Summer Sweat: Benefits of Sweating in the Summer

With summer here, many of us will fail in our attempts to avoid a little perspiration. But that summer sweat may not be such a bad thing. Along with sweat serving as our very own built-in air conditioner, sweating it out can have many other surprising health benefits you may have never known about. Not only are there many benefits of sweating for our bodies, but it helps keep our beauty regimens keep on track as well.

Along with sweat promoting our general health and well-being, research has shown that sweating, especially in terms of sweating in a sauna, can reduce the risk of death due to heart problems. This is due to the similarities of a sauna experience with exercise. Sitting in a sauna increases the heart rate makes you sweat.  How else can adding sauna sessions help you this summer?

 

Man Sweating in Summer

 

The Top 7 Benefits of Sweating

 

It Cools You Down

The most direct benefit of sweating, which many of us already recognize as its ultimate purpose, is to maintain our body temperature and keep us from overheating. When our heart rate increases, speeding up our blood flow and warming us up, that is the cue for our bodies to release sweat. When sweat evaporates off the skin, it serves as a cooling mechanism to prevent overheating. Even though we sweat when we feel our hottest, it’s actually our body’s way of helping us cool down.

 

It Eases Pain

Did you wake up with back pain? Are you sore from yesterday’s workout? The best way to relieve your pain may be to work up a sweat. It might be very tempting to skip this step since pain will make you want to stay sidelined. But trust us, increasing your heart rate and working up a sweat is one of the best things you can do for your pain while sitting around will just make you even more stiff and sore. When you are experiencing pain, you can still sweat it out in a quick 15-minute sauna session. It will help eliminate toxins, relax the body, and ease sore muscles.

 

Friends Sweating in Sauna Together

 

It Gets Rid of Toxins

Our bodies are subject to a lot of toxins throughout our everyday lives. They come from the pollution in the air, our food, and are even created naturally inside the body. Sweating is a great way to expel those toxins from the body, which serves to better your immune system. Proper immune system function is very important in that it protects us from little illnesses like the common cold, and even more serious diseases. The benefits of sweating can also help get rid of substances in your system like alcohol, cholesterol, and salt. Hit the treadmill, go for a bike ride, and spend time hanging out in a sauna to work up a summer sweat and detoxify your body to feel better.

 

It Clears Up Your Skin

You know those pesky blackheads that you just can’t seem to get rid of, no matter how much you scrub? Set down the face masks, because sweat can actually help eliminate blackheads and other blemishes. Sweating doubles as a natural pore cleanser since your pores open up and release the buildup inside of them when you sweat. This is most effective only if you cleanse immediately after you sweat. If you skip washing off for a while after a sweat session, then you are allowing all the grime that has been released from your pores to stay resting on your skin.

 

It Prevents Illness

Along with keeping our immune systems healthy by ridding our bodies of the toxins, working up a sweat helps prevent us from getting sick. There are many viruses and bacteria that thrive at our regular body temperature, but die off when our bodies heat up to above 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Studies have shown that human sweat serves as a natural germ shield. We can confidently say that no one likes being slowed down by sickness, so sweating it out every now and then is not such a bad idea.

 

Sweating Friends Smiling After Workout

 

It Makes You Happier

Along with the sense of accomplishment you are probably feeling from working out, working up a sweat releases endorphins, which make you happy. Sweating helps relieve stress and promote relaxation due to our bodies heating up. Next time you’re feeling stressed out or need a break to clear your mind, think about hitting up a hot yoga class or taking a few minutes for yourself in the sauna to ease your mind, feel rejuvenated, and embrace the benefits of sweating.

 

It Helps You Avoid Kidney Stones

One of the lesser-known benefits of sweating is that doing so lowers the risk of getting kidney stones. Research has shown that sweating helps you get rid of salt and keep calcium in your bones. This helps keep those elements from your kidneys where small stones will form. The more frequently you find yourself sweating the better. Make sure to stay properly hydrated when you do sweat – whether you’re sweating through exercise or in a sauna. Staying hydrated also helps prevent those pesky kidney stones.

 

Whether you break a sweat this summer in a sauna, hitting the gym, playing outside, or all of the above, sweating is a favor to your body that will definitely be worth the extra shower you may have to take. Embrace the heat this summer and sweat it out!

Are Cleanses Good for You? How to Safely Detox Your Body

These days, detox cleanses are all over the place. But are they effective or safe? Unfortunately, health gimmicks are prevalent with loose claims that may do more harm than good. Though fad detoxes and cleanses might not be what they claim to be, there are still a number of ways you can help support your body’s natural detoxification process so you can have long-term results in a safe and effective way. Learn more about healthy ways to detoxify your body that will leave a lasting impact on your wellbeing!

Woman Drinking Water the Hydrate in Hot Weather

What is Detoxification?

 

Detoxification is the body’s process of cleansing the blood. This is done by removing impurities from the blood in the liver, where toxins are processed for elimination. The body also eliminates toxins through the kidneys, intestines, lungs, lymphatic system, and skin during a body detox. However, when these systems are compromised, impurities aren’t properly filtered and the body is adversely affected.

A body detox can help the body’s natural cleansing process by:

  • Resting the organs through fasting
  • Stimulating the liver to drive toxins from the body
  • Promoting elimination through the intestines, kidneys, and skin
  • Improving circulation of the blood
  • Refueling the body with healthy nutrients

 

The Benefits of Detoxing

 

Directly or indirectly, toxic residues find their way into our air, food, and water supplies. This interference with our natural biological balance results in disease or poor health. Because of this, detoxification is an important function to keep the body safe and healthy. When toxins are properly removed, there are many health benefits such as:

  • Improved immune system
  • Healthier internal organs
  • Weight loss and management
  • More energy
  • Improved mental clarity

Are Cleanses Good for You?

 

Fad detox diets and cleanses are said to eliminate toxins from your body, improve health, and promote weight loss. They often involve the use of laxatives, diuretics, vitamins, minerals, teas, and other foods thought to have detoxing properties. Unfortunately, the glitz and glam of these cleanses often don’t give the long-term results they promise.

Popular detox diets rarely identify the specific toxins they aim to remove or the mechanism by which they supposedly eliminate them. Moreover, no evidence supports the use of these diets for toxin elimination or sustainable weight loss. Some of these cleanses may actually do more harm than good by depriving the body of important nutrients, creating gastrointestinal distress, or even doing long-term damage to metabolism. More often than not, these fad detox diets and cleanses end up being expensive gimmicks with short-term or nonexistent results.

Your body has a sophisticated way of eliminating toxins that involves the liver, kidneys, digestive system, skin, and lungs. Still, only when these organs are healthy, can they effectively eliminate unwanted substances. So, while detox diets and cleanses don’t do anything that your body can’t naturally do on its own, there are other ways you can optimize your body’s natural detoxification system.

