1. Antibacterial Soap & Hand Sanitizer
Many people are under the impression that using antibacterial soap will prevent them from getting sick. Yes, these products do kill bacteria and other germs, but they have no effect at all on viruses, which is what causes people to get sick in the first place.
A systematic review published in 2007 in the Journal of Clinical Infectious Diseases determined that antibacterial soap containing triclosan did not provide any additional benefit over regular non-antibacterial soap.(1) This is interesting because the chemical triclosan actually has been shown to have a number of adverse health effects, including antibiotic resistance and endocrine disruption. So, why are we putting it in the soap in the first place?
Antiperspirant is something many of us use daily to prevent sweating and thus, smelling. The problem with this product is that it deliberately stops our bodies doing what they are meant to do to dispel excess toxins. We do, in fact, sweat for a reason. Not only that, but antiperspirants contain many harmful chemicals including aluminum, parabens, propylene glycol, and countless others.
Aluminum is directly absorbed by your skin and in this way enters your bloodstream with ease. A study conducted in 2001 showed that aluminum was still present in blood samples 15 days after the original application. (2) This makes the use of aluminum deodorant a very effective way to deliver aluminum to the brain. It has been proven time and time again that aluminum is a neurotoxin (3) and many believe that this is a cause for Alzheimer’s disease.
3. Your Chair
To some, this may sound absolutely ridiculous, but sitting down in a chair for long periods of time can be extremely detrimental to your health. Countless studies have shown links between excess sitting and the development of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, colon, breast, and endometrial cancers. (4,5,6)
Many experts recommend that you don’t sit for more than 3 hours a day. (7) If you have an office job, you should consider working at a standing desk, or at least getting up to stand for at least 1 minute for every 20 you are sitting, and be sure to walk around throughout the day as well. A great way to ensure this is to drink plenty of water, since this will encourage you to get up and walk to the bathroom!
I will admit, this is news to me! But upon researching this, the idea that it may be an unhealthy item makes a lot of sense. A loofah is used in a hot shower, and heat and moisture is a perfect environment for mould and bacteria to grow. If this loofah is then used over any open nicks or cuts they can easily become infected.
To avoid this problem, choose a loofah made from natural materials, as these have natural enzymes that inhibit microbial growth. Be sure to fully wring out and dry your loofah in a cool, dark place.
Blenders are awesome tools that many people use daily to whip up a delicious, healthy smoothie. However, if it is not being cleaned properly, a blender can be a perfect breeding ground for bacteria to grow. Often, the blender is rinsed out with water and appears clean, but the blender gasket (the rubber ring that is located under the blade) has been found to contain the third most germs of items found in the kitchen. In fact, research showed that it commonly harboured salmonella, E. coli, yeast, and mould. (8)
A simple solution is to be sure to deep clean your blender, taking it apart after each use to thoroughly wash the blade and gasket.
6. Cotton Swabs
I don’t know about you, but personally I love the feeling of cleaning out my ears; there is something just so satisfying about it. However, our bodies are almost always equipped with the tools to naturally remove toxins. Naturally, ear wax is only produced on the outer third of your ears, so when you insert the cotton swab into your ear you are just pushing the earwax into your ear canal, which can cause damage to your eardrums as well as hearing loss and infection. (9)
If you must use a cotton swab, follow the directions on the package: “Do not insert swab into ear canal. Entering the ear canal could cause injury. If used to clean ears, stroke swab gently around outer surface of the ear only.”
7. Processed Fruit Juice
More often than not, food and beverage manufacturers are dishonest about the products they produce. Quite frankly, fruit juice is a huge scam within this industry. Being promoted as a “healthy start to the day” and a “full serving of fruits and vegetables” is certainly misleading. The majority of fruit juices that are on the market today contain just as much and sometimes more sugar than the obviously sugar-filled soda pops. (10) The juices are also pasteurized, which means they have been heated to high temperatures. This process kills many of the enzymes that are required to properly digest the sugars. This is not to say that fruit in its entirety is unhealthy for you, however. Fruit in its natural form comes with the precise fiber and vitamins necessary for the body to manage the sugar it contains.
A great alternative to fruit juice is, honestly, straight up water. If you happen to have a slow juicer, this is another great option, specifically if there is an option to retain some of the pulp for the fruits that you are juicing.
An increasing amount of evidence has surfaced lately which demonstrates that milk doesn’t really do a body good. Here are some examples:
- In a paper published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics, Harvard pediatrician David Ludwig emphasizes that bone fracture rates tend to be lower in countries that do not consume milk compared to those that do, also noting that there are many other viable sources of calcium. (11)
- Another study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, showed that dairy consumption might actually increase the risk of fractures by 50 percent. (12)
- Studies have also shown that calcium isn’t as bone protective as we thought. Multiple studies on calcium supplementation have shown no benefit in reducing bone fracture risk. In fact, vitamin D appears to be more effective when it comes to reducing bone fracture risk. (13)
- Studies have also shown that dairy products might increase a male’s risk of developing prostate cancer by 30 -50 percent. (14)
There are many alternatives for milk. Many people swear by the amazing nutrients and benefits that drinking raw milk can provide to the body. But milk doesn’t just come from cows, you can get milk from coconuts, almonds, rice, cashews, hemp seeds, and a few other places. These milks are readily available in stores and are very easy to make yourself. Often these milks provide even more nutrients than cow’s milk.
9. Cleaning Products
Everyday household cleaning products are absolutely loaded with chemicals that are, in many cases, quite toxic. Some of the most common chemicals being used in cleaning products that are known to be toxic are: ammonia, methoxychlor, phosphorous, sodium hydroxide, sulfuric acid, potassium hydroxide, formaldehyde, benzene, and chloroform, to name just a few out of literally thousands. Unfortunately in the United States, often Canada, and many other countries, toxic chemicals are not regulated at all. Generally, when you are using something to clean your environment you aren’t thinking about the shrouds of toxic chemicals that are being left behind.
Fortunately, many people have become aware of the dangers of some of these chemicals and because of this, many companies have put out safer, non-toxic alternatives that are usually just as effective. There are also many completely natural household products that can be very effective in getting the job done.
10. Tap Water (And Some Bottled)
This definitely does not come with a whole heap of controversy. Yes, water is extremely important to your health, and just staying properly hydrated can ward off many negative health effects. However, it is important to ensure your drinking water is clean and safe to consume. Now here comes the controversy… approximately 67% (15) of the drinking water in the United States is fluoridated. The reason many people believe we do this is because the fluoride helps our teeth from decaying, but the “fluoride” that is added to the drinking water is actually not fluoride at all. It is a by-product of aluminum and fertilizer production and is called hydrofluoriscilic acid. This substance is too toxic to be burned or dumped, yet it is considered safe to be added to our drinking water. Seems a little bit fishy, right? There is also a lot of evidence that shows how harmful this substance can be to our health when ingested. It is banned practically all over Europe, and many Canadian cities have opted to have it removed from their municipal water supplies. Click here for many articles about water fluoridation.
Consider trying to raise awareness about this important issue within your community. With a little time and patience, you may just have a hand in getting it removed from your municipality’s water supply. If this is too much of a task to take on, there are many different water filtration systems available today that can effectively take out fluoride. Please note that pitcher type filters like Brita do not take out fluoride.