Maintaining wellness can be a challenge for even the most health-conscious people these days. From food choices to lifestyle habits to the products we use to clean ourselves and our homes, it often seems like there are toxins and harmful chemicals lurking everywhere—even in products hiding behind clean and green labels!
Unfortunately, it’s no longer enough to merely eat well and get enough sun, movement, and sleep—there are simply too many outside factors to consider, ones that we must take action to protect ourselves from. There is a reason why breast cancer rates have risen 250% since 1980 and why testosterone levels have been dropping by 1% since the 1980s—massive groups of people have seen their health and bodies forever altered by harmful environmental elements. Even if you think you’ve already got all your diet and lifestyle stuff down, if you want to take your health to the next level, you’ll make sure you’re actively eliminating the following offenders:
Plastic. Starting with the basics, never let plastic touch your food or drinks, don’t microwave food in plastic containers, and never drink from disposable plastic water bottles that have been left out in the sun. Instead of plastic, use stainless steel, glass, or ceramic containers. Also remember that BPA-free doesn’t mean problem-free—in fact, BPA-free products often contain phthalates, and a very high level. In fact, some scientists argue that phthalates are actually worse than BPA! In addition, the most commonly used alternatives to BPA, BPS and BPF, might have similar effects on your body. Finally, take it a step even further and check out your salt source: one study showed that 90% of the salt sold globally contains microplastics! I’ve done some research and it seems like sel gris, also known as French grey sea salt and Celtic sea salt, is the best choice for those who don’t want microplastics sprinkled on top of their food. Speaking of food….
Estrogenic foods. If you follow a Primal/Keto/Carnivore diet, then you probably try to avoid consuming too much (or any) soy, corn, and flaxseed, but in case you needed a reminder or didn’t already know: soy, corn and flaxseed contain 100 times more phytoestrogens than other plants.
Alcohol and marijuana. If you smoke or drink, try to be mindful of how much you consume, as they both affect estrogen levels. Drinking alcohol can promote the conversion of testosterone into estrogen, and research has shown that higher than normal estrogen levels can increase breast cancer risk among women and prostate cancer risk among men. And when it comes to marijuana and CBD products, Estrogeneration: How Estrogenics Are Making You Fat, Sick, and Infertile author Anthony Jay cautions smokers that the actual act of smoking cannabis will raise estrogen levels, but ingesting CBD oil will not.
Personal and home care products. Our skin is our largest organ, so finding products that are safe to use is extremely important—this applies to everything from skincare to soap to cosmetics to laundry detergent. Seek out eco-friendly brands made without chemicals, such as Dr. Bronner’s castile soap (a classic staple for a reason!) and Mrs. Meyers Clean Day, which has a nice diverse selection of products. When it comes to SPF, avoid sunscreens formulated with common ingredients like oxybenzone and octinoxate, which are harmful to both your health and the environment. Instead, look for a formula that has zinc oxide and start using clothing and hats to protect yourself from the sun. Your choice of SPF is especially important considering how one study found that just one day of common sunscreen use was enough for those ingredients (avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene, and ecamsule) to enter the bloodstream at levels high enough to trigger a government safety investigation. Which leads me to….
Essential oils. Some essential oils are not as harmless as they may seem: author Anthony Jay has specifically expressed concern over lavender because of a study in the New England Journal of Medicine that revealed lavender essential oil acts as an estrogen receptor. In fact, studies have found that both lavender and tea tree essential oils have natural estrogenic properties, as well as anti-androgenic (testosterone inhibiting-like) effects. Studies have linked topical use of both essential oils to early breast growth in boys and young girls, as well as hormonal imbalance in general, so it seems smart to exercise some caution with this one. Since lavender is one of the most commonly used and popular essential oils for scenting natural products, I recommend checking the ingredient list for every single thing you buy, especially from “clean” brands as these often contain lavender essential oil and/or tea tree as well.
EMF exposure. EMF’s promote stress hormones and free radical damage, so make sure you’re actually taking steps to actively limit it. These are the top 10 recommended tips to protect yourself from EMF expert and geobiologist Brian Hoyer:
Airplane mode. Turn your cell phone to airplane mode overnight. If you are an on-call physician like my sister Dr. Kate Kearns, go ahead and turn off Cellular Data in the Settings menu (if you have an iPhone) instead.
Turn WiFi Off. ScienceDaily called WiFi An Important Threat To Human Health, so turn your router off at night—don’t worry, the Internet will still be there in the morning!
Unplug. For all plugs near your bed, use a wireless remote control outlet so you can instead turn off a whole power strip at once.
Ethernet. Use a long ethernet cable for the internet instead of WiFi when possible.
Incandescent. Get incandescent bulbs of maximum wattage (150w) to avoid the harmful flickering of LED and fluorescent bulbs.
Power bank. If you insist on recharging your phone at your bed, use a power bank instead of a plug.
Use battery power instead. When working on a laptop, try to operate off battery power instead of using a plug to minimize EMF.
For a molecular hydrogen boost, put some H2 Elite tablets into water and drink it like Alka-Seltzer. It does some immediate cellular cleanup.
An NAD Supplement. This high tech supplement helps with inflammation control and cellular repair.
Get outside. Getting the electrical energy from the sun and the earth is the healthy kind of electrical charge that helps optimize cellular function.
Combat indoor blue light exposure by utilizing bug bulbs, Tungsten soft lights, and anything that falls under the yellow/red spectrum (like a salt lamp or candles), and neutralize outgassing from toxic consumer products and stale indoor air by getting a houseplant or two. Also, the HEPA filter/deionizer captures 99.9% of particles (from outdoor fires, if you have a pet, dust, allergens, etc.).
For more information on taking your health to the next level, check out Estrogeneration: How Estrogenics Are Making You Fat, Sick, and Infertile, the article Top 10 Estrogenics and Ways to Minimize Exposure, and my episode with Brian Hoyer all about The Dangers of EMF Exposure and How To Make Your Bedroom A Safe Haven.