We live in a consumeristic culture that encourages us to buy numerous products we don’t need, many of which are filled with dangerous chemicals. We are constantly exposed to toxins because they’re hidden in our food, body products, “medicine,” household items, and even the air we breathe.
Many of these products have misleading labels that read “naturally inspired,” “safe for children,” and “made with organic or natural ingredients.” Many of these things are also recommended by doctors, other authoritative figures and government organizations, so people mistakenly assume that they’re safe for usage. The Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry maintains that children are often more susceptible to environmental hazards and recommends pregnant women and children take precautions to avoid exposure to toxins and chemicals. Numerous chemicals can be detrimental for brain development, particularly in regards to children, yet they are still approved and used to formulate many consumer products.
The following items are hazardous to the body and should be avoided as much as possible. Not only do these products pose a threat to your health, but they may pose a greater threat to children’s health as well!
Dental Amalgam Fillings
Commonly referred to as “silver fillings” in the North American dental industry, these fillings are made primarily of mercury, silver, copper, and tin. The mercury passes through cell membranes, across your blood-brain barrier and directly into your central nervous system, which can cause serious psychological, neurological, and immunological issues. Metal fillings pose a grave threat to children in particular because their brain’s are still developing. Many European countries have banned the use of these fillings and Canada has issued warnings discouraging these fillings for pregnant women and children. However, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Dental Association (ADA) still haven’t addressed this issue sufficiently (source). Check out this Dr. Mercola article regarding alternatives to mercury fillings and the many countries that use them.
Thanks to Big Pharma paying off doctors and releasing false advertisements, ADHD over-diagnosis has become a significant issue in the US (read our article about it here). Even though many drug advertisements state that ADHD medication is “safer than aspirin,” these drugs can have significant side effects and are actually considered to be within the same class as morphine and oxycodone due to high risk of abuse and addiction. Instead of simply handing a child a prescription, many countries such as France use alternative treatment methods such as behavioural therapy, family counselling, and all-natural remedies (read our article about that here).
“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of the New England Journal of Medicine” Dr. Marcia Angell, a physician and longtime Editor in Chief of the New England Medical Journal (source)
Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
A common food additive known for its ability to enhance flavours, MSG is less well-known for being an excitotoxin. In other words, MSG can overexcite your cells to the point of damage or death and has been linked to brain damage, learning disabilities, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease and more (source). The FDA recognizes the dangers of consuming MSG and has warned the public that it can cause neurological damage and Alzheimer’s disease.
Processed Foods & Meats
Fast food is often processed, fried, homogenized, hydrogenated, and filled with chemicals and additives. Conventional milk is often processed and contains tons of puss, blood, antibiotics, pesticides and other chemicals. Milk is also usually homogenized in North America, which can be dangerous for our heart health. Processed meats have been directly linked to cancer, as the WHO classified them as “carcinogenic to humans.” An easy way to avoid processed foods is to purchase only organic products, read labels, and/or pursue a vegetarian or vegan diet, which has been proven to prevent and treat heart disease, cancer, and many other health-related issues.
Toxins in Personal Care Products
It can be difficult to recognize most of the ingredients listed in many of our personal hygiene products. For example, hairspray and nail polish usually contain phthalate, which is linked to shortened attention span and impaired social interactions in children. Toothpaste often contains fluoride (a neurotoxin) and shampoos and other children’s body products may contain Sodium Laureth Sulfate (harsh chemical and allergy trigger), 1,4-dioxane (known animal carcinogen), Formaldehyde (neurotoxin and developmental toxin), and perhaps the worst of them all, Fragrance/Parfum, which is a potential mixture of 3,000+ harsh chemicals that aren’t legally required to be disclosed. To avoid these chemicals, check out this list of Dr. Bronner’s children’s body products or any other all-natural, organic alternative.
The regulation process for these personal care products is next to nothing. Companies can basically put anything they want inside of their product without the appropriate safety testing.
Toxins in Laundry Detergent
Laundry detergents often contain phosphorus, enzymes, ammonia, naphthalene, phenol, and sodium nitilotriacetate, all of which can cause rashes, itchiness, dryness and sinus problems. These chemicals are easily absorbed through your skin from your clothes and bed sheets. In addition, many conventional detergents contain artificial scents and “Fragrance,” which is a code name for a sweet cocktail of hazardous chemicals. My favourite all-natural detergent is doTERRA’s On Guard Laundry Detergent, which is advertised towards families.
