10 Things I Never Do: Health Tips From a Functional Medicine Practitioner

There are some things in my life that I just never do, and I’m sharing them with you today to infuse some healthy habits into your current daily lifestyle. You may be practicing some of these already, and if so, bravo!

1. Buy non-organic berries – All berries are loaded with pesticides.  Fruit or vegetables that you can peel may not be as critical to purchase organic. But every single berry out there should be bought organic, and even then washed very thoroughly! Of all the produce I buy, 90 percent is organic. Now, if I’m out at a picnic and I don’t know if the berries are organic or not, I most likely will not eat them.

2. Use aluminum based deodorant –Research shows that aluminum, which is found in most deodorants, and is a toxin, can accumulate in breast tissue in women and alter DNA. One study shows levels of aluminum, along with inflammation, in nipple aspirate fluid from women with breast cancer – as compared to women without breast cancer. Here is what I use, Organic Deodorant. It’s totally effective in controlling odor and wetness.

3. Use a microwave – I get it; it’s super convenient and fast, but let’s get real here. Nuking your food is essentially transforming your food into a carcinogenic substance that you are ingesting day in and day out. Not only does the microwave expose you to radiation if you stand too close, it also destroys the vital nutrients in your food. Let’s not forget to mention the bisphenol A (BPA) contained in the plastic containers that you use to warm the food that literally leaches carcinogens into your food. So if you must, please use a glass plate or glass container to heat up your food.

How do I warm up my food, you ask? With a simple non-teflon pan or pot, as explained below, on a stove top. Yes, the good old fashioned way.

4. Use Teflon pots and pans – This type of cookware seems to be so convenient because it’s non-stick and easy to clean. But the truth is, the coating is made up of a carcinogenic chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). It emits toxic fumes that you and your family inhale every time you cook. In about five minutes of cooking with your non-stick pan or pot, it emits at least six toxic gases! To make matters worse, if that non-stick pan of yours is scratched in the tiniest way, even more toxins are released right into your food. So consider ceramic pans and pots, or even a cast iron pan. I would also stay away from aluminum and copper, due to the toxic metals that can leach into your food. This is the one I use.

5. Eat Eel or Toro tuna – Eel is known to contain parasites, despite where you go to eat it –even at high-end restaurants. Toro tuna sushi, which is more expensive than regular tuna, also contains more parasites and more mercury. So save your money, and don’t order this the next time you go out for sushi.

6. Eat Non-Organic or commercial eggs – These contain growth hormones, antibiotics and pharmaceuticals. The chickens are also not treated humanely and are not free to roam. Organic eggs contain more vitamins, such as A, D, B12, B2, niacin and folate – not to mention choline for cell structure and function, lutein and zeaxanthin, which reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. Choose organic and free range eggs; ones found at a farmers’ market are optimal.

7. Use plastic drink holders – More and more plastics today are becoming BPA free, meaning they do not contain the toxin BPA, which are endocrine disruptors. Products containing BPA mean they affect your endocrine system by disrupting your hormone levels, especially during development in fetuses, babies and children. Some animal studies have shown a possible link between BPA exposure and a later increased risk of cancer. It has also been found to increase the risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes and ADHD to name a few. Make sure all baby bottles, sippy cups and water bottles are all BPA free. Or switch to glass. I use this one.

8. Drink sodas like Coke – I can’t remember the last time I drank this metabolic syndrome producing substance, which promotes obesity. Not only does a regular coke have 35 grams of sugar, in the form of high fructose corn syrup, the diet option contains aspartame. This is comprised of aspartic acid that breaks down into formaldehyde – the substance that is used to preserve cadavers, yikes! – and phenylalanine, which can cause depression and emotional disorders. Stay far, far away!

9. Use hand sanitizers – Another endocrine disruptor. Yes, this seemingly innocent anti-bacterial hand cleanser disrupts hormone levels. This highly used product is also creating antibiotic resistant bacteria. So, just wash your hands with good ol’ soap and water.

10. Use deodorant tampons or pads – Our monthly sanitary necessities needn’t contain fragrance or scents, which are loaded with chemicals, such as dioxins, irritants and synthetic fibers. But conventional tampons and pads are also bleached white with chlorine, which are endocrine disruptors that affect hormones and can create abnormal cell growth. Let’s keep these toxins out of our vajajay! Switch to this instead: Natracare. If you are masking a strong odor, get checked out by your gynecologist to make sure you don’t have a vaginal infection.

I’d love to know how many of these that you implement already or are willing to start. Good luck!


This article originally appeared on Margaret Romero.com and is republished here with permission.

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