutrition and detoxifying the body first.
Detoxifying Our Food
One of the primary way toxins and other substances that are detrimental to our health enter our body is through the food we consume.
Food Types that are Detrimental to Our Health
There are some types of food that are, even when produced organic, quite harmful to our health due to the compounds that they contain (e.g., sugar, gluten, lectins, phytates, lactose, casein). This is covered this in the nutrition section. If we eat an evolutionary diet, we are safe from them.
Processed Food and Toxic Food Additives
Processed food and ready-made meals often contain compounds that are detrimental to our health. Either because they include items from the section above like sugar and wheat (commonly used to stimulate appetite and hunger) or other undesired ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, trans-fats. Or due processing itself unwanted byproducts like carcinogens and glycated proteins. Unfortunately, this is true for items brought in organic shops as well. If we buy any processed food (which we usually don't), we make sure it's organic, and we carefully read the labels, to make sure it has no unwanted additives.
Virtually all soft drinks on the market are unhealthy. They contain either high fructose corn syrup, other sugars or artificial sweeteners and their low pH puts an extreme burden on our body. We cover this in depth in the Nutrition section.
Alcohol is a neurotoxin. There is no study proving the consumption of alcohol is beneficial for our health. There are some studies that see a slight positive effect of moderate alcohol consumption, but this might as well be attributed to the fact that people with moderate alcohol consumption do this in a social environment - and being social contributes to positive well-being. A glass of red wine a day seems to be ok, but anything in excess probably damages our health.
Toxins in Our Food
Modern agriculture and industrial farming employ a large amount of fertilizers, pesticides and for animal farming antibiotics, hormones and cheap, non-organic animal food (like hexane containing non-organic soy). These compounds end up in smaller and sometimes not so small amounts in the final product. All this to maximize production yields and lower overall cost. The long-term healthiness of their end-products is of no concern to the producers since it does not influence their bottom line.
Buying only organic, and if possible, local produce from known and trusted sources, we minimize the risk of the toxic load in our food. Meat should come from free-range, grass-fed, organic animals. Poultry should be free-range and organic. Fish should not be farm raised but caught in the wild.
Detoxifying Our Household
In our household, we employ a significant number of cleaners, most of them entirely untested for long-term human health. These products contain carcinogens, solvents and other poisonous substances that help to get the job done for which the product was designed. The sad truth is that the long-term implications of these products are of no concern to the manufacturers. Only the short-term efficiency and production cost effect the marketability and the bottom line.
Fortunately, there are organic replacement products for almost every conventional cleaner that we employ today.
Toxic Body Care & Cosmetics
There are more than 10.000 different substances used in the production of modern body care and cosmetics today — almost all of them untested for long-term human usage. Some of them are even known to be harmful or cause cancer. There is no need for the manufacturers to list the used compounds on the label. Most of them don't, to keep their manufacturing secrets. Whenever we use one of these products, we simply don't know what we put on our skin. Most of these substances can easily enter our bodies through our skin at an alarming rate. E.g., when using a non-organic shower gel we absorb about ten times as much of its toxic content by applying it to our skin compared to drinking it!
In the light of this, we have to be extra cautious, since some products (even organic ones) contain wheat or other grains and thus gluten. This might not be listed on the label or named misleadingly (e.g., as amino acids). If a product is not explicitly labeled as "gluten-free," it probably is not.
For us, it is paramount to buy only organic, totally additive-free, gluten-free body care and cosmetics. Fortunately, these already exist.
Organic, Gluten-free Body Care & Cosmetics (Web Links)
Ordinary cookware can contain toxic substances that are released into the food during the cooking process.
Nonstick, Teflon coated cookware is one of the most dangerous. The common perception that Teflon is harmless unless scratched simply is not true and even if where that way it is highly improbable that any kitchen utensil remains unscratched after prolonged use. Teflon coated cookware outgasses while heated, releasing extremely unhealthy toxins into our food.
Aluminum cookware releases aluminum into the food - a known for causing Alzheimer’s disease.
The best choice that we can currently use is ceramic coated stainless-steel cookware. The ceramic coating is hugely temperature stable up and durable.
Toxic Plastic Bottles & Bags
Most plastics contain BPA, a potent hormone disruptor. BPA leaches out of plastics with time. This increases exponentially when heat or corrosive substances are applied. Acidic foods such as tomato juice, mixed with a bit of sun exposure can lead to an extremely high level of BPA.
Phthalate is a chemical used to make plastic soft and flexible. It is found in any soft plastics such as containers, sandwich bags, bottles, and styrofoam cups. Phthalates are a potent hormone disruptor and can cause developmental issues, male infertility, premature breast development, cancer, and miscarriage.
We try to avoid plastic bottles and bags wherever possible, especially to store foods and drinks. If we have to use a plastic bottle (such as a shaker for a sports shake), we only use BPA-free and avoid long-term storage.
Toxic Floor Oils & Paint
When we treat wooden floors in our homes or paint something that is used indoors, we must be aware that the toxic components and solvents used in conventional products are released from the surfaces even months after the application, thus causing a permanent toxic load in the air of our homes. This is particularly true for floor oils due to the large surface that is usually treated.
We make sure that we always employ non-toxic, water-solvent products that don't release toxins over time.