Toxic Cleaning Products & Air Fresheners
Most families have an entire shelf filled with toxic cleaners because corporations convince consumers they need different products to clean specific surfaces. Even though most of these products have toxic warning signs on them that clearly state they’re poisonous and/or corrosive, people continue to buy into this corporate propaganda. Not only are they breathing in these fumes while cleaning, but so are any of their household visitors and/or children. According to the David Suzuki Foundation, some of the common chemicals found in household cleaning products include 2-BE (causes reproductive problems), ammonia (associated with kidney and live damage), coal tar dyes (causes cancer and harms nervous system), and the infamous “Fragrance.” Air fresheners usually contain Fragrance as well, which can easily be replaced with some essential oils and water. For an all-natural, all-purpose household cleaner, check out Dr. Bronner’s.
Pesticides can be found everywhere now: in our homes, the environment, and the food and beverages we consume. Monsanto’s RoundUp is most commonly used and the main active ingredient in it is glyphosate, which is a known carcinogen and can actually suffocate human cells (read more about this here). The best way to avoid pesticides is to buy everything organic: from the food you eat to what you wear on you and your children wear on your bodies. Glyphosate is especially threatening to children’s health as it’s known to cause autism and seizures.
Sodas have a high amount of phosphoric acid, which is linked to hypocalcemia in children. Soda consumption can cause cancer, obesity, diabetes, and early onset of puberty in young girls according to a Harvard University study (you can read more about that in our article here). Sodas often contain different types of artificial sweeteners, sugars, aspartame, and other harmful ingredients. If you’re looking for an all-natural alternative for yourself or your child, try Zevia or kombucha.
Artificial sweeteners such as Splenda can be found in many consumer food items and are linked to cancer, heart attacks, diabetes, high blood pressure and strokes. Artificial sweeteners stimulate appetite, increase cravings for carbs, and cause metabolism dysfunctions. Researchers at Yale University discovered that there is a positive correlation between children consuming artificial sweeteners and obesity. If you’re looking for more alternatives to refined sugar and artificial sweeteners (such as coconut sugar and dates), check out our article here.
Plastic Food Containers & Bottles
In a German study, researchers discovered that endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) were present in bottled water products from 18 different popular brands. EDCs can interfere with our hormone systems, causing cancerous tumours, birth defects, cardiovascular disorders, metabolic disorders and other developmental disorders. Other frequent ingredients in plastic food containers and bottles include bisphenol-A (BPA) and bisphenol-S (BPS), both of which can hinder brain development, and phthalates. Use glass containers or mason jars instead!
Gummy vitamins are marketed as an easy way for parents to ensure their children are getting the vitamins they need. However, most parents are completely unaware of the harmful ingredients hidden in the “vitamins,” which are anything but nutritional for children. For example, the Flintstones vitamin, one of the top-selling multivitamins in the United States, contains numerous genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), sugar, aspartame, aluminum, petroleum-derived artificial colours, and other questionable ingredients. You can view the entire list of ingredients here. If you’re looking for an all-natural multivitamin for kids, check out Rainbow Light’s here. Read our article about the dangers behind children’s vitamins here.
Many baby powders are talc-based, meaning that they contain high amounts of talcum powder. According to the American Cancer Society, talc in it’s natural form, which contains asbestos, can cause cancer. One of the most popular baby powders used produced by Johnson and Johnson is talc-based. The company has been sued many times and has paid millions of dollars to those who claimed their baby powder caused their cancer. The most recent case against Johnson & Johnson involved a California woman who was awarded more than $70 million in her lawsuit against the company, as she claimed their baby powder caused her ovarian cancer. Johnson & Johnson, like many other companies, fail to disclose the dangers of using their products. Although there are many all-natural alternatives available, here’s a link to a DIY Natural recipe for baby powder.
Fluoride can commonly be found in drinking water all over the world, despite the fact that it is a known neurotoxin. Harvard University found links between fluoridated water and ADHD and mental disorders. The fluoride added to our water isn’t even the natural element, it’s hydrofluorosilicic acid, which is a toxic waste substance created from the production of aluminum, fertilizer, steel and nuclear industries (read more about that here). Arsenic, another common chemical found in drinking water, has been linked to reduced cognitive function in children (source). Stick to natural spring water or purchase a water filter!
Children’s toys often contain harmful ingredients including toxic flame retardants and formaldehyde, which has been linked to cancer. Some of the more well-known companies that use toxic flame retardants in their products include Michael’s (in bedding and doll furniture), Target (in toy vehicles), and MGA Little Tikes (in outdoor play equipment). Formaldehyde has been found in some of the toys at Build-A-Bear (source). If you’re looking for better toys for your kids, look for ones that aren’t made out of plastic or check out these tips from Toxic Free Future!
