It’s no secret that human beings have adopted a lifestyle that neglects health, especially when it comes to the many cleaning and personal care products we choose to surround ourselves with on a daily basis, many of which have serious health concerns associated with them. Troublingly, these products are still approved as safe by government agencies, despite the wealth of evidence clearly showing serious cause for concern.
The list of dangerous items is long, and there is a general and growing consensus in the scientific community that many of these products are responsible for the rise in various diseases we are currently seeing, including cancer.
Here is a list of 10 things you should throw away for better health:
1. Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners are everywhere, and two of the most common ones are aspartame and sucralose (Splenda). These products have been linked to a number of diseases, such as diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, and Alzheimer’s disease. They also promote obesity and disease by disrupting your intestinal microflora.
One of the largest studies of its kind recently examined the link between diet drinks and cardiovascular issues such as heart attack and stroke in healthy, postmenopausal women. Undertaken at the University of Iowa, the findings were presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 63rd Annual Scientific Session in Washington, D.C.
60,000 women participated in the study, which found that women who consumed two or more diet drinks a day are 30% more likely to experience a cardiovascular event, and 50% more likely to die from a related disease.
A study out of Arizona State University, which was published in the Journal of Applied Nutrition, determined that Aspartame causes brain damage by leaving traces of Methanol in the blood. Another study, published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine, determined that longterm consumption of Aspartame leads to an imbalance in the antioxidant/pro-oxidant status in the brain. And a study published by Washington University’s Medical School outlines a possible connection between aspartame and brain tumours.
For more CE articles on Aspartame, please click here.
2. Electronic Devices
Electronic devices and the radiation emitted by them are everywhere. It’s not uncommon for the human race to engage in activities deemed safe, like smoking, only to learn of their health consequences decades later. Electronic devices like cell phones, and the WiFi signals they use, may just be the cigarettes of our time.
This is what the world would look like if cell phone radiation were visible.
Dr. Martin Blank, Ph.D., from the Department of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics at Colombia University, has joined a group of scientists from around the world who are making an international appeal to the United Nations regarding the dangers associated with the use of various electromagnetic emitting devices, like cells phones and WiFi.
Below is a video of him outlining these dangers.
Multiple studies have revealed that cell phone radiation can cause cancer. Did you know that the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified radio frequency fields (including those from cell phones) as a possible carcinogen in 2011? The dangers of cell phone use gained a lot of mainstream credibility in 2011 when the World Health Organization (WHO) admitted that cell phone radiation may cause cancer. The statement was based upon a cumulative decision made by a team of 31 scientists from 14 different countries after reviewing evidence that suggested this to be the case. You can read more about that here.
We recently published an article titled “A Pregnant Woman Eating Organic Vs. Eating Conventinal: It’s Time To Think About Your Baby.”
In the article, we explain the difference between organic food and conventional food, as well as provide a number of sources and studies showing clear concern with the pesticides sprayed on our food and in the surrounding environment.
These chemicals have been linked to birth defects, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Autism, and more. You can find all of the health concerns that are associated with the chemicals sprayed on our food in the article linked above.
Environmental concerns are another issue to consider and, when combined with the above health risks, explain why multiple countries around the world have completely banned these pesticides from being sprayed. In fact, 19 countries in Europe just banned Genetically Modified Crops from being grown in their country, and that includes the pesticides that go with them.
4. Personal Care Products
Most personal care products are full of harmful chemicals that we know lead to disease. For example, if we look at cancer, it’s caused by physical carcinogens, chemical carcinogens, and biological carcinogens, all of which we surround ourselves with on a daily basis, and all of which are in various personal care products, such as many deodorants.
We recently wrote an article on how to prevent breast cancer through an armpit detox. The article delves into the concerns associated with aluminum, and how substances put on our skin easily penetrate the skin and find their way into the bloodstream.
When it comes to cosmetics, there are thousands upon thousands of chemicals that are deemed safe by corporate manufacturers, and such self-regulated approval is the only thing needed to put them onto the market, as there is no approved official regulatory process for testing these chemicals and the potential harm they may cause.
Being our largest organ, the skin absorbs everything we put onto it, good and bad alike. The Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Manitoba, Canada, conducted a study to quantify how many sunscreen agents penetrate the skin after it is applied. Their results demonstrated significant penetration of all sunscreen agents into the skin, which means multiple chemicals are entering multiple tissues within the body.
Because they tend to use several different products on a daily basis that can contribute to an overload of toxic chemicals, women are most at risk. Makeup is a huge source of heavy metals, for instance. In the report “Heavy Metal Hazard: The Health Risks of Hidden Heavy Metals In Face Makeup,” Environmental Defence tested 49 different makeup items, including foundations, concealers, powders, blushes, mascaras, eyeliners, eye shadows, lipsticks, and lip glosses. Their testing revealed serious heavy metal contamination in virtually all of their products.
- 96% contained lead
- 90% contained beryllium
- 61% contained thallium
- 51% contained cadmium
- 20% contained arsenic
The Environmental Working Group has a great database to help you find personal care products that are free of potentially dangerous chemicals. Better yet, simplify your routine and make your own products. A slew of lotions, potions, and hair treatments can be eliminated with a jar of coconut oil, for example, to which you can add a high quality essential oil to for scent.
5. Commercial Cleaning Products
Simply put, using commercial cleaning products in your home puts your health at risk. Combined with all of the above, and all of the below, it’s easy to see how the accumulation of chemicals from all these products has led to the dramatic rise in disease we’ve seen over the past few decades.
