We talk a lot about getting harmful toxins out of our systems, but the best line of defense is to stop them from getting in in the first place. Here are 10 easy tips to keep pollutants, pesticides and bad-for-you chemicals at bay:
How to Detox Your Life To Avoid Toxins
1. Eat Organic When Possible
Stop pesticides from getting into your body by buying organic foods whenever possible. This isn’t financially viable for everyone, of course, so read up on what items are most heavily polluted and prioritize from there. At the very least, make sure to remove wax and leftover pesticides with a homemade fruit and veggie wash.
2. Clean the Air
Plants are one of the best ways to clean the air inside your home so you’re only breathing in good stuff. (NASA even uses them in space stations!) Try one of these 10 fuss-free plants that clean the air, or use a HEPA filter or Himalayan salt lamp to get rid of toxins in the air.
3. Keep Your Immune System in Tip-Top Shape
Keep your immune system working properly, and you’ll be able to fight off what the world throws at it. Regular exercise, minimizing stress, lots of veggies, and improving your digestion (through a balanced diet and probiotics) will all help support your immunity.
4. Purge Your Makeup Bag and Medicine Cabinet
Parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate, and other harmful chemicals are ever-present in most store-bought personal care products like makeup, perfume, shampoo and toothpaste. These toxins can alter your endocrine system, disrupt your skin’s and hair’s natural oil balance, and some are even linked to cancers. Good news, though: DIY beauty products can be made with basic ingredients you already have around the house—think baking soda, coconut oil and honey. And they’re cheaper!
5. Pay Attention to Food Storage, Packaging and Cookware
Keep your food in BPA-free plastic, glass or other safer food storage containers, and you’ll stop toxins from entering your leftovers. Also make sure you check the packaging of the food you buy. For instance, watch out for BPA lining in aluminum cans (non-BPA cans will be labeled as such), teflon-coated pans and PVC in cookware.
6. Drink Water
Keeping your cells hydrated is oh-so-important to every bodily function, including immunity (see #3). Add healthy ingredients to infused water to get yourself to drink even more, and make sure to avoid toxins by forgoing bottled water and reusable water bottles that contain BPA.
7. Use Natural Cleaning Products
Those hard-to-pronounce chemicals that clear the soap scum right off your shower, but the fumes give you a headache? They’re the same ones that, when we’re exposed to them on a regular basis, wreak havoc on our bodies. Instead, turn to simple homemade cleaners made from effective but gentle standbys like vinegar and baking soda. Here are 30 DIY green cleaning recipes (and a room-by-room cleaning guide) to get you started!
8. Avoid Processed Foods as Much as Possible
In the grand scheme of things, humans haven’t been eating processed foods very long, and we still don’t know the long-term effects of many food additives and processing practices/chemicals (including artificial sweeteners like aspartame). Not only are less-processed foods healthier overall, they don’t include those who-knows-what-that-is ingredients. Try making your own snacks and make-ahead meals that you can freeze for easy lunches and dinners.
9. Eat Less Meat
Whether you dabble in veganism, made a #MeatlessMonday commitment, or you’re ready to live on a plant-based diet, eating meatless can help save money and the environment—and it helps keep toxins out of your system. Animals’ fat tissue holds onto toxic chemicals they are exposed to, which we then ingest. Cut back on meat even a little (and stick to organic/hormone-free when you eat it).
10. Get Plenty of Antioxidants
Antioxidants help your body cope with oxidative stress (caused by pollution, smoke, the sun, medication, radiation and our bodies’ own processes) that plays a major part in chronic and degenerative illnesses. Colorful veggies, fruits and yes, red wine and dark chocolate, are great sources of antioxidant compounds.2