Environmental toxins are often invisible, but are around us all the time and their effects can be pretty nasty down the track if exposure is prolonged or frequent. They can harm human health by potentiating organ damage, respiratory issues, cellular growth and development problems, cancer development and impaired activity of the glands that produce our hormones. They can be man-made (BPA, phthalates, pesticides), or naturally occurring (lead, mercury, arsenic, formaldehyde, cadmium) & enter the body in food, air, vaccines or water. Unfortunately pollution in Bali is significant, so you are doing yourself a favour and investing in your future health by avoiding unnecessary exposure.
With Mt Agung threatening to erupt, we may face volcanic ash issues and associated health complications. Knowing how to support your immune system and provide your body with anti-oxidants and respiratory supporting nutrients may help reduce harm and protect your health in the weeks or months following an eruption.
WHAT ARE THE HARMS OF ENVIRONMENTAL TOXINS?
‘Tephra’, aka ‘volcanic ash’ is a general term that refers to the particles produced when dissolved gases expand in volcanic magma and cause an explosion. This ash can form clouds that look like regular clouds but toxic to when inhaled. All sorts of chemicals can be contained in tephra, implicating nasal/throat irritation, runny nose, coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, airway irritation & breathing difficulties.
Carcinogens like cadmium from polluted air, water, rubble, & soil promote cancer (lung cancer) & affect concentration/memory, dry skin, blood pressure.
Skin suffers premature aging from polluted air. Toxins accumulate & cause dryness, redness, acne, irritation, & disruptions to natural oil balances.
BPA (in plastic or canned food) affects hormones, potentiating infertility, neurological and immune issues, obesity, aggression, early puberty, cancer.
Pesticides on unwashed fruit & veg can cause headaches, insomnia, dizziness, tremors, neurological symptoms, Parkinson’s disease, & poor digestive function.
Phthalates in plastic, toys, cosmetics, fragrance, lotion, deodorant & nail polish can cause thyroid dysfunction, behaviour issues & adverse body development.
Aluminium in cookware, water & antacids can cause Alzheimer’s disease & behaviour disorder.
Arsenic in rice & water can cause fatigue, anaemia and headaches.
Lead in exhaust & paint fumes can lead to anaemia, insomnia, headaches & learning disability.
Mercury from large fish, shellfish & dental amalgams can implicate autism, headache, poor memory & concentration, insomnia & high blood pressure.
WAYS TO DETOX, SUPPORT IMMUNITY, AND COMBAT TOXINS
To protect yourself from volcanic ash, wear a dust mask that protects from small particles, goggles, and clothing that covers as much skin as possible.
Avoid driving or being outside in heavy ashfall.
Coriander is a natural chelator that helps carry heavy metals out of the body.
Brazil nuts restore antioxidant selenium (which can be lost during chelation).
Amino acids in eggs & high quality animal proteins supports liver detoxification.
Activated charcoal binds toxins & carries them out of the body.
Grow houseplants like aloe vera, which release oxygen, to purify the air.
Use natural, non-scented cosmetics, laundry & cleaning products.
Wear a filter mask when riding, especially in busier traffic areas.
Avoid inhaling first or second hand smoke.
Decrease use of plastic- use glass, ceramic or stainless steel containers.
Purchase organic food as much as possible & thoroughly wash all produce.
Use cast iron or stainless steel cookware to avoid aluminium leeching.
Avoid eating larger fish regularly (eg shark or tuna).
Have your home air checked for mould & other toxins.
Don’t microwave plastics or put them in the dishwasher.
Reduce canned foods use- eat mostly fresh foods.
Buy BPA-free toys.
Lots of water & fresh veggies daily to help eliminate accumulated toxins.
Nettle tea- it’s great for helping the kidneys flush toxins out.
Oregano leaf tea reduces lung congestion & clears respiratory tract impurities.
Eat sea vegetables- seaweed binds heavy metals & remove them from the body.
Heavy Metal Detox Smoothie
1 bunch of coriander
2 small knobs of fresh ginger
3 large cucumbers
1 cup of dark leafy greens (eg spinach, kale)
1 tablespoon of chia seeds
1 tablespoon of dulse seaweed powder or flakes
1 cup coconut water
1 cup water
Combine ingredients in a blender & enjoy!
Anti-Pollution Detox Pesto
15 brazil nuts
4 cloves of garlic
1/3 cup of sunflower seeds
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1 bunch of coriander leaves
2/3 cup flaxseed oil or walnut oil
1/3 cup lemon or lime juice
1 tablespoon of dulse seaweed powder or flakes
Sea salt to taste
Process/blend oil & coriander. Add garlic, seeds, nuts, seaweed & lemon juice until mix is a paste. Add salt, blend & taste.
Best stored or frozen in glass jars.
*Fry or toast a slab of pumpkin in coconut oil spread pesto on for extra skin detox & liver nourishment J
2 tsp of pesto & 1 detox juice daily for 3 weeks will help increase urinary excretion of mercury, cadmium, aluminium & lead.