toxins

  1. Could your dinner offset the damage of dirty air?

    Summer's here… and that means plenty of blue skies ahead.

    Even if you live in a place where clouds gather in the afternoon, the air is even fresher after a warm summer rain!

    But even though the skies above LOOK crystal clear, there's something dangerous that may be lurking in the air, especially if you live in a big city or near a busy road.

    Cars and trucks spew tiny airborne particles (called "PM2.5") and toxic gases (including nitrous oxide) out of their tailpipes, and inhaling these pollutants can up your risk of everything from heart and lung troubles to Alzheimer's disease.

    But according to a new study, you don't have to walk around wearing a gas mask to protect yourself from the damage of air pollution.

    You just have to put healthy food in your mouth!

    In the study, New York University researchers measured the air pollution exposure of 550,000 people from all over the U.S. and then grouped them according to how closely their diets mirrored the so-called "Mediterranean diet," which includes abundant fruits, vegetables, legumes, olive oil, fish, and poultry.

    After following them for nearly two decades, the researchers found that those whose diets were most like the Mediterranean diet were LESS likely to die from long-term air pollution exposure than those whose diets most deviated.

    More specifically, for every increase of 10 parts per billion of nitrous oxide in the air, the risk of death from all causes rose 5 percent among those who least adhered to the diet, compared to only 2 percent among those who most adhered.

    And when the researchers looked at PM2.5 -- which is 30 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair and can lodge in your heart, lungs, and brain -- the difference that diet made was even greater.

    For every 10 micrograms per cubic meter increase in PM2.5 in the air, the risk of cardiovascular disease deaths rose 17 percent among those who least followed to the diet, compared to only 5 percent among those who most followed it.

    Now, we know that air pollution wreaks havoc inside your body by ramping up inflammation and oxidative stress.

    So, the theory is that a diet full of antioxidant-packed fruits and vegetables, as well as the anti-inflammatory fats found in fish and olives, can shield your delicate tissues from these toxins.

    Plus, we know that the B vitamins found in foods like chicken, fish, and nuts can offset the effects of PM2.5 by as much as 76 percent.

    Now, if you ask me, you’re not getting enough protein on the Mediterranean diet, which restricts red meat and keeps animal protein portion sizes small. To boot, the Med diet isn’t ideal because it allows for too many pro-inflammatory grains.

    So, go Paleo for your summer picnics and BBQs -- and when you're not outside under those summer skies, clear the air indoors by investing in a quality air purifier with a HEPA filter.

  2. Are YOU the canary in the coal mine?

    You light a scented candle... and suddenly the room is spinning.

    Or maybe you spray some cleaning fluid... and your head starts pounding.

    When you're sensitive to the chemicals used in everyday products, something as simple as freshening up the house for spring can make you sick as a dog!

    And if you're the only one in the room who feels ill from those fumes, rest assured: You're not the only one out there.

    Because according to a new study, sensitivity to common household chemicals is on the rise in America -- and it currently affects an estimated 55 million American adults, a 200 percent increase over the past decade.

    In the study, published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, researchers surveyed over 1,100 Americans about their reactions to everyday products like cleaning supplies, fragrances, laundry detergent, personal care products, and insect sprays.

    After they crunched the numbers, it turned out that 25 percent reported feeling adverse effects from these products.

    What's more, for half of those with chemical sensitivity, the symptoms were so severe -- ranging from migraines and dizziness to breathing difficulties and heart problems -- that they were diagnosed with a medical condition called "Multiple Chemical Sensitivities" (MCS).

    Now, the mainstream will tell you that MCS isn't a "real" disorder.

    But the study found that over 75 percent of those diagnosed with MCS have reactions to everyday chemicals that are so debilitating that they simply cannot live normal lives.

    Inhaling the small chemical particles found in household products can damage your lungs... trigger inflammation throughout your body... and even build up in your brain.

    And we know that when toxins take up residence in your gray matter, they can set off neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's.