Best Ways to Detox at Home

 

Use an Infrared Sauna

One of the biggest infrared sauna health benefits is its ability to increase your blood circulation, target fat-stored toxins, and stimulate the sweat glands, all of which help remove built-up toxins in the body. Sweating in a sauna can help your body’s detoxifying process as it rids itself of accumulated toxins. The heat stress of infrared sauna use is an effective method of removing fat-stored toxins from the body.

 

Move and Exercise

Sweating actually helps you detox by boosting circulation throughout the body, and exercise is a great way to make that happen. While there are several mechanisms behind the health benefits of exercise, reduced inflammation is a key point in terms of detoxification. By reducing inflammation, exercise can help your body’s systems – including its detoxification system – function properly and protect against disease.

 

Get Plenty of Sleep

Giving yourself a good night’s rest is one of the best ways to detox your body and reset. Quality sleep gives your body the time and space it needs to rid itself of toxins. Sleeping allows your brain to reorganize and recharge itself, as well as remove toxic waste byproducts that have accumulated throughout the day. With sleep deprivation, your body does not have time to perform those functions, allowing toxins to build up and affect several aspects of health.

Stay Hydrated

Hydrating will help your kidneys flush out toxins. Water transports these waste products, efficiently removing them through urination, breathing, or sweating. Feel free to add lemon to your H2O for a hit of electrolytes. The citrus signals the liver produce more enzymes, which keep digestion moving smoothly. Tired of plain water? Switch things up with tea. Green tea has been shown to protect against heart disease and cancer, while milk thistle may boost liver function.

 

Eat Whole Foods

Whole foods packed with nutrients are your best bet when it comes to keeping your insides clean. Fiber-rich fare like fruit, veggies, and beans, as well as nuts, seeds, whole grains, lean protein, and probiotics can aid gut and liver function so any unwanted buildup gets out of your system quickly. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants can help your body fight oxidative stress caused by excess free radicals and other toxins that increase your risk of disease.

 

Reduce Alcohol Intake

When you drink alcohol, your body works hard to process it quickly, meaning your body isn’t functioning at its peak performance. Drinking alcohol directly impacts the organs that naturally detoxify your body and can severely damage your liver function by causing fat buildup, inflammation, and scarring. When this happens, your liver cannot function adequately and perform its necessary tasks – including filtering waste and other toxins from your body.

 

If you are planning on doing a fad detox diet or cleanse, wait! The safest and best way to detox is by naturally helping your body’s detoxification process that is already in place. Try these detox tips to help your body feel better suited to fend off disease, healthier, more refreshed.

Do Saunas Help Remove Toxins from the Body?

By Dr. James DiNicolantonio www.drjamesdinic.com

 

We are constantly being exposed to environment toxins such as pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, plastics, flame retardants, phthalates, and more. Many chemicals are sprayed on our food, arsenic can be found in rice, aluminum in deodorants, over the counter and prescription medications and cookware, and heavy metals like mercury and cadmium accumulate in fish and shellfish/bivalves, respectively. The list goes on and on. The very air we breathe is filled with pollution such as automobile exhaust. Thus, we are now living in a toxic environment and these toxins accumulate in our bodies; but is there anything we can do about it?

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Evidence suggests that human fat tissue is widely contaminated with numerous man-made chemicals including persistent organic pollutants (POPs), which can stay in the body for decades.1 Examples of POPs include organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxins. POPs accumulate in the food chain, particularly in animal fat (fish, meat and milk).

If you were breastfed you would have received a hefty dose of these POPs during your most vulnerable years. Even decades later these POPs can still remain in your fat tissue slowly being released into the bloodstream. In fact, it can take decades to completely eliminate POPs from the body and in the meantime, they can cause numerous negative health consequences. Even low-level exposure to these POPs can adversely affect the endocrine, immune, nervous and reproductive systems. And we need a healthy immune system especially nowadays!

Since our own fat tissue serves as a storage reservoir for these POPs – and since they remain with us for several months but up to decades – strategies that can help mobilize and eliminate these toxins from our bodies may help support our health. One such strategy for helping to remove these toxins from the body is through sauna-induced sweating.

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Since the 1980s, the Hubbard protocol, which utilizes sauna as well as exercise, niacin, and supplemental oils, has been tested in numerous studies showing beneficial effects for reducing body stores of POPs and improving clinical symptoms in those with environmental POP exposure.2 Typically, these studies find a 25-30% reduction in POP levels in fat and blood thought to be caused by the increase in their elimination in the skin through sweat.2

Clinical benefits with the Hubbard protocol have included improvements in IQ, neurocognitive function, ability to work, pain, fatigue and quality of life. Even respiratory symptoms in first responders at the World Trade Center and Gulf War veterans exposed to oil-well fires have found improvements with this protocol.2 But is the use of a sauna in the Hubbard protocol driving the benefit?

It has been known for a while that enhanced sweat production plays a major role in the benefits of the Hubbard protocol as it coincides with an increased turnover of these toxins in fat tissue. In fact, sweating alone has been used to help improve uremia, which is a build-up of toxins in the blood in patients with kidney disease. Since sweat contains POPs and heavy metals, and sweat volume can reach two liters per hour in those who are acclimated;3 this suggests that sweating in a sauna may be a good way to eliminate these toxins.2

Woman-Using-Sauna-for-Detoxification

However, don’t just take my word for it. Let’s have a look at the clinical studies testing sauna therapy for its potential to eliminate toxins through sweat.

A research group led by Stephen Genuis from the University of Alberta in Edmonton sought to test this idea. Since 2010, they have published at least half a dozen studies looking at the elimination of toxins from the body through blood, urine, and sweat, referred to by the acronym BUS. However, what we are interested in is their data on the elimination of toxins through sweat.

In their first paper, published in 2010, they collected blood, urine and sweat from 20 individuals, half in good health and half with numerous health issues. The authors noted that many toxic heavy metals were preferentially excreted through sweat. They concluded, “Induced sweating appears to be a potential method for elimination of many toxic elements from the human body.”4  In the study, all but three of the twenty participants used sauna (e.g., steam or infrared) as the method to induce sweating; exercise was used for the other three participants. In particular, using a sauna was a very good way to help eliminate the heavy metals cadmium, lead, and aluminum from the body; heavy metals which are now commonly found in the environment.

