Our bodies are constantly exposed to toxins through our GI system, skin and lungs. The body is designed to process and eliminate these compounds via the liver, kidneys, intestines, lungs, blood, skin and lymphatic system; however, when there is an overabundance of them the system can get overwhelmed.
When we’re not eating nourishing foods full of the vitamins and minerals necessary to neutralize toxic compounds, our systems aren’t as effective as they should be. Over time, these substances can be stored in fat and deposited in other tissues and become a cause of chemical stress on the body. This may manifest by way of chronic aches and pains, fatigue, mental fogginess, weight gain, headaches, digestive issues and reduced immune function. Do any of these symptoms sound familiar?
I’ve written a few articles in the past specifically speaking to exposure through the GI system and how you can lessen your inflammatory burden through healthier food choices. This month, I’d like to touch more on the other avenues of chemical exposure that we don’t always think about: through the skin and lungs.
Did you know that your skin, or your integumentary system, is the largest organ in the body? Yes, skin is an organ! The integumentary system has multiple functions, some of which include water retention, body temperature control, protection and excretion. Compounds can move both into and out of the body through the skin, just like through your GI tract. Absorption of chemicals can come from common daily products we use such as: cosmetics, bath and body products, perfume/cologne, detergents and other topical compounds. Have you ever read the ingredients list on the back of your body wash or your sunscreen? What about the colors and scents added to your laundry detergent or your hair gel? The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a fantastic resource to see how your favorite products rate in terms of their toxicity to health. Their website hosts databases for cosmetics and other personal hygiene products; they even have a sunscreen guide!
By choosing health and beauty products that have less synthetic compounds in them, you can decrease your chemical exposure. Some products can even be swapped out for natural things you already have in the home like coconut oil or shea butter, or made at home using essential oils. If you like DIY projects, there are lots of recipes you can find online for making your own products at a fraction of the cost and a fraction of the toxic load.
Chemicals also enter our body throughthe air we breathe, via our respiratory system. Air quality can be affected by environmental pollutants such as: car exhaust, factory emissions, smoking, and even household cleaning products. Not only can these pollutants add to our chemical burden but they can be triggers for conditions such as asthma, allergies and migraines. Our workplaces and recreational activities may increase our exposure to air pollutants. Some risks may even be out of our control if we’re subjected to second-hand smoke or live by a factory. Consider your household cleaning products for a moment- the fumes from the chemicals in some bathroom and kitchen cleaners can be really harsh. Sometimes we even spray chemical into the air to “freshen” a room!
Again, the EWG has a resourceto check out your favorite cleaning products and see where they rank in terms of health risks. You may consider switching some of your go-to cleaners with microfiber cleaning cloths, essential oils, or good old fashioned baking soda and vinegar. There are tons are websites online dedicated to safer, more natural cleaning methods. This can be especially helpful with little ones or pets in the home.
Here in the Offices at Riverview Chiropractic Health, we strive to make our space safe for all. We have many patients come through our doors with sensitivities to chemicals and environmental allergens. That’s why we do our best to keep our office’s chemical burden low. We ask that our patients help us to do the same and refrain from using strong perfumes and colognes or smoking directly before your appointment.
Do you have any favorite DIY health and beauty or cleaning products that you’d like to share? What changes have you made in your home to reduce your chemical burden? Visit our Facebook page @RiverviewChiropracticHealth to join the discussion!
The office will be closed on Monday December 25th and Monday January 1stfor the holidays.
We are sad to say good-bye to Jamie Rackl, LMT as she pursues a new and exciting journey! As a result, Camille Toth,LMT and Annie Allen, LMT have expanded their hours in order to continue providing exceptional massage therapy service to our patients.
The holidays are a wonderful time to give the gift of health! We have gift certificates for sale in any amount that can be used for both chiropractic and massage therapy.
cooking spray (I used my Misto)
2 lb 99% lean ground turkey
1/2 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp chili powder, to taste
2 bay leaves
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
2 (15 oz cans) white northern or navy beans, rinsed and drained
15 oz can pumpkin puree (or homemade)
4.5 oz canned chopped green chile
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
chopped cilantro and chives for topping
salt and pepper to taste
low fat sour cream for topping (optional)
1. Heat a large heavy saute pan over high heat and lightly spray with oil.
2. Add meat and cook, breaking it up until white, about 5 minutes. Add to crock pot.
3. Add oil to the saute pan, then onions, garlic, sauté about 3 – 4 minutes; add cumin and sauté another minute. Add to crock pot.
4. Add beans, pumpkin puree, green chilis, broth, chili powder, oregano, and bay leaves.
5. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
6. Remove bay leaves and adjust seasoning to taste before serving. Enjoy!