Kellie Blake RDN,LD,IFNCP
What is Body Burden?
Updated: Dec 5, 2021
Have you heard of body burden? It’s basically the accumulation of toxins in your body that can sometimes lead to negative symptoms or even disease.
We are surrounded by toxins in our environment. Everything from plastic storage containers, clothing, personal hygiene and beauty products, cooking equipment, furniture, cleaning products, food, and gasoline fumes.
In reality, the list of toxins we are exposed to is endless. In fact, according to the CDC, the average American has over 200 chemicals in their blood and urine at any one time.
While it’s true that your body has an elaborate detoxification system to help ease this burden, it can also store toxins in fat tissue. When the toxic load overwhelms your detoxification system, your health and quality of life can suffer.
It would be impossible to avoid all toxin exposure; however, there are several areas in everyday life where healthier choices can be made for you, your family, and the environment.
Think about the following areas where you may be able to make some changes:
1. Beauty/Skin Care/Bathroom Products: Search for toxin-free makeup, lotions, toothpaste, feminine care and hair products. Do not use aluminum-containing deodorants.
Reading labels is crucial, try to avoid products with the following ingredients: phthalates, parabens, propylene glycol, alcohols, fragrance, sodium lauryl sulfate, and petrochemicals.
Do not use perfumes or colognes that have synthetic fragrances.
2. Food: Choose organic options when possible. If it’s not possible to always opt for organic, at least choose organic varieties of the “dirty dozen” fruits and vegetables. The Environmental Working Group puts out the list of the dirty dozen each year.
Minimize your intake of animal proteins from conventionally-raised animals.
3. Water: Water quality varies depending on where you live, and water can contain a number of toxins. Avoid bottled water in plastic containers as toxins from the plastic leach into the water. Use glass or ceramic containers and consider purchasing a whole house water filter. You can also use a water pitcher with a filter.
4. Plastic: Avoid plastic bottles with the numbers 3, 6, and 7 on the bottom, which could contain BPA. BPA or bisphenol-A is an endocrine disruptor known to cause central obesity.
Do not microwave your food in plastic containers and try not to wash plastic at high temperatures like in the dishwasher.
Use paper to wrap foods instead of plastic wraps and store food in glass containers.
5. Cleaning Products: Look for toxin-free cleaning products. But, beware, many products are labeled safe, but actually contain toxic chemicals. Read ingredient labels closely.
6. Lawn and Garden: Glyphosate is a known carcinogen and is the main ingredient in Round Up weed killer. Do not use this on your lawn or garden.
Do not use Miracle Grow or other synthetic fertilizers as they often contain toxic chemicals.
7. At the Gas Pump: Gas contains benzene, a known carcinogen, so stand up wind of the gas fumes when pumping gas.
8. At the Dentist: Do not allow mercury amalgam fillings to be used. If you have mercury fillings, find a biologic dentist who can remove them safely. Be leery of root canals.
Additional tips to help decrease your body burden:
· Get the “Think Dirty” app for your phone and search your commonly used products to see what toxins are lurking inside, then find healthier alternatives.
· Keep an eye on the EWG.org website for the latest information on all foods and products you may be bringing into your home that contain toxins.
· To clean, try good old apple cider vinegar. It’s a natural anti-bacterial, anti-mold, anti-fungal and cleans any surface. Add salt and baking soda to create a scrub for more soiled areas.
· Consume foods that support natural detoxification:
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and kohlrabi contain sulphoraphane to enhance detoxification in the liver. To get the most benefit, these should be eaten raw.
Garlic and Onions – contain sulphur.
Seaweed/Kelp – helps to bind toxins.
· Use compost to fertilize the garden and/or choose toxin-free fertilizers.
· Purchase glass storage containers for left-overs and for traveling with food.
· Bring your own BPA-free bottle for water while at work – stainless steel is a good option.
· Buy organic when possible and wash everything well prior to consumption.
· Buy smaller types fish to help reduce exposure to mercury and other toxins.
· Exercise and sweat – this helps your body naturally detoxify.
Check out this Detox Green Smoothie:
1/2 cup firmly packed organic cilantro leaves and stems
1/2 cup firmly packed organic baby kale
1 cup organic brewed green tea
1/2 cup cucumber
¼ cup frozen pineapple
½ organic lemon
1 tablespoon fresh ginger
¼ frozen avocado
Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
Dr. Leslie Korn