We are living in a world where we are constantly exposed to manmade chemicals which, besides being carcinogenic, often trigger allergies. The number of people who have accepted chronic sinusitis and post-nasal drip as a part of their life never cease to amaze me, because one simple, non-medical way of alleviating these effects is to consciously reduce exposure to manmade chemicals.
Many of us have become so accustomed to unnatural chemical smells that we don’t even detect them anymore. But that doesn’t mean that our airways – sinuses and lungs – aren’t reacting to these tiny chemical molecules released into the air. Take fabric conditioner for example, there are more natural ways to soften and fragrance your washing. Add bicarbonate of soda to your washing machine during the rinse cycle or hand wash your clothes with it. It’s an excellent non-toxic deodoriser with no unnatural smells. Also, no chemical additive can beat the smell of freshly laundered washing that dried in the sun.
We are bombarded with advertisements asking us to make our houses, especially our toilets, smell fresher using various sprays, which often contain allergens and carcinogens that we breathe in. Making your own recipe for a room freshener is easy. To save time, light a candle in the bathroom, this helps dissipate smells naturally.
We can now also plug in containers that release mosquito poison into the air while we sleep. Inhaling these fumes hasn’t been proven safe in the long run. Opt for a natural alternative – vinegar in a saucer will deter these pests. Rubbing citronella and tea tree oil onto your skin is a safe way to keep mosquitoes at bay.
On a final note, if you have to have clothing dry cleaned, hang it outside in the sunlight until the toxic chemicals used in dry cleaning, like benzene, have evaporated.
9 processed foods you should never eat
Eat clean and chemical free for a happy and healthy heart, mind, body and soul, says Anang Agarwalla.
These are the processed food products that you need to avoid.
Whole/ crushed tomatoes or other tomato based products in cans are very harmful as the acids in the tomatoes react with the lining of the can to produce toxic by-products. Over time these acids can corrode the can (not very visible to the naked eye) releasing an even more toxic cocktail of chemicals.
This is why a lot of manufacturers are lining the tins with a plastic coating.
This creates a problem; the plastic linings are not BPA(BisPhenol A) free. BPA and other chemicals leach out from the plastic over time into the tinned food. These chemicals are carcinogenic and cause disruptions in the endocrine system.
All canned products are also traditionally mega loaded with Sodium. It is safer to keep away from all canned foods.
These sugary sweet ‘healthy, whole fibre’ treats are loaded with copious amounts of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), preservatives and at times very high amounts of sodium and trans fats.
HFCS causes a sharp and sudden spike in the blood sugar level which damages the liver and pancreas affecting the natural insulin production in the long run.
This is one of the most popular yet one of the unhealthiest snacks ever.
It contains a deadly chemical called Diacetyl, which gives popcorn that mouthwatering, buttery aroma and taste.
It has been known to destroy the lungs when inhaled. Most of the workers in popcorn factories suffer from a condition called “Popcorn Lung”.
It is safer to make your own popcorn at home with simple house hold ingredients.
This is another lethal food. Developed as a healthy alternative to butter, margarine in reality is brimming with trans fats, free radicals, copious amounts of preservatives, emulsifiers and hexane.
All these chemicals are linked to many health problems like heart disease, high blood cholesterol, obesity and high blood pressure.
Powdered beverage mixes/ tetra pack juices
That tall glass of cold iced tea made from a premix on a hot day can seem very inviting but do remember that though these premixes and juices claim to have some percentage of fruit or real tea, in reality it is negligible.
Artificial flavours and colours can cause a whole host of confounding health issues ranging from allergies, a sore throat to renal impairment. Sugar, in large quantities, causes blood sugar spikes and diabetes amongst other lifestyle diseases.
Store bought cookies, cakes, muffins, biscuits and breads
All of the above have been clubbed together as they almost always contain an offending cocktail of commercial fats (they are cheaper than butter and have a long shelf life), preservatives, dough conditioners and improvers, emulsifiers, loads of salts and sugars.
All these chemicals bring down costs and give the products a long shelf life, great texture etc. but end up harming our health causing problems ranging from indigestion to cancer.
It is best to just stay away from all sodas; they do not have a single nutritional benefit.
Sodas are the most acidic processed known food which creates an acidic medium in the body, perfect for bacterial diseases and cancer to breed.
Hot dogs and other processed meats
Most processed meats contain unimaginable amounts of artificial flavours, salt and cheap synthetic fillers.
Mechanically separated meat is normally processed with a lot of chemicals like Ammonia (to clean and sanitise it) under very high pressure and heat leaving it devoid of any nutrition.
Hot, crispy and fragrant; who doesn’t love French fries? Commercial fries are made with specially grown potatoes that are low in fibre and high in starch to give that perfect firmness and texture.
These fries are processed so much that by the time they reach you they are bereft of any nutrition and full of harmful obesity causing, liver and artery clogging fat, salt and preservatives. When you crave for fries, it is best to make it at home in the oven with minimal oil.
Photograph Courtesy: accordingtodina.wordpress.com
i2Addicted.com is an online Lifestyle journal that covers various genres like lifestyle, health and fitness and technology for Indian consumers.