There are many conveniences of everyday life that we take for granted. And while they may be conveniences indeed, have you ever stopped to wonder how they truly affect you? In April, Dr. Joseph Mercola came out with a list of 10 things that you should throw away for better health – and I couldn’t agree more. In North America our lives are inundated with modern comforts; and while we may not realize it, these luxuries affect our health negatively. So without further ado, let’s dive into 10 things you can throw out now to become a healthier person.
1. Artificial Sweeteners
Cutting out white, refined sugars is fantastic – but the artificial sweeteners you replace white sugar with aren’t any better. Artificial sweeteners are sugar substitutes that provide sweetness to food. Popular artificial sweeteners include:
These artificial sweeteners can lead to a wide variety of health problems, including:
2. Plastic Food Containers and Bottles
Plastics contain chemicals like:
- Bisphenol A (BPA)
- Vinyl Chloride
What many people don’t know is that plastic has the ability to leech chemicals, like the ones mentioned above. This is particularly true when plastic is heated, worn down, or put under pressure. The leeched chemicals can disrupt your endocrine system, effecting things like:
- Tissue function
- Sexual function
- Reproductive function
It’s best to eliminate as much plastic from your life as possible. Get glass and steel containers instead.
3. Non-Stick Cookware
It’s convenient to opt for cookware that is non-stick, but have you ever thought about what gives cookware the non-stick effect? Simply put, non-stick cookware is made from a chemical called perfuloractonic acid (PFOA), which uses fluoride to create the non-stick effect. Though it hasn’t been banned from Canada yet, it has been classified as most likely carcinogenic. For this reason, it would be a wise choice to choose ceramic and glass cookware instead.
4. Air Fresheners
Air fresheners contain chemicals and phthalates that can interfere with the endocrine system, just like plastic bottles and containers. Swap commercial, chemical air fresheners for ones that are natural, like essential oils or by opening a window.
5. Antibacterial Soaps and Detergents
Contrary to popular belief, antibacterial soap is not actually good for you. In fact, these soaps may actually increase the likelihood of drug resistant bacteria, which can make it difficult to recover from illness. This is also true for hand sanitizers, other personal products, and some household cleaners.
It’s very simple to keep clean; all you need is hot water and mild soap. For household surfaces, Dr. Mercola recommends getting two spray bottles and filling one with hydrogen peroxide and one with vinegar. Spray the surface you want to clean with one bottle, followed by the other. This will effectively kill any harmful bacteria. 
6. Commercial Cleaning Products
Commercial cleaning products are extremely toxic because of the nasty chemicals that they’re made from. Exposed risk to these chemicals can cause respiratory problems, poisoning, and after long term exposure, even cancer. The good news is that all commercial cleaning products can be replaced with natural alternatives. Try to make homemade solutions from:
- Organic, essential oils
- Baking soda
- White vinegar
- Lemon juice
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Liquid castile soap
7. Personal Care Products
Your skin is your body’s largest organ. As a result, it is also the primary organ that absorbs environmental toxins. For this reason alone, you should only use quality, organic products on your skin. Mainstream personal care products, like make-up, have revealed heavy metal contamination, including:
- Arsenic [viii]
8. Stale Spices
It’s not something you think of very often, but the spices and herbs you cook with need to be fresh. Spices and herbs have powerful antioxidant properties that can help prevent inflammation in the body – a primary cause of disease. Use this as a rough guide of when to dispose of spices:
- Ground spices: 2-3 years
- Herbs: 1 year
- Seasoning blends: 1 year
- Whole spices: 4 years
- Seeds: 2 years
- Extracts: 4 years [ix]
9. Electronic Devices
Think about all of the electronic devices that you are surrounded by each and every day – cell phones, laptops, desktop computers, tablets, and blue-tooth just to name a few. Have you ever wondered how all of these devices affect you? To give you an idea, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) have stated that cell phones can cause cancer and that electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”[x]
10. Your Chair
Sitting for long periods of time can actually put you at increased risk of disease and premature death. Think about it – you’re sedentary, your body is not moving, and so it is not working to its fullest capability of keeping you health. You need to move if you want to live a long and healthy life. You can read my previous blog article on why you should not sit all day, by clicking here.
Getting rid of these 10 toxins from your life does not have to be hard. Try to eliminate one thing from this list every month – before you know it, you will be leading a healthier and happier life.