Since then this group has gone on to show that infrared/steam sauna sessions help to eliminate phthalates5, flame retardants6, Bisphenol A7, pesticides3 and PCBs8. Considering that infrared and steam saunas were used in these studies, these results do not necessarily apply to your traditional convection heat saunas. Additionally, the use of a sauna may even help individuals exposed to mold and mycotoxins.9

In summary, numerous clinical studies have shown that utilizing an infrared/steam sauna is able to remove many toxins through sweat; these include but are not limited to, heavy metals, phthalates, flame retardants, Bisphenol A, pesticides and PCBs. Furthermore, the use of a sauna may improve clinical symptoms in patients exposed to mold. Thus, sauna bathing may be a potential strategy to help eliminate toxins from the body. Something that all of us could use living in this toxic world.

 

References

1      Lee YM, Kim KS, Jacobs DR, Jr., et al. Persistent organic pollutants in adipose tissue should be considered in obesity research. Obes Rev 2017;18:129-39.

2      Kerr K, Morse G, Graves D, et al. A Detoxification Intervention for Gulf War Illness: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial. Int J Environ Res Public Health 2019;16.

3      Genuis SJ, Lane K, Birkholz D. Human Elimination of Organochlorine Pesticides: Blood, Urine, and Sweat Study. BioMed research international 2016;2016:1624643.

4      Genuis SJ, Birkholz D, Rodushkin I, et al. Blood, urine, and sweat (BUS) study: monitoring and elimination of bioaccumulated toxic elements. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 2011;61:344-57.

5      Genuis SJ, Beesoon S, Lobo RA, et al. Human elimination of phthalate compounds: blood, urine, and sweat (BUS) study. TheScientificWorldJournal 2012;2012:615068.

6      Genuis SK, Birkholz D, Genuis SJ. Human Excretion of Polybrominated Diphenyl Ether Flame Retardants: Blood, Urine, and Sweat Study. BioMed research international 2017;2017:3676089.

7      Genuis SJ, Beesoon S, Birkholz D, et al. Human excretion of bisphenol A: blood, urine, and sweat (BUS) study. J Environ Public Health 2012;2012:185731.

8      Genuis SJ, Beesoon S, Birkholz D. Biomonitoring and Elimination of Perfluorinated Compounds and Polychlorinated Biphenyls through Perspiration: Blood, Urine, and Sweat Study. ISRN toxicology 2013;2013:483832.

9      Rea WJ. A Large Case-series of Successful Treatment of Patients Exposed to Mold and Mycotoxin. Clin Ther 2018;40:889-93.

Using Saunas for a Natural Substance Abuse Detox Treatment

Detoxification from substances can be an unpleasant experience, but there are many tools, therapies, techniques, and resources available to help make it a little easier. From alcohol to nicotine, the body at times may need help with the detoxification process when ridding the body of substances. Read below to learn what to expect when going through a detox, and how an infrared sauna can help with detoxification both during and after treatment.

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Function & Benefits of Detoxification

 

Directly or indirectly, toxic residues find their way into our air, food and water supplies. The net effect of this ecological overload is to alter the body’s balance, or homeostasis. This interference with our natural biological tendencies to restore internal balance results in disease in one form or another. These illnesses include cancers of virtually every organ system of the body, as well as leukemia, liver disease, pulmonary damage, anemia and blood changes, nervous system disease, immune system damage, psychological damage, reproductive and fertility impairment, and kidney dysfunction.

With that being said, it is obvious that detoxification is an important function to keep the body safe and healthy. When toxins are properly removed, there are many health benefits:

  • Improved Immune System
  • Healthier Internal Organs
  • Weight Loss and Management
  • More Energy
  • Improved Mental Clarity

At a basic level, detox is a perfectly natural process. Drugs enter the body, and the body’s systems work to process the chemicals. Cells in the liver purify the blood. Cells in the digestive system process alcohol. Cells in the kidneys move waste out of the body altogether. It’s an efficient and perfectly natural system that the body uses in order to heal. But drugs can wreak havoc on those natural systems, as some drugs are just so powerful that the body can’t handle a typical cleaning protocol.

The body can be capable of performing its own drug detox, but it takes time and the withdrawal symptoms that occur in the meantime are uncomfortable at best. Sometimes, drugs are so powerful that people who attempt natural methods put their lives at risk. That is why experts agree that a medical detox program is the safest choice for people with an addiction history.

Man-in-Sauna-to-Boost-Immune-System-and-Help-Fight-Infections

Why to Use Natural Therapies for Treatment

 

When detoxing for substance abuse, no treatment should be done without medical supervision. Depending on the substance and the level of use, the detoxification process may become more or less dangerous. When seeking treatment, you and your doctor will discuss the options best suited for you, which may include a combination of medications and other therapies to help lessen the symptoms of withdrawal.

Though natural therapies will likely not be the only form of treatment, they are a great addition to substance abuse treatment to help bring the body feeling back to normal. Many detox centers offer natural therapies, such as massage and infrared sauna use, to patients both during and post-treatment to provide comfort as the body is transitioning.

 

Doing a Substance Abuse Detox with a Sauna

 

Including infrared sauna use in a substance abuse detox can help with three main things: improved circulation, enhanced detoxification, and reduction of negative withdrawal symptoms.

Long-term abuse of drugs and alcohol can cause problems in the heart and areas of the nervous system depending on the drug of choice and the severity of the addiction. The heat in an infrared sauna helps repair circulation, sending blood flow to all the necessary areas. This also moves blood closer to the surface of the skin. A process known as lipolysis begins to break down fat tissues in the body that contain toxins that are then released into the bloodstream.

Though some of these toxins are excreted through the skin, others are sent to the kidneys and liver. Sauna therapy raises the level of toxins through increased sweating, and therefore, pushes toxins out through human waste and urine.

Additionally, individuals may find saunas soothing in the same way that some find massages soothing during the drug detox period. Some drugs cause joint and muscle pain as withdrawal symptoms, and the high heat of a sauna can relieve some of this pain. Infrared sauna therapy can help improve withdrawal symptoms of fatigue, stress, anxiety, muscle cramps, inflammation, pain, rapid heart rate, drug cravings, sleep disturbances, low energy, and reduced cognitive function by increasing blood circulation and decreasing blood pressure, stress, anxiety, and fatigue.

The use of infrared saunas can also become part of a self-care routine post-treatment for those who are undergoing substance abuse recovery. If anything, visiting an infrared sauna can help to relax, soothe the body and mind, and make you feel rejuvenated.

Woman-Getting-Support-During-Substance-Detox

What to Expect with a Substance Detox

 

On average, the detox process typically lasts for between 7 and 10 days. When the amount of alcohol or drugs in a patient’s system is gradually reduced, they will typically begin to experience withdrawal symptoms. The type of withdrawal symptoms that are experienced, as well as how severe these are, depend on how long a person has been addicted to alcohol or drugs, the type of substance that they are addicted to, how much they have been consuming, and their general mental and physical health.