Even if you don’t have a child, this list still clearly pertains to you. Both the Earth and our bodies represent our homes, we should treat them with care by avoiding the use of chemicals and toxins. We should strive to make the world a better place for future generations, regardless of if we’re parents or not. By avoiding toxins and other harsh chemicals, you can help create positive change on this planet!
Your life path number can tell you A LOT about you.
This Super Simple Breathing Technique Can Help Alleviate Anxiety & Depression
- The Facts:
Small study finds breathing technique can help treat major depressive disorder and anxiety.
- Reflect On:
The answers to our challenges are much simpler than we thought, we have everything we need inside of us. Great alternative to prescription anti-depressant medication, or other substances.
The breath is one of the most underrated and under-utilized methods of healing. Breathing comes naturally to us, we do it without thinking, which is why it is not something we generally think of as a way to connect deeply with ourselves, calm our anxieties or even reach higher levels of consciousness. Something as simple as breathing can help those who suffer from severe mental conditions and those who have survived global disasters.
There are many forms of breathwork, there is the well-known Holotropic Breathing, made popular by the Iceman himself, Wim Hof. There is another technique known as transformational breathwork and the featured practice of breathing that will be featured in this article, resonant breathing or Coherent Breathing, which is a trademarked term.
This specific style of breathwork came from years of studying the ancient breathing practices of indigenous people all over the world including those from African, Hawaiian, and Native American traditions.
Assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at New York Medical College, Patricia Gerbarg, studies the technique with her husband, Richard Brown, associate professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. “We wanted to identify a short program that could be given quickly to people, that they would have immediate relief within five or ten minutes, and that over time would produce long-term changes,” Gerbarg told Vice.
A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary medicine in 2017 led by researchers from Boston University asked 30 people with major depression to practice the breathing technique regularly as well as Iyengar yoga. After 3 months, results from a standard depression inventory test showed how the depressive symptoms had significantly declined.
Even though the study size was very small, it is comforting to know that something as simple as breath alone could help to alleviate symptoms of severe depression. No pills needed. This technique is especially powerful because it can be practiced anytime, anywhere. The process involved taking regular breaths in and out of the nose, at a pace of 5 breaths per minute, each breath in and out taking around 6 seconds. When starting out, it is recommended that this be practiced with the eyes closed, but once you get it under control you can easily do it with your eyes open, meaning while you’re driving, while in a meeting, anytime during the day that you may find yourself feeling anxious, stressed or down. Gerbarg says, “It’s totally private. Nobody knows you’re doing it.”
The breath should be calm and gentle because the goal is to balance the sympathetic — fight or flight with the parasympathetic — rest and digest areas of the nervous system. Interestingly, when the couple first began looking into the power of the breath, the first thought was that this must send extra oxygen to the brain that we may have otherwise been lacking. However, they knew that there must be more to this to explain the profound effects they had been seeing in those who practiced the breathing technique. Not to mention, some types of breathwork actually decreases the amount of oxygen going to the brain.
Why Does This Work?
Gerbarg and Brown believe that the reason this technique works is thanks to the vagal nerves, those connecting the brain to the body and what tell the organs when to beat, digest, breathe and all other functions, have been found in recent years to send even more messages in the opposite direction from the body to the brain. “These ascending messages strongly influence stress response, emotion and neurohormonal regulatory networks,” stated in a book written by the couple, Yoga Therapy: Theory and Practice.
According to Gerbarg, “Respiration is the only autonomic function we can voluntarily control,” it’s easy to see how changing the breathing pattern can shift the messages received by the brain.
The calm and even breaths send messages of safety, according to Gerbarg, this can reduce anxious or depressive thoughts and makes way for more loving and connected emotions to be felt. Adverse reactions are generally rare, but those with asthma or other breathing conditions should only try this practice under the guidance of a trained professional.
We really do have everything we need inside of us. Our human bodies are magnificent, and if something as simple as breathing can help alleviate symptoms of depression, then we should certainly be studying this more. If you are skeptical about this information and feel it’s too good to be true, give it a shot next time you find yourself feeling down or anxious and see if it helps!
Your life path number can tell you A LOT about you.
