There are many things about staying healthy that are fully within our control. We can control what we eat, for instance. Did someone force you to eat that donut at lunch? We can also control how much exercise we get, or whether we exercise at all.
We can control how we respond to stress. We can control our choice of home cleaning and personal care products. We can control our attitude and our outlook. These are all things that influence our health.
However, while you may do your best to control your health by eating a clean diet, exercising regularly, getting plenty of sleep, managing stress well and having an optimistic outlook on life… there are still things that are outside of your control.
Each year we are exposed to a staggering number of unseen environmental toxins, or invisible killers, as they have been called. Substances that we cannot see may cause disease in our bodies and are found in the things we eat, the things we drink and even in our air. Some, such as cadmium and lead, are released from factories as wastes from manufacturing. Coal factories spit out sulfates, nitrates and mercury, and are linked to over 20,000 early deaths each year.
There are also naturally-occurring toxic substances that we can not control such as those caused by volcanic eruptions, which release free mercury into the environment.
Food labels lie, and much of the food that we actually think is safe still contains traces of dangerous chemicals that, over time, can cause disruptions to our health.
According to one Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health study, there is mounting evidence to show that living close to a busy roadway increases the risk of vascular disease and makes matters much worse for those who already have cardiovascular disease.
Air pollution caused by vehicles increases the risk of stroke and heart attack. It causes inflammation in the body which narrows arteries and can cause plaque build-up and changes to peripheral arteries.
In 2005, some of the most compelling research on environmental toxins was released by New York University School of Medicine. This research demonstrated how air pollution, considered safe within federal standards, clearly causes heart disease.
According to recent statistics, there are over 1460 metric tons of toxins in the air that travel the jetstream all over the world. Because of this, scientists say that there is no real pristine location left on the planet – it is all impacted. In 2005, Chicago experienced almost 70 days when the air was too unhealthy for children or the elderly to breathe.
What About the Water?
Research estimates that over 7 million illnesses and 1,000 deaths occur each year in the United States alone because of waterborne microbes. Pesticides, herbicides and refrigerants found in water have been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer and other health conditions. People who work around sewage are at a much greater risk of developing skin rashes, headaches, body aches and respiratory complications.
Helping or Hurting?
As we age, we are exposed to more and more toxins, even from things that are meant to benefit us. A good example is fluoride in drinking water, which has been linked to hypothyroidism and osteosarcoma, among other issues. Even vaccinations are laced with toxins, along with the mercury compound known as thimerosal, which is thought to increase the risk of autism in some children.
A healthy body – one that is running as well as possible – has built-in mechanisms to deal with some of the toxins that we encounter on a daily basis. However, the problem is that most people are not “running” as efficiently as they could be, and as a result their toxic cleaning mechanisms are hindered.
Toxic overload, sometimes called “body burden,” is just one of the reasons why eating a clean diet with plenty of raw, organic and fermented foods, washing produce, exercising and cleansing are necessary.
Detoxification helps take the burden off of the liver, kidneys and digestive systems, which allows them to recover and do their jobs more efficiently. Intermittent fasting and juicing also alleviate some of this burden.
No matter how many good choices you make, remember that your body works every day to protect you from invisible enemies. So, continue to make all the best choices you can and remember to give your body a break from time to time, so that its defenses do not become weak.
To read more about the silent killers in our midst, pick up a copy of Invisible Killers: The Truth About Environmental Genocide by Rik J. Deitsch and Stewart Lonky.