Withdrawal can result in a wide range of physical and psychological symptoms. Physical symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting, shaking, sweating, high temperature and/or chills, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, abdominal cramps, muscle and bone pain, exhaustion, and vivid and unpleasant dreams. Psychological symptoms include, irritability, anxiety, confusion, paranoia, insomnia, depression, inability to concentrate, mood swings.

In the most severe cases, withdrawal during a substance detox may result in hallucinations, delirium, and seizures.

Thankfully, with the help of medical support, medications, and natural treatments available to those in need to properly and safely detox from substance abuse. Medications and infrared sauna therapy both help manage the negative side effects of withdrawal and create a more comfortable recovery and return to normal.

 

Resources for Substance Abuse

 

If you or a loved one is facing issues with substance abuse, there are many resources available to help you take the next step toward recovery. Speak to your doctor about potential treatment and recovery options, and use the resources below for hotlines, information, and programs to help you through your journey:

20 Natural Hangover Cures & Home Remedies

Unfortunately, hangovers aren’t an uncommon occurrence. After a day or night out, the effects of alcohol can set in and leave you feeling dehydrated, achy, nauseated, sluggish, and in pain. Having a hangover is never an enjoyable experience and it often leaves you searching for relief. Luckily, there are many natural remedies you can try to cure a hangover, from sweating it out in an infrared sauna to eating pickles.

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5 S’s of Natural Hangover Home Remedies

 

Sauna

One of the biggest infrared sauna health benefits is its ability to increase your blood circulation and stimulate the sweat glands, releasing built-up toxins in the body. Sweating in a sauna for a hangover can help detoxify your body as it rids itself of accumulated toxins from a night of drinking alcohol, thus helping you recover quickly.

 

Shower

Take a shower to help you feel refreshed. Some swear by cool showers only to help awaken the senses, while others recommend switching between hot and cold water. Switching temperatures increases circulation and toxin elimination. Hot water may make you sweat, so make sure to stay hydrated before and after.

 

Sleep

The National Sleep Foundation reports that alcohol consumption interrupts the circadian rhythm and prevents REM sleep, which means you probably didn’t get a great night’s sleep after drinking. If you’re feeling hungover, take a nap to try to catch up on good sleep. Also, sleep helps pass the time to hopefully help you feel better faster.

 

Sun

Going outside and getting some fresh air can help wake up your body and get some more oxygen. Oxygen increases the rate that alcohol toxins are broken down. Vitamin D from the sun is ideal for boosting the immune system in the body and helps with the absorption of minerals such as magnesium, which are crucial to recover from a hangover.

 

Sweat

While moving probably doesn’t sound great with a hangover, exercise can help you get back to normal. Don’t necessarily go on a run or hit the gym, just take a nice walk to increase circulation and bring more oxygen to your brain and muscles, which helps with the aches and pains. Just like using a sauna for hangovers, sweating this way will help you detoxify.

Supplements and Vitamins for Healthy Travel

Food & Supplements to Cure a Hangover Naturally

 

Vitamins

Vitamin B and C will help your body recover from the ingested toxins as it speeds up metabolism of alcohol by the liver. Even though drinking depletes these vitamins in body tissues, they can be easily replenished by taking supplements such as Emergen-C or a multivitamin, or by eating fruits and vegetables high in the vitamins.

 

Water

Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning you pass more urine when consumed. This can lead to fluid loss, which is usually the cause for the infamous hangover headache. Drink water to decrease the effects of dehydration and replenish your body of much-needed hydration. Added tip: Water before and during alcohol consumption decreases the risk of hangover.

 

Tomato Juice

Like a bloody Mary, but without the alcohol! Tomatoes are a good source of vitamin A and C, beta-carotene, and the antioxidant lycopene. They also contain glutathione, which aids the body’s natural production to help counteract hangover-inducing toxins. Studies show that tomato juice can also boost liver function to speed up alcohol digestion.

 

Spinach

Spinach is a superfood for hangovers, as they are full of folic acid, sulfur, and vitamin C, which are all essential vitamins and minerals for fighting a hangover. Vitamin C accelerates your liver’s ability to detoxify, allowing the alcohol to purge of your system quickly. Easily incorporate this into your meals or blend it into a smoothie to reap all the benefits.

 

Pickles

As mentioned earlier, too much alcohol leaves the body depleted of vitamins and minerals. Pickled are rich in many nutrients, including vitamin A, iron, potassium, vitamin K, calcium, and manganese. The brine may even help soothe your hangover nausea due to the vinegar content that helps restore stomach acidity to a healthy level.

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Ginger

Doctors and nutritionists tend to agree that ginger is one of the best natural hangover cures for soothing nausea, which is often a common symptom of a hangover. Alcohol irritates the lining of the stomach, and chemical compounds in ginger such as gingerol and shogaols are believed to help ease stomach pain and aid digestion by reducing inflammation

 

Fiber

Studies show that high-fiber foods, like vegetables, help break down alcohol and absorb it, keeping it from reaching the bloodstream as quickly. Additionally, fiber can help with some of the digestive issues that heavy drinking can cause, which also aids in helping remove toxins from the body.

 

Fermented Foods

Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kombucha, kimchi, and miso soup are known for their hangover relieving or curing qualities due to their ability to help restore your good gut bacteria. These foods also help provide your body with vitamin B, probiotics, and organic acids that get your body feeling back to normal faster.

 

Eggs

Having breakfast (or, more likely, brunch) with a serving of eggs can help cure your hangover naturally. Eggs contain cysteine, an amino acid, that helps your body produce glutathione. Increased glutathione allows your body to more efficiently break down toxic byproducts of alcohol metabolism such as acetaldehyde.

 

Electrolytes

Research published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that drinking electrolytes after long periods of dehydration can significantly help restore important minerals, like sodium, potassium, and calcium. Look for things like sports drinks and bone broth to help restore lost electrolytes from drinking.

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Chamomile

Have you ever experienced “hangxiety”, or the feeling of anxiousness when hungover? Research supports using chamomile to help soothe anxiety. On top of that, chamomile can help you sleep more soundly and relieve an upset stomach, which can be difficult to achieve otherwise when hungover. Brew a mug of tea to help you relax and recover.

 

Cayenne Pepper

Don’t be fooled by food that could potentially cause your mouth some spicy discomfort – hot cayenne pepper is actually a natural pain reliever, so incorporating some of the spice can help cure your hangover naturally – especially if you’re tending to a headache. Hot foods boost the metabolism, too, which enhances your body’s natural detoxification process.