It’s Not New: Pictures Show The Fight Against Vaccines Is Well Over 100 Years Old
- The Facts:
The struggle against vaccination, especially compulsory vaccination mandated by a government/industry coalition, was met with fierce resistance from people during the early history of vaccination over a century ago.
- Reflect On:
What does the pictorial evidence of opposition to vaccines from early in the previous century tell us about today's vaccine industry?
In the foreword to the book by Doctor Suzanne Humphries and Roman Bistrianyk entitled ‘Dissolving Illusions: Disease, Vaccines, and the Forgotten History,’ Dr. Jayne L. M. Donegan sums up the vaccine ‘landscape’ that she and all MDs enter into as they become doctors:
Despite questioning the safety and efficacity of vaccination by reputable medical men since its introduction, debate has been, and is, increasingly discouraged. Information published in scientific journals is used to support this position, other views being regarded as “unscientific.”
It was a received “article of faith” for me and my contemporaries, that vaccination was the single most useful health intervention that had ever been introduced. Along with all my medical and nursing colleagues, I was taught that vaccines were the reason children and adults stopped dying from diseases for which there are vaccines. We were told that other diseases, such as scarlet fever, rheumatic fever, typhus, typhoid, cholera, and so on, for which there are no vaccines at the time, diminished both in incidence and mortality (ability to kill) due to better social conditions.
You would think–as medical students who are supposed to be moderately intelligent–that some of us would have asked, “But if deaths from these diseases decreased due to improved social conditions, mightn’t the ones for which there are vaccines also have decreased at the same time for the same reason?” But we didn’t.
The medical curriculum is so overloaded with information that you just have to learn what you hear, as you hear it: nonvaccinatable diseases into the social conditions box and vaccinatable diseases into the vaccines box and then onto the next subject.
What this book especially brought to light for me was not just that open ‘debate’ on vaccination is systematically stifled, but the gruesome early history of vaccination itself is hidden, suppressed, and denied. For me, just knowing the early history of vaccination has been enough for me to see that all along this phenomena has fundamentally been about power and money, in complete and abject disregard for human health. I believe an open-minded reading of the book mentioned above will lead you to the same conclusions.
Early Resistance Against Vaccines
The early history of vaccines is fraught with egregious trial-and-error ‘science’ on humans treated as guinea pigs matched with strong-arm tactics at compulsory vaccination. But even though they were dealing with human populations that were not as educated as we may be today, the illness and deaths of children resulting from vaccination were not lost on parents–and in some cases, before the medical establishment had full control over their doctors’ muzzles, were admitted to by doctors. Here are a few among many pictorial examples and their heart-breaking stories:
At a time when mainstream media, government, and the medical establishment were not the well-oiled machine of elite propaganda they are today, public outrage and attempts to mobilize against compulsory vaccination were squarely in the public eye:
Anti-Vaccine Literature And Images
Like today, there were professionals and researchers speaking out against the dangers of vaccination, and probably suffered from the same lack of funding to proliferate their message.
Comparisons With Today
One would imagine that if the early vaccine industry actually cared about public health, that even the death or crippling of ONE CHILD that occurred directly after vaccination would cause them to shut down operations until they could verify that this death was not caused by vaccines. Alas, these pictures demonstrate otherwise. And if it did not happen then, it certainly is not happening now.
The outright lie found on government medical websites that ‘vaccines are safe and effective’ belies the fact that a special fund and a special court was set up by the government to issue compensation to sufferers of vaccine injury that has already paid out over $3.7 billion dollars. The fact is that this court was set up to prevent people from being able to sue vaccine companies directly, because it was forecast that all the vaccine manufacturers would go bankrupt if they were not protected from being sued. That’s how ‘safe and effective’ vaccines have proven to be.
Sure, today there is less of a push towards compulsory vaccination–but that is in part due to the awesome and tireless work of enraged citizens at the turn of the century as evidenced in these pictures! All that happened was that the vaccine industry realized that they could better ply their trade by focusing not on forced vaccination and the obvious resistance it generates, but rather by controlling the narrative with well-funded propaganda through coordinated efforts of the medical establishment, government, and the media. Part of this effort is hiding the history from us that we see in the pictures featured here.
If we are to become clear as a collective about the big picture of what is going on behind government and industry policy today, sometimes a brief look at history is all it takes.
Your life path number can tell you A LOT about you.
10 Ways To Boost Serotonin Levels Without Medication
- The Facts:
Millions are diagnosed with depression every year, and people can begin feeling better without medication by increasing serotonin levels in the brain. Some lifestyle changes and food adjustments can help solve this.
