Living in a city allows people to enjoy a variety of amenities on their doorstep, but that comes with a cost. The constant influx of people, cars, lorries, buses means increased exposure to air pollution and other environmental toxins. Excess toxins that aren’t ‘detoxed’ or removed from the body are stored in the tissues, bones and fat, and clog up the very organs needed to eliminate them – the liver, kidneys, skin and lymph. Mass-farming with biocides, radiated food that’s been air-freighted from all over the world and food grown in depleted topsoil, means that even the most perfect diet isn’t enough to obtain the crucial nutrients for eliminating these toxins from our bodies.
If we take into account the detrimental effects of stress on one’s overall health and the fact that toxins settle into and damage the microbiome, then the food you’re is eating (organic or not) is not being properly absorbed or assimilated for the body to use.
So what’s a City Lover to do?
Let’s discuss the most common toxins found in the city and how you can avoid them.
London’s reputation for poor air quality is well-known. Although clean up efforts over the past few years have proved successful, Londoners are still constantly exposed to toxic pollutants like particulate matter, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides, mostly coming from vehicles and roadways. These chemicals can cause and worsen health issues such as asthma, hayfever and allergies in general. It’s impossible to avoid breathing in these nasty chemicals if you live or work in the city, but there are ways to mitigate the damage.
How to Reduce Air Pollution Toxins
- Environmental toxins are ‘anti-nutrients’, so you’ll need to not only add back those missing nutrients, you’ll need to add even more to eliminate the extra toxins. Consider supplementation like City Survivor Pollution Protection to deal with pollution and stress.
- Sweat. Sweating is one of the best ways to eliminate unwanted environmental toxins. Sweating through intense exercise is possible, but prolonged high-intensity exercise is not realistic for most of us. Using a sauna is a fantastic way to sweat. Both traditional and infrared saunas are great options, however an infrared sauna has the added benefits of boosting metabolism, improving energy levels, reducing inflammation and relieving pain. Infrared saunas come in different shapes, sizes and price points, and since we’re all spending a lot more time at home these days, it may be a purchase to consider.
- Invest in an air purifier. Choose one with a HEPA filter. HEPA filters have the highest efficiency rate of filtering air pollutants. Air purifiers improve your home’s air quality by filtering out allergens such as smoke, dust, mold spores, air-borne viruses and bacteria.
- Tend to plants. Plants are a great way to naturally purify the air around you. They help remove harmful toxins (formaldehyde, xylene, benzene and formaldehyde) that are present from things like household cleaners and synthetic materials in your furniture and curtains. Some of my favourites are spider plants, the peace lily, snake plants and aloe vera.
- Escape the city regularly. Take weekend breaks in the countryside for fresh air and nature to give your body (and lungs) a well-deserved break.
Plastic, Plastic, Plastic!
Most plastic food containers, cling film, water bottles, tinned cans, till roles (yes your till receipts!) and even baby bottles contain an environmental toxin called bisphenol-A (BPA). It has been known for decades that BPA acts as a hormone disruptor –mimicking oestrogen in both females and males – which can lead to hormonal imbalances, diabetes, infertility and subfertility, heart disease and cancer. Even BPA-free materials used in place of BPA contain chemicals that have oestrogenic activity and cause health problems. The elderly, pregnant women, infants and young children are at highest risk.
How to Reduce Toxins from Plastic:
- Swap out your plastic food containers for glass, ceramic or stainless steel. The same goes for plastic water bottles.
- Never heat your food in plastic containers, as the chemicals leach into your food.
- Buy frozen over canned foods.
- Don’t take the till receipt if offered.
- Instead of eating takeaways in disposable plastic, batch cook your own food on the weekends and bring in homemade lunches throughout the week.
Biocides are substances such as pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and insecticides, that kill (‘cide’) living organisms (‘bio’). The world’s most widely used biocide that people are familiar with is glyphosate, the herbicide known as Round-up. It’s used on crops all around the world, not only to control soil conditions whilst growing crops, but also as a pre-harvest dessicant to encourage crops to dry quickly and evenly. It’s found in water, food, beer and wine. If your fruit, vegetables or grains are not organic, they most likely contain glyphosate.
Glyphosate is a known hormone disruptor and the WHO agency IARC (International Agency for Cancer Research) considers it ‘probably carcinogenic in humans’. It wipes out weeds and wild flowers, destroying food supplies and habitats, upsets the balance of microbes in soil, impacting soil fertility and binds micro-nutrients in the soil causing deficiencies in plants. It accumulates in human cells and long-term effects include infertility, pregnancy problems, birth defects and respiratory diseases.
How to Reduce Toxins from Biocides:
- Avoid air-freighted, non-organic fruit, vegetables and grains. Instead, buy local and seasonal. This means your produce is fresh, at its ripest and contains the nutrients it’s meant to. It is less likely to have been sprayed. Plus, fewer air miles is better for the environment.
- Subscribe to an organic fruit & veg box delivery like Riverford Organics.
- Biocides can damage the microbiome by killing good bacteria and damaging the intestinal lining. If you have chronic digestive issues, environmental toxins could be a contributing factor.
- Take a stab at growing your own vegetables and microgreens (baby vegetable greens that are super high in nutrients). Square Mile Farms specialise in setting up edible green spaces for both homes and offices in the city, regardless of your space. They sell DIY vertical gardens and offer courses on how to grow your own vegetablesand microgreens.
- Consider taking a ‘binder’ supplement. Binders are specific nutrients that play a crucial role in removing environmental toxins from the body. Different binders attract different toxins, so knowing which to one to use can make or break your effort. Our bodies have the ability to remove some toxins on their own, but when the load gets too high or there are other factors contributing to overload, binders can be a safe and effective solution. For help with a targeted functional nutrition protocol, click here.
This blog post is in collaboration with City Survivor, who offer effective supplements for busy people. Be sure to check them out!
Find out more about environmental toxins, heavy metal toxicity symptoms and mould illness and get in touch here with any queries. Sign up to my newsletter for tips on a healthy lifestyle and be the first to know about my upcoming masterclasses and online courses. Follow me on instagram for tips to minimise environmental toxins in your environment!