We’ve covered this topic before, and outlined why these products are dangerous and what alternatives you can use instead. “Why We All Need To Stop Cleaning With Bleach” is a great example, so check it out if you’re interested to learn more.
Alternatives include baking soda, white vinegar, lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide, liquid Castille soap, and essential oils.
Why is it that these products could be manufactured to be much less hazardous, and in some cases cheaper, but aren’t? It’s difficult to trust companies who seem to have no qualms about contributing to the decline of human health.
Fortunately for us, there are things to do and preventative measures/ lifestyle changes you can make.
6. Air Fresheners
When it comes to health, air fresheners are probably some of the worst products you can have in your home. These commonly contain 2,5-dichlorophenol (2, 5-DCP), a metabolite of 1,4 dichlorobenzene. This chemical is present in the blood of nearly all Americans, and has been linked to lung damage and has been known to cause organ system toxicity.
According to the National Resources Defense Council:
Air fresheners have become a staple in many American homes and offices, marketed with the promise of creating a clean, healthy, and sweet-smelling indoor atmosphere. But many of these products contain phthalates (pronounced thal-ates)—hazardous chemicals known to cause hormonal abnormalities, birth defects, and reproductive problems. NRDC’s independent testing of 14 common air fresheners, none of which listed phthalates as an ingredient, uncovered these chemicals in 86 percent (12 of 14) of the products tested, including those advertised as “allnatural” or “unscented.”
7. Plastic Food Containers and Bottles
Not long ago, German researchers discovered endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), which could adversely affect development and reproduction, to be contained in 18 different popular bottled water products. Of the 24,520 suspect chemicals found to be present in bottled water, the one that showed consistent results and illustrated anti-androgenic and anti-estrogenic activity was di(2-ethylhexyl) fumarate (DEHF). Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that can interfere with the hormone system, and they can cause cancerous tumours, birth defects, cardiovascular disorders, metabolic disorders, and as mentioned earlier, other developmental disorders.
There are other concerns, most notably bisphenol-A (BPA), bisphenol-S (BPS), and phthalates.
Here are some related CE articles on that topic with more information in them:
Your best bet here is to avoid plastic containers, and replace them with glass bottles and containers. It would be wise to choose glass baby bottles as well.
8. Avoid Processed Meats
The World Health Organization recently linked processed meats to cancer, and recommended reducing processed meat intake to reduce the chances of contracting cancer.
As the CBC reports:
Eating processed meat such as sausage and bacon can cause cancer in humans, the World Health Organization’s cancer agency says.
Monday’s official designation from the France-based International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the WHO, places processed meat in the Group 1 list as “carcinogenic to humans.” The agency said it based the classification on sufficient evidence for colorectal cancer.
This came after years of multiple researchers making this link. Whether you believe it or not, or don’t see it as alarming, the fact remains that reducing your meat intake, more specifically processed meat intake, is a great path toward a healthier life.
In fact, some experts are suggesting that going completely meat-free is a better option for those looking to optimize their health.
“Studies are confirming the health benefits of meat-free eating. Nowadays, plant-based eating is recognized as not only nutritionally sufficient but also as a way to reduce the risk for many chronic illnesses.”
– Harvard Medical School (source)
It’s important to note that an alarming percentage of Americans eat hardly any vegetables whatsoever. According to the Wall Street Journal, in 2011, approximately 80% of Americans who ate meat rarely consumed vegetables at all.
The American Dietetic Association also weighed in with a position paper, concluding that “appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.”
If you’re going to eat meat, it’s best to make sure it is from an organic, free range, grass-fed source.
9. Sitting in Your Chair
There is a growing amount of research revealing that sitting in your chair (something many of us do at work, school, etc.) could have some quite dramatic consequences on your health. Research suggests prolonged sitting is a precurser for chronic disease and early death, even if you exercise regularly and are in good shape.
A study published in the British Medical Journal found that prolonged sitting can increase your risk for lung cancer by 50%. It’s also been found to increase your risk of death for several health problems.
10. Stress and Negativity
Science is starting to recognize that how you feel can directly alter your genetic expression. It’s not just the environment that your genes respond to, it’s also your thoughts, emotions, and unconscious beliefs. To find out more about this, I highly recommend reading cellular biologist Bruce Lipton’s The Biology of Belief.
Researchers at the HeartMath Institute have been coming to the same findings. They show how emotional information is actually coded and modulated into the heart’s electromagnetic field and that, by shifting our emotions, we can change the information that is coded into these magnetic fields. Their research also sheds light on the fact that different emotional states are responsible for creating different brain states. You can read more about that in an article we recently published here.
Furthermore, findings in quantum physics are showing how factors associated with consciousness can and do have some sort of effect on our physical material world. You can find out more about that here.
There is also the case of neuroplasticity, which is the idea that the brain is changeable, adaptable, and malleable. It shows how the brain can change its structure by how we perceive the world around us.
“Human thoughts and learning actually turn on certain genes in our nerve cells which allow those cells to make new connections between them.”
There is also the idea of distant healing. According to President of the Institute for Noetic Sciences (IONS) Dr. Marilyn Schlitz:
Over the past thirty years, significant scientific research has been conducted on the potential effectiveness and value of distant healing practices. The practice of distant healing is drawing increased attention as an important component of integral medicine models that blend a range of approaches to health and healing. Many leading health professionals and spiritual leaders believe distant healing practices may significantly expand the capacity to facilitate healing.
You can view some of this research here.
Emotions and the way you feel have a huge impact on your health.
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