 

Bananas

Low levels of potassium caused by drinking can leave you feeling weak, and can cause muscle cramps and soreness. Bananas are packed with potassium, which should help replace the minerals and electrolytes lost from consuming alcohol. Bananas are also part of the BRAT diet (Bananas, Rice, Apples, and Toast) which is recommended for nausea.

 

Apple Cider Vinegar

Start your morning with 1 or 2 ounces of apple cider vinegar, diluted with 6 to 8 ounces of warm water. The vinegar has a natural diuretic effect that can help combat morning-after fluid retention, which also helps with toxin elimination. It can also help balance stomach acid levels and stabilize blood sugar levels, which can be shaky after a night of drinking.

 

Antioxidants

Alcohol can cause oxidative stress, leading the body to produce free radicals. Research has linked oxidative stress to many health conditions, including heart disease and cancers. Antioxidants are compounds that help eliminate these free radicals. People may benefit from eating foods high in antioxidants to cure a hangover naturally.

 

Going out can be great fun, but the morning after may leave you regretting the night before.  Try these natural hangover cures and home remedies to help alleviate some of the side effects of alcohol consumption and get back to feeling normal and fully-functioning!

YOUR POST-HOLIDAY DETOX PLAN TO CLEANSE & RESET

There’s no denying that the holidays are indulgent… Large meals, delicious treats, decadent drinks, and more time snuggled up by the fire on the couch. It’s almost impossible to turn down homemade pumpkin pie, and a giant turkey dinner is always better enjoyed in leftover form. After a season of indulgence, many of us feel bloated, uncomfortable, and vowing to never eat again. A post-holiday detox is exactly what is needed to reset back to normal.

Start planning your post-holiday detox plan with a proper detox diet, detoxification tips and tricks, and easy lifestyle changes to make sure you’re back on track with your wellness now that the holidays have ended and the New Year’s resolutions have started!

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Post-Holiday Detox Tips

Clear the Fridge

First things first, clear out your fridge! We know that holiday leftovers are amazing, but they can derail you from your post-holiday diet efforts. Give leftovers to family members, freeze them for a later date, or have a mini post-holiday clear-the-fridge party for friends to help you clean out your leftovers and remove any unhealthy temptations.

Write Down Your Goals

One of the first steps in being successful in your post-holiday detox plan is being clear in what you want to accomplish. Whether it’s a 3-day detox or one month long, make a list of all the goals you’d like to achieve. Goals can include: Cut down on sugar, reduce bloat, lessen alcohol consumption, lose 5 pounds, have a more positive body image, etc.

Be Understanding

Know that your after-holiday cleanse may not produce immediate results. Going through the detoxification process is a slow and steady one, but the results are worth the wait! Be realistic and understanding of your goals and what your body can accomplish in a set amount of time. Unrealistic goals will leave you feeling discouraged, and may hinder progress.

Set Up a Support Group

Round up your friends and family to keep you on track! Whether it’s a post-holiday detox buddy who does check-ins with you and is there for moral support, your partner to meal prep with, or a coworker who can help keep those break room snacks at a safe distance, tackling anything with a partner is much easier than going solo.

Control Your Environment

During your post-holiday detox, the first tip was to clean out your fridge. Maintaining a controlled environment at home, work, and while out is just as important, if not more. During this time, learn what things aren’t serving your journey toward health. This way, you’ll keep temptations at bay and learn new healthy habits to continue throughout the year.

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Get Some Sleep

You might think that laying in bed for 8 hours won’t necessarily help with an after-holiday cleanse, but it is an important factor in weight loss. Poor sleep habits have been linked to worse appetitehigher calorie intake, and lower resting metabolic rate. On the other hand, studies show that sleep detoxes the brain and helps improve physical activity.

Start Your Day with Breakfast

By starting your day on a healthy note, you will be more likely to continue making healthy choices throughout the day. Not only will you be primed to make healthier decisions, the benefits of eating breakfast will also help you experience more controlled blood sugar, better heart health, and heightened focus, making the post-holiday detox easier.

Sweat it Out

One of the best ways to detox is by sweating out the toxins. Getting in a good workout is always a great option, as you are burning calories and sweating. You can also do a post-holiday detox by sweating in an infrared sauna – which is especially effective for detoxification when used after working out. You can detox and destress with hot yoga as well.

Stay Hydrated

After sweating out all the toxins in your body, it is imperative to stay hydrated. Be sure to replenish any fluids you may have lost while sweating to ensure you body is functioning properly. Drinking water flushes toxins from your body, which is especially important after holiday eating. It also helps reduce the bloat you may experience from the holidays.

Add Color to Your Diet

A healthy plate includes a range of items, including protein, high-quality fats, fruits, and vegetables. When it comes to your post-holiday diet, studies show that vegetables such as broccoli, radishes, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower help aid in the detoxification process, along with fruits like pomegranate, blueberries, grapes, and black raspberries.

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Post-Holiday Diet Plan

Breakfast

As mentioned previously, starting your day with a well-balanced breakfast is key to starting you off on the right foot for your post-holiday detox diet. It is recommended that your breakfast contains approximately ⅓ of your daily calorie intake. Keep your plate simple and healthy with protein, fruits, and vegetables. You can even help boost your metabolism with some plain, black coffee!

Healthy egg scrambles are a delicious and easy way to get protein and vegetables in your morning routine! If you prefer your breakfasts on the sweeter side, other healthy breakfast options include Greek yogurt with fruit and oatmeal with peanut butter – just be sure to keep the sugar content of the ingredients down.

Lunch

Having soup at lunch for weight loss is an easy way to have a delicious meal while cutting down on calories. A soup for lunch has a high volume with a low calorie count, meaning it has a low energy-density. On top of that, because of the volume of food you are eating, you will feel full quickly, thus suppressing your appetite for the remainder of the day.

When deciding on a soup, stick with broth-based or vegetable-based soups. Avoid fatty or creamy soups, but feel free to add in lean proteins like chicken, fish, or beans. A low-sodium and low-glycemic lentil soup is recommended for a post-holiday detox diet, as it is easy to digest after a season of indulgent eating while maintaining healthy blood sugar.

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Dinner

Dinner during your post-holiday diet is fairly straightforward. Focus on filling your plate with lean proteins and vegetables, while cutting out starchy menu items. Keep the meals simple to reduce the amount of sugar added, but make sure you add spices and seasonings that will keep your meal interesting and leave you wanting more.

If you would like, start off your meal with another bowl or cup of soup to help reduce your appetite and reduce the portions of your meal. You can also add in a cabbage salad to get things moving, as cabbage is high in fiber and can aid in eliminating toxins through waste. Cabbage also contains anti-inflammatory antioxidants and helps lower cholesterol.