- Reflect On:
Is your diet truly helping you feel good? We sometimes think 'we only live once, I should eat what I want!' but how do you want to feel while you're alive: Vital or foggy?
As defined by psychologists, a person has a major depressive episode when he or she has symptoms of major depressive disorder, including depressed mood or feelings of emptiness, hopelessness or irritability, that last for two weeks or more. And, according to the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS), the number of people diagnosed with depression has increased by 450% since 1987.
It is often recommended that we start taking a medication to reduce symptoms. However, medication often comes with sometimes dangerous side-effects. Here are some simple ways to feel happier without needing to take a pill.
1. Get Enough Vitamin B6
Foods like spinach, turnip greens, garlic, cauliflower, mustard greens, celery, and non-factory farmed fish (especially tuna, halibut, salmon, cod and snapper) can be great sources.
2. Eat Brain Boosting Seed Grains Instead of Wheat
This includes: Amaranth, buckwheat, millet and quinoa are seeds with grain-like taste and properties. These are healthy, high-protein carbohydrates and small amounts of the right carbohydrates are critical to boosting serotonin.
Not only will you improve your mood, you will Sleep better too. A nice dose of serotonin in the early evening will help you sleep better at night.
These grain-like seeds also provide important B vitamins. As just mentioned B vitamins play a critical role in brain health and in the manufacture of all your neurotransmitters including serotonin. Vitamins B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin) and B6 (pyridoxine) as well as vitamin D, folic acid and selenium plus calcium, and magnesium are needed to make serotonin.
For protein meals: focus on digestion and food combining – Eating foods that are high in protein – and specifically have a higher percentage of tryptophan (like sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds), will provide much-needed tryptophan, the precursor to serotonin. But beware: because research shows that eating protein with carbohydrates actually works against your ability to make serotonin.
Good to know: Plant-based protein helps to create more serotonin than animal protein does.
To boost your mood and immunity naturally, protein and probiotics – is the delicious natural answer!
3. Include Fermented Food & Drinks In Your Diet
Fermented foods and drinks greatly assist in digestion and assimilation of all the important nutrients you need for serotonin. Additionally, they boost the nutrients in your food by at least a hundredfold.
4. Get Massages & Other Forms of Body Work
We’ve heard about the healing power of touch, but now research backs it up! A study conducted by the Touch Research Institutes at the University of Miami School of Medicine shows that massage increases serotonin by 28% and decreases cortisol (the stress hormone) by 31%.
5. Have Fun in the Sun
Early morning sunlight is more intense and this can boost your body’s production of melatonin in the evening. Serotonin converts to melatonin for a great night’s sleep. Getting outside for a 20-minute walk in the early morning sunlight can boost your mood and improve your sleep!
6. Remove Toxins From Your Health That Interfere With Brain Health
Eat foods like dandelion and citrus fruit to help detox daily. Detoxing is about increasing the effectiveness of your detox pathways so unnecessary toxins don’t get stuck in your body. Although the medical field keeps saying detoxing is a myth, lack of proper detoxing is a common challenge.
7. Reduce Stress
Prolonged physical or emotional stress produce adrenaline and cortisol, which interfere with serotonin. Shifting your lifestyle and adding more relaxation into your week can make a huge difference. Focus on Emotional Healing – Reducing stress and focusing on spending more time relaxing is a first step to boosting serotonin. You can take this even further by taking action in key areas to remove negative emotions like fear, guilt and anger. Meditate & do yoga!
A comprehensive review of the relation between exercise and mood concluded that antidepressant and anxiolytic effects have been clearly demonstrated. In the United Kingdom the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, which works on behalf of the National Health Service and makes recommendations on treatments according to the best available evidence, has published a guide on the treatment of depression.
9. Eliminate Processed Sugar (or at least drastically reduce it)
If you have low serotonin, you may have intense cravings for sugar. This is your body’s way of trying to increase serotonin because eating sugar produces insulin, which helps tryptophan go into your brain. However, too much sugar can eventually cause addiction to sugar, insulin resistance, hypoglycemia and type 2 diabetes.
Instead, satisfy your sweet tooth in a healthy way with pure maple syrup, coconut sugar or pure honey.
10. Give More Hugs, Love More & Fear Less
Human connection, living in the heart, being connected to self. All of these things are natural to us and yet we have become quite disconnected from it all in our modern world.
Listen to CE Podcast episode Treating Autism Naturally w/ Jennifer Kozek
Your life path number can tell you A LOT about you.
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