Spring Cleaning OF MIND, BODY & HOME
By Dr. Heather Eggleston, BSc, ND
The change of seasons naturally inspires us to cleanse, renew and rejuvenate after the long winter months. When spring cleaning your home this year, go beyond dusting and organizing the sock drawer. Did you know that some of the products in your home may be harmful to your health? Learn some empowering tips to create a healthy, safe and natural environment for your home and your body.
Over the past century, advances in technology have increased our exposure to harmful chemicals which were foreign to our ancestors. These are hidden in our food, air, water, cleaning supplies, cosmetics and many other household products.
The World Health Organization is calling for urgent action in a recent landmark UN report recognizing “substances known as endocrine disruptors can alter the function(s) of the hormonal system increasing the risk of adverse health effects.” 1
Scientific studies confirm that hundreds of harmful chemicals are now found in umbilical cords of newborn infants. Many of these are known carcinogens and toxic to the brain and nervous system. The question is no longer if we are toxic. Sadly, it is how toxic are we?
I dream of the day when I walk into a supermarket and find only health-promoting food and household products, free of harmful ingredients. However, until that day, it is essential for people to make informed choices.
Toxic burden is the accumulation of these harmful environmental substances in our body. Here are tips to decrease our toxic burden:
Choose Local & Organic Food
If you can not buy all organic, avoid the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen that are found to have the most chemical residue – Peaches, Apples, Sweet Bell Peppers, Celery, Nectarines, Strawberries, Cherries, Blueberries, Grapes (Imported), Spinach, Lettuce, Potatoes. 2
• Choose meat and dairy products that are free of antibiotics and hormones.
• Choose fresh, cold-water fish rather than farmed or canned fish.
• Avoid Plastic
• Avoid plastic water bottles.
• Store food in glass containers and never microwave food in plastic.
• Avoid canned food lined with Bisphenol A (BPA).
Choose Natural Personal Care Products
Although we perceive skin as the barrier that separates us from the world, many toxins are fat soluble and are absorbed through skin. Do you know what is in your personal care products? Find out by visiting the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database (www.ewg.org/skindeep/) Many natural alternatives are available.
Avoid Non-Stick Kitchenware
These contain a compound called perfluorooctanoic acid which impact our hormonal and reproductive systems. Choose cast iron or non-coated kitchenware instead.
Choose Natural Lawn and Garden CaAvoid Non-Stick Kitchenwarere
Weed & Insect Control are often toxic to humans as well as pests. Many natural alternatives are available to keep your garden healthy and beautiful.
Avoid Harmful Chemical Cleaners
Choose natural cleansers or try making your own with vinegar, baking soda & tea tree oil.
When spring cleaning this year, be mindful of your environment and consider eliminating potentially harmful substances from your home. With knowledge, we can be empowered to make healthier choices for ourselves and our families.