Snacks

In between meals, have some carefully-portioned healthy detox snacks on hand that will help whet your appetite without encouraging binging on unhealthy treats. Just like with the full meals, keep your ingredients simple and natural to avoid unhealthy additives in processed foods.

Start off your morning with a holiday cleanse green smoothie filled with leafy greens and fruit to reduce inflammation or Greek yogurt that is packed with antioxidants. If you have mid-day cravings, slice an antioxidant-rich avocado and drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice, or spice up some popcorn with cayenne pepper to jumpstart your metabolism.

You know what they say: New year, new you! So start off this year right by making some healthy decisions. Not only will a post-holiday detox leave you feeling healthier after a season of indulgence, it’ll set you up for a year of better decisions with a balanced diet, improved sleep, more exercise, and a more positive body image. Treat your body right and it will reward you with the best year yet. Happy New Year!

10 WAYS TO QUIT SMOKING NATURALLY & DETOXIFY YOUR BODY

For smokers, quitting can be one of the most difficult tasks, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution that works for every situation. From medications to going cold turkey to holistic approaches to quit smoking naturally, there are many options available to you when quitting smoking. Here’s a bit of good news: If you’re reading this now, that means you are already motivated to make a change and are on the right path to finding the best solution for you, whether through medical treatments or with home remedies.

While effective, not everyone wants to take a medical approach to quitting smoking, and cold turkey may be too extreme for your style. Learn different natural remedies to help you quit smoking, and how to detoxify your body after, with supplements, sauna use, and more.

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Lifestyle Changes to Quit Smoking Naturally

Eat

When smoking, your body is unable to properly absorb important nutrients. When quitting smoking naturally, you can make the transition smoother and healthier by eating a balanced diet to help restore nutrients your body may be lacking. Eat a diet rich in calcium and vitamins C and D, making sure to eat your fruits and vegetables and drink some milk! Milk has been said to make cigarettes taste worse, thus reducing the desire to smoke, and vegetables help decrease cravings.

Exercise

The toxins from smoking build up in your body, leaving it out of shape and in poor health. The best way to sweat out those toxins and get back in shape? Exercise! Not only does exercise do the obvious of building strength and preventing weight gain, but it is also a healthy diversion from cravings when quitting smoking naturally. Exercise improves the health of smoking-damaged heart and lungs, and gives you a boost of energy to keep you in good spirits while quitting.

Hydrate

Staying hydrated is key to leading a healthy life, and sipping water throughout the day can help with quitting smoking naturally. Water helps flush toxins from the body, something necessary to remove the toxic ingredients of cigarettes from your body. Drinking a glass of cold water 15 minutes before eating a meal balances your metabolic rate – which can help you avoid weight gain after quitting. Hydrating your body will also help it heal faster and look healthier.

Relax

Techniques such as breathing exercises and meditation can do wonders for mentally coping with the cessation of smoking. Stress is often a trigger for reaching for a pack of cigarettes to feel a moment of relaxation. Learn some meditation techniques and simple breathing exercises to practice whenever a craving hits and train yourself on how to be mindful of what your stressors are, how they affect your cravings, and how to manage stress in a healthy manner.

Sleep

Smoking takes a toll on your sleep, even when quitting, so it is important to put a focus on getting enough sleep when stopping your habit. Sleep gives our bodies time to reset, rest, rejuvenate, and restore. Along the same lines as making sure you are relaxed, getting enough sleep is necessary to have mentally clarity throughout the day to improve mood and avoid stress. If you are feeling especially tired and begin to feel a craving, taking a nap can be an effective coping tool.

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Holistic Therapies to Quit Smoking Naturally

Sauna Therapy

After any amount of prolonged smoking will leave your body filled with harmful toxins. Sauna therapy is well-known for its detoxification abilities and spending time in one after quitting smoking – especially in the earlier days of quitting – you body has the chance to purge impurities. Depending on the length of being a smoker, the time it takes to detoxify varies.

Smoking puts you at risk of developing many health issues, and even quitting can have unpleasant health issues from withdrawals. There are many health benefits of infrared sauna use that make it easier to quit smoking naturally, including: improved blood circulation, reduced fatigue and stress, improved immune system, and rejuvenated skin.

Try to start your sauna therapy treatments as close to quitting smoking as possible. The sooner you can rid your body of toxins, the faster your body will be able to heal and overcome the habit of smoking.

Massage Therapy

Whether you visit the spa or do self-massage at home, working out muscle tension can help manage cigarette cravings. As mentioned earlier, finding time to relax reduces the anxiety that may trigger the desire to smoke. Massage therapy is also beneficial in combating the depressed moods you may feel during withdrawal.

Some studies show that smokers who were assigned to do a self-massage treatment on their hands or ears during cigarette cravings. After a month, those practicing massage therapy while trying to quit smoking reported lower anxiety, improved mood, fewer withdrawal symptoms, and fewer cigarettes smoked per day.

An added bonus: massages can promote detoxification – including the toxins from smoking. A lymph drainage massage can help flush the lymph system, reproduce white blood cells, and remove toxins from tissue.

Hypnotherapy

Some smoking cessation studies show that hypnotherapy, or the use of hypnosis to break habits or treat certain medical conditions, can be more successful in preventing smoking relapse than traditional nicotine replacement therapies (NRT). Hypnotherapy patients had a higher chance of long-term abstinence than those using NRT.

Additionally, another smoking relapse prevention study shows that hypnotherapy is slightly more effective in preventing relapse than behavioral relapse prevention intervention – with the hypnosis group seeing a 29% quit rate and the behavioral counseling group experiencing a 28% quit rate.

This practice is a great way to quit smoking naturally, as it focuses on the psychological root of your addiction and does not rely on smoking replacements or distractions.

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Aromatherapy

This holistic therapy is one you can easily do on your own, no matter where you are. Previous smokers have found relief in the smoking quitting process by using essential oils – especially when using an aromatic inhaler. When a craving begins, simply reach for the essential oils instead of a cigarette.

The action of bringing either an aromatic inhaler or a piece of white paper with a drop of oil toward your face can imitate the feeling of bringing a cigarette to your mouth. This is especially helpful if you have recently begun your journey and cannot immediately break away from your old habits.

Some essential oils to consider are black pepper oil, tobacco absolute, and Angelica essential oil. Black pepper essential oil replicates the feeling of cigarette smoke in your respiratory system, thus reducing cigarette cravings.

Acupuncture

Traditional Chinese Medicine introduced the practice of acupuncture, which has been catching on a a viable treatment to a range of ailments, including the cessation of smoking. Just like the previous holistic treatments to quit smoking naturally, this practice produces no side effects, making it a great option for those who are wary to use medication.

