MANIC ABOUT ORGANIC
MANIC ABOUT ORGANIC

Some may dismiss organic food as being an extravagance for the wealthy while others consider it an occasional treat. Nonetheless, most people would probably agree that choosing organic whenever you can makes good sense. In fact, until the 1950s, all the food we consumed was organically produced. However, with the advent of new technologies in the last half-century, more than 85,000 industrial chemicals have been introduced for widespread use.

Through pharmaceuticals, pesticides, packaged foods, household products, water supply and even air, many of these environmental toxins have found their way into our homes and ultimately, our bodies which increasingly links to a gamut of health conditions. The insidious ill-effects are so rampant that environmental groups are even coining them as “invisible killers” that are leading to a “silent pandemic.”

In addition to chronic health conditions like fatigue, autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular disease or cancer, one particular area of concern that is associated with toxic overload is the rise in the number of pediatric brain disorders. Experts estimate that one in six children worldwide suffers from a neurodevelopmental disorder including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, cerebral palsy and autism. This is attributed in part to increased use of unregulated toxic chemicals, many of which exhibit neurotoxic effects capable of damaging the brains of developing human fetuses and young children. The result is a loss of IQ, shortening of attention span and behavioral problems, which left undiagnosed, often extend into adulthood.

In the case of suspected toxic exposure or chronic illness, you may consider a screening test to determine the level of toxins in your body. Through a single urine sample, one such test screens up to 168 different toxic chemicals including organophosphate pesticides, phthalates, benzene, xylene, vinyl chloride, pyrethrins, insecticides and more. Another uses hair samples to assess levels of heavy metal toxicity and mineral deficiencies (Please contact the Balanced Living Clinic for more information).

While it is impossible to avoid environmental toxins entirely, there are steps we can take to protect our family and ourselves from a high level of exposure. Here are several ideas to get you started:

Water

It is essential for life yet our water supply leaves a lot to be desired. Imagine the long-term effects of drinking 2 litres of tap water that is full of chemicals, heavy metals and other pollutants per day. Due to xenoestrogens that are released from cheap plastic packaging, bottled water is worse than tap water. Ensure you only drink filtered water from glass or 100% BPA-free, non-leaching Tritan plastic.

Food

Consume and buy organic whenever possible. If cost is a consideration, then you may wish to prioritize buying organic, grass-fed and pasture raised meats since conventional meats are often much higher in pesticides, antibiotics and unhealthy fats.

For fruits and vegetables, invest in buying organic from the Environmental Working Group (EWG)’s Dirty Dozen™ list, which singles out produce with the highest pesticide loads. The latest list comprises apples, peaches, nectarines, strawberries, grapes, celery, spinach, sweet bell peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, snap peas and potatoes. For non-organic produce, reduce toxic exposure by rinsing with a food-grade vegetable and fruit wash.

Home & Personal Care

Conventional household cleaners and toiletries are typically chemical cocktails that contain dangerous ingredients like organic solvents and petroleum-based chemicals that can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs), making indoor air much more toxic than that outside.

While you clean up internally, ensure you reduce pollutants that are coming into contact with your skin and lungs by switching to safe, non-toxic formulas that are bio-degradable. Another possibility is to make your own natural cleaning products with simple ingredients like baking soda, vinegar and lemon.  This is especially beneficial in the case of pregnancy, infants, young children and the elderly as these individuals are particularly susceptible to the health effects of chemical exposure.

Don’t know where to start? Join us here at Balanced Living on 10 March. Thursday at 7pm to discover how you can clean out the chemicals in your home and life in two simple steps that help to save the earth as they save your pocket.

 

tiffany-wee_profile-picture_nov-2016-2Tiffany Wee

Naturopath, Nutritionist, Herbalist, Mindful Eating, Reiki

Born in Singapore and trained in Australia, Tiffany has consulted in world-renowned health establishments like Chiva Som, ESPA and Balanced Living. She is recognised by her clients for her warmth, efficiency and expertise in helping them achieve their individual health potential. Tiffany is also the first in Asia to offer UCSD’s Mindful Eating course.

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