There’s nothing worse than catching a whiff of someone’s perfume, only to be nauseous all day. Or maybe it happens after pumping gas or doing laundry. Sound familiar? You’re probably sensitive to chemicals.
It might be the same deal after eating certain foods. Does one beer turn into a day-long headache? This has everything to do with toxins and nothing to do with tolerance. Of course, the liver works hard to remove toxins from the body.
But for some people, the process is more sensitive, causing problems like nausea and headaches. Honestly, it’s impossible to avoid chemicals. They’re everywhere! But these lifestyle tips, you can limit exposure and support detoxification.1
1. Use Natural Cleaners
Commercial cleaners are packed with chemicals and harsh scents. Chores will give you an even bigger headache! For instance, formaldehyde is often added for disinfecting properties. But according to the National Cancer Institute, high exposure is linked to cancer.2
Ethanolamines are also used as emulsifiers, but they can irritate the respiratory system and form carcinogenic nitrosamines.3 Keep it simple and natural. Disinfect with vinegar, scrub with baking soda, and de-grease with castile soap. Fighting a gross odor? Use essential oils in place of toxic, nausea-inducing room sprays.
2. Make Beauty Products
Like cleaners, makeup and toiletries are packed with toxins. Many are used to scent or color products. Yet, smelling like “Ocean Breeze” isn’t necessary when your skin just needs lotion.
Why not make your own? Coconut oil, for example, is an excellent natural moisturizer. Use essential oil as perfume and green tea as a toner. With these ingredients, you can limit the body’s toxic exposure.
3. Avoid Fried Foods
Fried food contains acrylamide, a toxin associated with cancer in animal studies. The biggest sources? Potato chips and French fries, two American favorites. Acrylamide forms when sugars are cooked at high temperatures.
But here’s the scary part: you can also find it in cigarette smoke.4 Skip fried food whenever possible. Bake instead of fry, and cook at lower temperatures. It’s the best way to avoid filling the body with unnecessary toxins.
4. Avoid Charred Meat
Think twice about the well-done steak or grilled BBQ. When meat is cooked at high temperatures, heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) develop. Both chemicals are carcinogenic.
The risk is higher with red and processed meat, so stick to fish or poultry.5 When possible, bake or poach. You can even block carcinogens with antioxidant herbs. In a 2010 study, researchers discovered that rosemary stops HCA formation.6 Now, what a great reason to use fresh spices.
5. Drink Alcohol Carefully
While everyone should drink booze in moderation, some should drink even less. Everyone breaks down alcohol in different ways!
Acetaldehyde, ethanol’s primary metabolic product, is poisonous to the body. However, the antioxidant glutathione makes it less toxic. But what happens if you don’t have enough? Acetaldehyde accumulates, increasing the risk for chronic disease.7
Make sure you have enough glutathione by eating fruits, vegetables, and lean meat protein.8 Most importantly, drink alcohol in moderation. Women should have no more than one drink a day, and men should have no more than two.9
For the simplest detox, drink water. This all you need to flush out toxins from the liver. Top it off with an antioxidant-rich diet for even more protection.
|↑1||Liver Diseases. MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine.|
|↑2||Formaldehyde and Cancer Risk. National Cancer Institute.|
|↑3||Dodson, Robin E., Marcia Nishioka, Laurel J. Standley, Laura J. Perovich, Julia Green Brody, and Ruthann A. Rudel. “Endocrine disruptors and asthma-associated chemicals in consumer products.” Environmental health perspectives 120, no. 7 (2012): 935.|
|↑4||Acrylamide Questions & Answers. Food & Drug Administration.|
|↑5||Chemicals in Meat Cooked at High Temperatures and Cancer Risk. National Cancer Institute.|
|↑6||Puangsombat, Kanithaporn, and J. Scott Smith. “Inhibition of heterocyclic amine formation in beef patties by ethanolic extracts of rosemary.” Journal of food science 75, no. 2 (2010).|
|↑7||Guo, Rui, and Jun Ren. “Alcohol and acetaldehyde in public health: from marvel to menace.” International journal of environmental research and public health 7, no. 4 (2010): 1285-1301.|
|↑8||Jones, Dean P., Ralph J. Coates, Elaine W. Flagg, John W. Eley, Gladys Block, Raymond S. Greenberg, Elaine W. Gunter, and Bethany Jackson. “Glutathione in foods listed in the National Cancer Institute’s health habits and history food frequency questionnaire.” (1992): 57-75.|
|↑9||Frequently Asked Questions. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.|