    And MCS diagnoses have shot up 300 percent in the past 10 years!

    Does that mean that we're becoming a society of delicate flowers?

    Hardly.

    I'd like to see one of these scientists measure how much our toxic EXPOSURE has skyrocketed over the last decade -- because I bet those numbers would match up.

    Besides, as the study's lead author put it, "People with MCS are like human canaries -- they react earlier and more severely to chemical pollutants even at low levels."

    Those chemicals are actually toxic to EVERYONE, but it's simply those with the most sensitive systems who know it SOONER rather than LATER!

    If you're one of them, you're the canary in the coal mine. And even if you're not, you should avoid exposing yourself to these chemicals.

    Choosing "fragrance-free" products is a good first step -- but that designation doesn't mean that they're free of OTHER toxins.

    Swap your chemical-laden stuff for "green" cleansers and "all-natural" soaps and shampoos whenever possible. Just read the ingredient labels carefully to make sure they are what they claim to be.

    And as I recently shared with you, instead of toxic insect foggers, try natural pest deterrents like cayenne, citronella, and peppermint oil.

  3. Fragrances in cleaning products may contain toxins

    Clean these hidden chemicals out of your cabinet From "lemon fresh" to "crisp pine," the scent of cleaning products can really make your home, garage, or even car smell spick-and-span. You inhale, and ahhhh... that fragrance fills you AND your nostrils with the confidence that things are squeaky clean. But the truth is that these aromas can actually contain a...
  4. "Safe" moisturizers may contain hidden toxins

    Here's a truly non-toxic way to soothe your skin Your skin is dry... cracked... and itching like nobody's business. When you've got psoriasis or eczema, it feels like you've got a patch of parched desert right there on your body -- and it's SCREAMING for moisture. So, you might run to the drugstore for a moisturizer that's marketed to folks...
  5. Buildings harbor toxins that can make you sick

    What's creeping through your castle? When it comes to feeling cozy and safe, there's certainly no place like home. But don't assume that being indoors in your "castle" can protect you from all of the environmental hazards -- like air pollution and toxic exposure -- that come with modern life. From mold growing in damp spots... to toxins in your...
  6. Household toxins linked to respiratory disease

    How keeping a clean house can wallop your lungs From bleaches... to antibacterial sprays... and even pine-scented deodorizers... your household cleaning cabinet probably looks a lot like an arsenal for the "war" on dirt and germs. I get it -- no one wants a dirty house. And besides the dirt you can see, there's the added worry of the germs...
  7. Fight the constant onslaught of toxins with antioxidants

    Is your brain overflowing with poison? I've always been interested in neurological illness. And then, about a dozen years ago, it happened to me. I developed Parkinson's disease. It came out of the blue, launching me on a 12-plus-year journey investigating the causes and treatments of neurological conditions. And through that investigation, I've discovered the critical factors that cause neurological...
  8. Wallpaper can harbor sickening toxins

    Could mold be creeping into your lungs... from the walls? It's the peak of summer... temperatures are spiking... and so is air pollution. In fact, the very same weather factors that drive heat waves can also WORSEN air quality! Since as an eTips reader you know how dangerous polluted air can be, you might be inclined to batten down the...
  9. Toxins from plastics linked to chronic health problems

    What's lurking in your meal? I've always thought the term "comfort food" was a misnomer. Cupcakes... buttermilk biscuits... and even mac and cheese might give you warm-and-fuzzy childhood nostalgia, but there's nothing "comforting" about blasting your body with a sugar or starch bomb! And the impact on your blood sugar (and waistline) isn't the only problem. When it comes to...
  10. Plastics release toxins when microwaved

    How your TV dinner could kill you Remember those old TV dinners in the old days... those metal trays that you'd take right from the oven to the couch, in front of an episode of your favorite show? Well, they don't really call them "TV dinners" anymore, but you can still find plenty of those frozen dinners that are supposedly...

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