How to Live Healthy in a Toxic Environment

By Walter J. Crinnion, ND

All of us are living with environmental toxins in our bodies and, for many of us, these toxins are what is causing us to be ill and to seek medical care. If the cause of your health problems is due to a buildup of environmental toxins rather than a deficiency of nutrients, you will need to reduce your toxic load in order to regain your health.

Here are the most basic steps to take to reduce the toxins in your body and your life.

Avoidance: To reduce the load of environmental toxins in our bodies, the first step (and the most obvious) is to stop putting toxins into our bodies. The two easiest and most effective places to begin are with our diets and our homes. About 90% of our daily toxic intake comes from the air inside of our homes and workplaces, as well as the foods that we eat. Most of us cannot make huge changes in the air at work, but we sure can change the air in our homes. Utilizing high quality pleated air filters that are changed regularly (every 4-8 weeks) is one of the best ways to reduce the toxin presence in our home air, as well as clean out any pollutants brought in from outside the home that may have attached themselves to the dust and fabric within.

The other biggest source of toxin exposure is from the food we eat. The foods with the highest load of toxins are:

  • the 12 MOST toxic fruits and vegetables: peaches, apples, bell peppers, celery, blueberries, kale, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, pears, imported grapes, spinach, lettuce, potatoes. Check www.foodnews.org for the latest list.
    • The least toxic fruits and vegetables are: onions, avocado, sweet corn, pineapple, mangos, sweet peas, asparagus, kiwi, cabbage, eggplant, cantaloupe, watermelon, grapefruit, sweet potato, honeydew melon.
  • FARMED or ATLANTIC salmon—the most toxic food you can currently eat. If it just says “Salmon,” it is Atlantic and should be avoilded.
    • Freely eat ALASKAN salmon (available fresh only from June until October), canned and frozen Alaskan Salmon available year round.
    • Alaskan/Pacific salmon will ALWAYS be labeled as King (Chinook), Red (Sockeye), or Silver (Coho) Salmon. If that distinction is NOT GIVEN, it is farmed salmon being passed off as Alaskan.
  • other fish with the high mercury content: shark, swordfish, king mackerel, tuna, orange roughy, marlin, Chilean bass, lobster, halibut, snapper.
    • Freely eat the fish with the lowest mercury content (Clam, Ocean perch, Alaskan salmon, tilapia, founder, sole, catfish).
  • non-organic dairy and eggs.
Foods that help to increase toxins in the toilet
As mentioned above, you will have fewer toxins circulating in your body if you avoid them in your diet and in your home air. But we can also reduce our toxic load very nicely within just a couple of years by making dietary changes that increase the amount of toxins going into our toilets every day. The following foods have all been documented in medical research to accomplish this:
  • Rice bran fiber (found naturally in brown rice). It’s low cost, yummy, and easy to make and consume. Multiple studies have shown that brown rice fiber that show increases the amount of very nasty toxins moving into the toilet. If you don’t want to eat brown rice daily, then begin taking a fiber product with rice bran fiber in it.
  • Green veggies. The darker the green color, the higher the chlorophyll content and the more toxins it will help to dump into the toilet.
  • Green tea. Drink three Venti-sized cups of green tea daily to boost the amount of toxins hitting the toilet.  So, by doing these very simple things—avoiding the most common toxin exposure and increasing the amount of toxic material leaving your body every day—you will soon tip the scales back towards greater health.
Naturopathic physicians do very well at assisting patients in this process.  Click here to find one in your area.