Pressure points in the ears have shown to curb tobacco cravings, as the cranial nerves in that area stimulate the nervous system and trigger you body’s responses to relax. In general, acupuncture releases endorphins, and being in a calmer state helps reduce cravings for cigarettes.

A long-term study regarding acupuncture and the cessation of tobacco use monitored users over the course of 5 years and reported that those receiving acupuncture were more motivated to reduce smoking or quit completely.

With simple lifestyle changed, home remedies, and holistic therapies, there are many treatment options available to you when trying to stop smoking. Whether you decide to quit smoking naturally or through some other means, congratulations on taking the next step toward a happier and healthier you!

HOW TO SURVIVE A SUGAR CLEANSE AND SLAY YOUR SWEET TOOTH

Sugar is one of the most habit-forming substances we consume in our everyday lives. In fact, research shows that our sugar cravings stem from sugar convincing our brains we want more and more. Today, added sugar isn’t just in desserts and sugary drinks. It can be found in every meal, from the vinaigrette in your seemingly healthy salad to Greek yogurts to, yes, even foods claiming to have “no sugar added”.

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Feeling sluggish? Is your skin not as radiant as before? Trying to lose those extra five pounds? A sugar cleanse might be just what you need to hit restart and slay that sweet tooth! Learn why quitting sugar is good for your overall health, the symptoms of sugar withdrawal, and how to stop your sugar cravings below!

Benefits of Cutting Out Sugar

Easier Weight Loss

One of the benefits of cutting sugar is that less-sugary food tends to be lower in calories. In addition, less sugar means decreased insulin levels. Increased insulin causes your body to store calories with extra fat cells. By decreasing your intake of refined carbs and added sugar, and increasing healthy fats, insulin becomes stable and fat stores decrease.

Lowered Bad Cholesterol

Those who consume a large amount of sugar are more likely to have higher levels of LDL, or bad cholesterol, and blood fats called triglycerides. Additionally, they have lower levels of HDL – the good cholesterol that helps carry LDL cholesterol back to the liver where it’s broken down. By normalizing your cholesterol levels, you improve your heart health.

Decreased Heart Disease Risk

Many studies show that the risk of suffering from heart disease is increased with the consumption of sugar. Added sugars high in fructose are the enemies here, as they create dysfunction in metabolic performance, which increases blood pressure, heart rate, and inflammation. Even by cutting out sodas, you are much less likely to suffer from heart disease.

Improved Brain Function

Research shows that added sugar in your diet can impair your cognitive function. Additionally, excessive sugar can lead to a reduction in the proteins necessary for responsiveness and memory. By reducing the amount of sugar in your diet, less sugar is metabolized, meaning more energy, better memory, and increased responsiveness.

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Rejuvenated Skin

Glycation happens when sugar in your bloodstream forms advanced glycation end products, or AGEs, when it attaches to proteins. This process damages the collagen and elastin that are responsible for firm, healthy skin, and can also make you more susceptible to sun damage. By cutting out sugar, your skin can become clearer, firmer, and brighter.

Lowered Risk of Diabetes

Drinking one to two sugary drinks a day increases the risk of type 2 diabetes by 26 percent, according to research done in 2010. Excess sugar in your diet can lead to high insulin resistance, leaving sugars in the bloodstream instead of being absorbed into cells. Pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes can be avoided with better management of sugar intake.

Better Breath

The bacteria in your mouth that causes bad breath thrives on sugar, so reducing your sugar intake can prevent the bacteria from feeding and growing, thus improving your breath. Your mouth also sees improvements in overall health, as sugary foods make your teeth more susceptible to cavities and enamel erosion.

Sugar Withdrawal Symptoms

Studies show that sugar can be addictive, especially when consumed in large quantities. Because of this, some may start to feel symptoms of sugar withdrawal. While studies have primarily been done on rodents, the symptoms don’t seem far fetched from how humans may react: tremors, aggression, and headaches. However, there isn’t enough human evidence to prove true symptoms from sugar withdrawal.

Many complain about headaches when cutting sugar from their diets, but those can be caused by a number of factors. For example, if your morning coffee typically contained flavored creamer prior to your sugar detox and you don’t enjoy black coffee, headaches may be caused by a lack of caffeine. Similarly, if your normal food intake has decreased during a sugar cleanse, lightheadedness and headaches may arise in the absence of your regular nutrition.

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How to Stop Sugar Cravings Naturally

Go Cold Turkey

One of the simplest ways to go about cutting sugar is quitting cold turkey. While this might be the simplest way, however, it is not the easiest way to stop sugar cravings naturally. In quitting cold turkey, the first 2-3 days can be filled with the sugar withdrawal symptoms above, along with difficulty ignoring cravings. If this route does not sound like it will fit your lifestyle, there are plenty of other ways to slay your sweet tooth.

Moderate & Substitute

Many will find it easier to gradually decrease sugar intake to the point of not craving it anymore. Through this, you can still allow yourself a treat here and there, but in moderation. Kerry Neville, MS, RD, a registered dietitian and ADA spokeswoman, suggests combining healthy foods with sugary ones. For example, if chocolate sounds too good to ignore, have a few chocolate chips mixed with nuts. If you can, try substituting added sugars with natural ones. Put honey in your tea instead of sweetener, or grab a banana instead of a candy bar. Nature has plenty of delicious snacks that are naturally better for your diet!

Distract Yourself

Another tactic is to distract. Distract yourself from sugar cravings by drinking water when the craving hits, taking a walk around the block, or chewing gum. These all distract you in different ways, including refocusing your energy on a healthier action, filling your stomach with something other than sugar, distracting your body with physical activity, or giving your mouth an action that only requires chewing.

Use a Sauna

An unexpected natural remedy for sugar cravings is sauna use. Inflammation and blood sugar imbalances are linked, and decreasing one can help decrease the other. Far infrared sauna use helps decrease inflammation, and therefore can aid in regulating insulin fluctuations. Doing a sugar and a sauna detox at the same time can help lower the effects of sugar withdrawal symptoms. Additionally, sauna use can help you sleep better. Better sleep means more energy throughout the day, which in turn cuts down on your sugar cravings.

Sugar Cleanse Food List

If you decide to go cold turkey, whether it’s forever or for a 21-day sugar cleanse, follow these general guidelines to help detox sugar from your diet:

Allowed Not Allowed Limited Quantities
  • All Meat & Seafood
  • Whole Grains
  • All Vegetables
  • Low-Glycemic Fruits
  • All Nuts & Seeds
  • Legumes & Beans
  • All Spices
  • Tea, Coffee & Water
  • Unsweetened Nut Milks
  • Eggs & Butter
  • Any Sugars
  • Refined Flours
  • Condiments & Dressings
  • Dried Fruits
  • Alcohol
  • Juice, Soda & Sugary Drinks
  • Artificial Sweeteners
  • Green-Tipped Bananas
  • Green Apples
  • White Potatoes
  • Stevia
  • High-Glycemic Fruits
  • Yogurt, Cheese & Milk

Your sweet tooth stands no chance with these sugar cleanse tips! Even taking simple steps to reduce your sugar intake will have wonderful impacts on your life, from helping you feel more confident in your skin to reducing your risk of various health conditions. A little sugar won’t hurt, but remember the key to living a happy and healthy life: moderation!

