I’ve thought hard about all the things I’ve done to improve my mental health. For this #wellnesswednesday, we will be talking about reducing environmental toxins to improve mental health and save money. In the post, Intro To Wellness Wednesday Series: Changes In Diet That You Can Make Today For Your Mental Health, I wrote about reducing harmful chemicals in your diet by eating small amounts of high-quality animal products like pasture-raised meat, eggs, and milk and larger amounts of eating organic fruit and veggies according to the Dirty Dozen list by the Environmental Working Group.
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In Beyond The Label by Dr. Christina Bjorndal, she writes about environmental toxins and what they do to your body. She poses the following question to those of us who suffer from depression: What if it’s not that you do not have enough serotonin but that these chemicals are blocking the serotonin receptors? I think that’s worth consideration. It’s so easy to change to healthier products. Why wouldn’t you potentially improve your mental health by decreasing environmental toxins?
Plastics and Teflon
BPA found in many plastics is an endocrine disruptor meaning it messes with your hormones. BPA is linked to negative birth outcomes, infertility, thyroid dysfunction, cancer, obesity, and insulin resistance. Also, heating plastics can release chemicals into your food. I recommend limiting your use of plastics. Nonstick frying pans have Teflon on them. Teflon when heated releases toxic fumes that can cause flu-like symptoms.
I use stainless steel bottles and cast iron cookware. I store food mostly in canning jars but sometimes in plastic bags in the fridge or freezer. Glass or stainless steel is always the safer option.
Parabens in Personal Care Products
Parabens mimic estrogen. They are possibly linked to breast cancer. I choose affordable products that eliminate toxins such as these. I use Renpure shampoo and conditioner, and body wash. I use Arm & Hammer deodorant free of alum and parabens. I use Tom’s of Maine toothpaste which is free of fluoride.
You can make your own personal care products including cosmetics. Wellness Mama is a good place to start if you want to make your own products. My daughter loves my apple cider vinegar (ACV) and green tea hair rinse for conditioning her dandruff-ridden hair. You will save a ton more money if you make your own.
ACV Hair Rinse:
- Make 1 cup of green tea with 3 bags of tea.
2 Add 1 cup of tea to 3 cups of ACV.
- Use a squirt bottle to rinse your hair after shampooing.
Perfumes and fragrance:
Perfumes and fragrances have phthalates in them which are linked to asthma, ADHD, autism, obesity, diabetes, breast cancer, and male infertility. I use essential oils and herbal infusions for fragrance. After I stopped using fragrances for a while, I found being around perfumes make me nauseous and give me a headache.
When I was very poor, I cleaned using vinegar and baking soda because it was very cheap. However, I got away from this when I made more money. Last year, I went back to vinegar, baking soda, and added essential oils. I’m saving money and reducing toxins from my environment.
There are many other environmental toxins. I could not cover them all in one blog post. Read more about other environmental toxins to avoid in Beyond The Label. You can order the book here.
Why not reduce chemicals in your life? It might help your mental health. I’m pretty sure it’s helped mine. My highs and lows are much less extreme now.
How are you going to reduce environmental toxins in your life?
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