Cleaning Out the House
We found the easiest way to get rid of the toxic sources in our homes is to completely clean out all of all the above in one big effort, throw away all food that is not suited for an evolutionary diet, all processed food and everything that is not organic, all conventional cleaners and all conventional non-organic, gluten loaded body care.
Then we restock only with healthy, organic produce, organic household cleaners and organic, gluten free body care. Thus, we can make the switch to a toxin-free home in just one day.
Getting Rid of Amalgam Fillings
Amalgam consists mostly of mercury and will continuously release the heavy metal into our body. Dentists have stopped using amalgam for that reason a long time ago. However, if we happen to have such fillings, they must be removed as soon as possible. The removal process has to be done carefully to not let us swallow any mercury ridden debris and thus even increase the intoxication.
The smoke of a single cigarette contains about 3.000 (!!) different poisons and carcinogens. Obviously, smoking is a non-strategy to extend our healthy lifespan. We have to be aware that passive smoking exposes us to these poisons almost as if we would smoke ourselves.
In dry cleaning, various chemicals are used. These toxins are readily absorbed through the skin while wearing the cleaned clothes and can lead to headaches, nausea, dizziness, and memory problems. Some substances used are known carcinogens or toxic to our liver. We think it is best to avoid dry cleaning. If we can't, we let the clean items out-gas by hanging them outside for some time before storing or wearing them.
Toxins in the Air
Almost all things that make up our household, from furniture to wooden floors, more or less evaporate chemicals into the air. We can limit our exposure to those chemicals by buying products that are known to be free of the most dangerous and carcinogenic substances like formaldehyde. We take care of proper ventilation in our household by opening the windows regularly to ensure an exchange of fresh air.
Toxins in our Water
Unfortunately, our tap water nowadays consists of much more than water. Everything that modern society deploys on a large scale can be found in it, including chlorine, pesticides, hormones, medication, PCBs, heavy metals and numerous other substances. It is best to either use bottled natural water from a trusted source or filter the tap water we use for cooking or drinking.
Tap water should at least be filtered by a filter pitcher or a faucet mounted filter. Best would be a carbon-based under sink water filter. When buying bottled water, we prefer glass bottles since plastic bottles tend to release chemicals into the water.
If possible, the whole household water should be filtered too, since we not only take in toxins with our drinking water but to an astonishingly large amount through our skin while taking a shower or a bath. Several vendors are offering whole house filtration systems.
Cell Phone Radiation
Although the influence of cell phone radiation on our health is strongly refuted by the mobile phone industry, there are studies linking cell phone radiation to the development of brain tumors, genetic damage and other exposure-related conditions.
We opt for acting on the safe side wherever possible. Not carrying our phone in our trousers, limiting out talk time without a low energy blue-tooth headset and putting our mobiles into flight mode if we leave them near us at night, e.g. for sleep tracking.
Eliminating Toxins from Our Body
Our body has several built-in processes to neutralize, eliminate and excrete toxins. It does this by first converting toxins into a water solvable form and then disposing of the dissolved toxins through urination, feces or sweat. Unprocessed toxins either attach themselves to tissue or are stored in fat tissue.
Our body was not designed for our modern toxic environment - it struggles to keep up with the constant onslaught of toxic compounds around us. We have to do our best to assist it in getting rid of toxins by aiding these processes as much as we can. Unprocessed toxins stay in our bodies and cause short and long-term harm.
Increased Toxic Burden While Losing Weight
While losing weight, e.g., when starting on a healthy diet, we have to be aware that the body stores all the toxins that it cannot eliminate instantly in fat tissue. During weight loss, fat tissue is dismantled, and the stored toxins are released into the bloodstream (This is one reason why crash dieting is unhealthy). Particularly in this situation, we have to make sure to support our detoxification processes by providing enough water and the measures described below.
Picking a Supplier for our Detox Supplements
When we researched detoxification and suppliers for detox products, we found that ReNew Life has an in-depth offering of what we needed. We are not connected to ReNew Life, we just really like their products and consider them a trusted source for our detox supplement needs. The CEO of ReNew Life has written a very comprehensive guide to herbal detoxification, that we feature on our reading list.
The Detox Strategy (Reading List)
Supporting Daily Detoxification
We can aid the body in several ways by eating a healthy diet, that allows for healthy digestion and excretion, by drinking enough healthy fluids like water or teas, that allow for sufficient elimination by urination and by sweating, allowing the toxins to be excreted through the skin.
Additionally, we can supplement a variety of herbs that stimulate and aid the body to detoxify daily. ReNew Life offers products for daily detox support.
Cleansing the whole Body
Two to three times a year we employ a dedicated full-body cleanse to release stored toxins from our bodies. The full-body cleanse is done instead of the daily detox support. For first time cleansing, there is a special starter product.
Cleansing the Liver
The liver is the main chemical factory and detox organ of the body. Thus, it can accumulate a high load of toxins. We employ a dedicated liver cleansing to release and eliminate the stored toxins from the liver two to three times a year. The liver cleanse is done instead of the daily detox support. We alternate daily detox support; full-body cleanses and liver cleanses on a rolling basis with at least four weeks of daily detox in between full body and liver cleanses.
Liver Detox (renewlife.com)