You are what you eat.
Truly, your everyday food choices play a big part in painting a picture of you. Most of us link our diet to our weight. However, what you eat does more than that. How your skin looks, how your mood is for the day, how restorative your sleep will be at night, and how your overall health pans out, are all influenced by your food choices.
Now that the importance of good food choices is emphasized, it is also important to include in such discussion, bad food choices; ones you should avoid. These bad food choices contain what we call “toxins.” Food toxins, when consumed in large amounts make it hard for the body’s natural detoxification system to do an effective job. As a result, we fall weak and ill.
More about this food villain in the full article below.
What Are Examples of Toxins in Food?
Toxins are toxic substances found in most of our food. They are either intentionally or unintentionally added to these food items. The continuous consumption of food containing toxins may be hazardous to human health.
Toxins enter the body in different ways, one common way being, through ingestion. This especially refers to food intake. Food items, as previously mentioned, can be intentionally or unintentionally have toxic substances added to them. As we all know, food goes through a lengthy process before it ends up on your plate. Along this process, food items may come in contact with said toxins and other contaminants. It may be in the form of pesticides and chemical fertilizers or BPA chemicals in food packaging. Unintentional sources can include natural contaminants during food processing, and the like. In actuality, there are many food toxins potentially present in most people’s diets. Here are some of the most common examples:
- Pesticides and chemical fertilizers – Pesticides and chemical fertilizers are commonly used to increase crop yield. Research has found that the consumption of these chemically treated products is associated with the development of different cancers and some birth defects.
- Chemicals in food packaging – Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a chemical found in food packaging and plastic containers. Studies have indicated that BPA content can transfer from the container into the food or liquid it contains especially when exposed to heat. Studies on BPA discovered the toxin to be a “hormone mimicker” that promotes the development of prostate and breast cancer, infertility, and more.
- Preservatives in processed food – The FDA considers most processed food to be safe for consumption. Experts have found experts, however, that these processed foods can be carcinogenic especially when consumed in excess. They were also found to be a hormone disruptor, especially affecting men.
- The toxic byproduct of red meat – Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are the toxic byproducts of red meat especially when cooked through grilling or smoking. Studies have strongly linked PAHs to the development of cancers in the digestive tract such as colon cancer.
What Food Has the Most Toxins?
Most food contain toxins in one way or another.
There is a wide array of toxins contained in the food we consume every day. Here some food items identified to contain a significant amount of toxins:
- Deli food (processed meat) – uses nitrate
- Animal fats – accumulates dioxins and dioxin-like compounds
- Genetically-modified organisms like corn – heavily treated with chemical pesticides
Book about toxins in our food
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Why Should We Avoid Toxins in Food?
Our liver is our body’s natural detoxification mechanism, but it cannot do all the work alone. For this reason, we need to do our share by avoiding toxin intake through improving our food choices.
Toxins make us sick by disrupting our body’s natural systems and encouraging the development of different diseases such as cancers. The liver is unable to do effectively detoxify the body with an increased presence of these toxins in our system. This is the reason why we need to avoid toxins in food. We need to consider this detoxified diet as a lifestyle change, and one that needs strict discipline and commitment. Although it is impossible to totally avoid the consumption of these toxins, our exposure to them can be significantly decreased.
How to Reduce Toxin Exposure?
While it is clear that avoiding toxin-rich food is the way to go, there are more ways to reduce toxin exposure.
The first, and safest way to reduce toxin exposure is to go organic. Organic products do not make use of pesticides and chemical treatments thus making them safer and healthier.
Another way to reduce such exposure is to look for the BPA-free label. According to manufacturers, products bearing the said label were packaged using safe materials. Consumers must also make sure to avoid plastic packaging labeled with the number seven because this indicates that the container is polycarbonate plastic. This material contains BPA.
Third, when heating, cooking and storing food, opt for stainless steel, glass, or ceramic containers. Last, control your consumption of these toxic-rich food items, especially those listed in the previous section.
Again, you are what you eat. Choose to be the healthy version of yourself by making informed and responsible food choices today.