HEALING VS. CURING

What do you think makes someone a healthy person? Do you think of someone who isn’t plagued by a disease? Or do you think of someone who has their physical, emotional, and mental states aligned, and who practices a balanced lifestyle? While both of these could be examples of a healthy individual, they are viewed very differently. The first is the example we think of when we think of curing, while the latter is an example of healing.

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So what is the difference between curing and healing? While often used interchangeably, the two are actually very different. In our eBook, Total Wellness, we discuss this concept in more detail but we have outlined the basics below:

What is Curing?

Western medicine is very good at relieving symptoms and saving lives in an emergency room setting. We have a myriad of pills, injections, and other methods to stop the pain and get us back on our feet. But often times, these cures only address instantaneous issues; and in this case, health is viewed as the absence of disease. There is a time and place for Western medicine, but to address the whole of our health, we must also consider alternative healing options.

What is Healing?

Compared to curing, healing addresses the body from the inside out over time. Healing seeks to restore balance through lifestyle choices and natural means and can include a healthy diet, exercise, meditation, and other techniques. In terms of healing, a healthy individual addresses not only their physical condition but also their emotional and mental health.

Our bodies are complex, self-sustaining machines and when treated properly, they can self-heal and grow. Just consider the fact that the average adult’s heart beats more than 100,000 times a day while pumping about 2,000 gallons of blood through miles of arteries and veins. And we don’t even have to think about it! Health doesn’t come from a doctor’s office or magic pill, but instead from a whole, balanced lifestyle.

Which do You Choose?

There are many differences between healing and curing, but that’s not to say that you should turn to natural health or Western medicine exclusively. The two go hand-in-hand and it is because of the advances in technology that we have the luxury of choice. For example, in the case of an infection, antibiotics might be the go-to choice. But, most conditions aren’t so easily “cured” and it takes working from the inside out to build a wholly healthy lifestyle and see results.

Those that combine natural health techniques may find that they have a greater sense of peace and wellness. As Lissa Rankin, MD states in Psychology Today, “healing and curing are inherently different. Curing means ‘eliminating all evidence of disease,’ while healing means ‘becoming whole.’”

Good health is vibrant and starts from the inside out, and we all know a healthy person when we meet them. They radiate unmistakeable physical, emotional, and mental energy that draws us to them. Read more about healing vs curing in our new Total Wellness eBook!

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DEFINING OBESOGENS: THE CHEMICALS IMPACT & PRESENCE IN THE HOUSEHOLD

Obesogens are present in a number of things people touch, use, eat off of and drink out of on a daily basis, all of which have a seriously detrimental effect on the body. These compounds can be blamed for hormonal imbalances, metabolism issues and more.

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Let’s learn what obesogens are, how they affect our bodies, and where they can be found. Then, you can take educated steps to avoid them!

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What are Obesogens?

Obesogens are foreign chemical compounds that can lead to obesity. They generally disrupt normal development, hormonal balances, fat storage, and your metabolism. Obesogenic chemicals can also disrupt energy balance and modify the regulation of appetite and the feeling of being full. This can lead to overeating and, in turn, obesity.

There are both pharmaceutical obesogens and environmental obesogens. Scientists have continued to study the impact of these compounds.

How do Obesogens Impact the Body?

Different obesogens impact the body in a variety of ways, including:

  • Increasing the number and/or size of fat cells
  • Affecting the body’s regulation of hunger and fullness
  • Changing metabolism by storing calories as fat

While the main causes of obesity are still imbalances in energy levels and improper diets, the school of thought surrounding obesogens continues to grow. In addition to the calorie-in-calorie-out equation of weight gain and today’s increasingly unhealthy food choices, the chemicals in your home, work, and the world may have an impact on your weight.

Different Kinds of Obesogens

There are more than 800,000 chemicals in the US, and about 800 of these are identified as endocrine disruptors (chemicals that interfere with the body’s hormone system). Below are the most common obesogenic chemicals that may be found in and around your home:

  • Tributyltin (TBT) – TBT is a compound that used to be widely used in marine paints because of its biocide properties, which limits the growth of organisms on a ship’s hull. It has since been banned because it has been shown to harm other marine life, but it can still be found in some household fungicides and disinfectants.
  • Phthalates – Phthalates can be found in many plastics and beauty care items, including clay, paint, bottles, makeup, nail polish, hair spray, and many more. Although the dangers of phthalates are becoming more publicized, they can still be found in everyday household items. Lawmakers are trying to force more producers to use non-phthalate plasticizers.
  • Organochlorines – Organochlorines have a variety of uses, from pesticides to electronics manufacturing. Simply, they contain at least one chlorine atom and some of these compounds have a profound environmental concern.
  • Bisphenol A (BPA) – BPA is used to make many plastics and epoxy resins, and scientists have found it to be a xenoestrogen, meaning that is exhibits estrogen-mimicking, hormone-like properties. This could be one reason why some consider it an obesogen because our hormones play a role in weight regulation.
  • Organobromines – Organobromine compounds are often used in flame-retardant products and while some are naturally-occurring, they are mostly synthetic and their safety has fallen under increased scrutiny recently due to their environmental impact.
  • Perfluorooctanoic Acid – Perfluorooctanoic acid’s most notable use is serving as the compound on non-stick cookware. It has shown to be a carcinogen and toxicant for both animals and humans. It can also be found in stain-resistant carpet and carpet cleaners, and microwave popcorn bags!
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  • Organophosphates – Organophosphates are most commonly found in today’s commercial insecticides and herbicides and recent studies suggest a link between this compound and adverse neurobehavioral development in fetuses and children.
  • Heavy Metals (Including Cadmium, Arsenic, and Lead) – We’ve long known the danger of metals like arsenic and lead, but often these metals are still used in mining processes, fertilizer, plastics, and wood preservatives.

This is just a short list of the over 800 endocrine disruptors that can lead to obesity. As a responsible parent, homeowner, and citizen of the world, look out for these Obesogenic chemicals and avoid them when possible. To learn more about the significance of obesogenic chemicals, and a multitude of other factors and habits that impact our bodies wellness, download the Total Wellness ebook.

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