Discover how to achieve optimal heart health by reducing your exposure to the environmental toxins that threaten a healthy heart.
To survive and thrive in our increasingly toxic world, you need to become aware of—and reduce—the number of chemicals you’re ingesting, absorbing, or otherwise exposing your body to, because they can be such a threat to your heart health. Now obviously, it’s impossible to completely avoid everything that could harm you. So I recommend adopting a strategy of mindful avoidance. That is, avoiding exposure to toxins when you can, and minimizing your level of contact when you can’t.
Here are some simple ways to do this (and maintain a healthy heart in the process):
- Quit smoking. Researchers have identified approximately 4,000 chemicals in cigarette smoke that can cause free radical damage to the body. Here's how to quit smoking.
- Read labels and shop organic when possible. Nontoxic, environmentally friendly versions of nearly every product you use or food you eat are available. When shopping for food, understand what the label terms mean. For instance, “made with organic ingredients” means that at least 70 percent of the product is organic. The remaining 30 percent can be made of non-organically produced agricultural ingredients, not including water and salt. Items labeled “organic” have at least 95 percent of their ingredients being organic, not including added water and salt. The remaining 5 percent can be non-organically produced agricultural ingredients that are not commercially available in organic form—but those ingredients must be on a USDA-approved list. Finally, “100 percent organic” means the product is organic, inside-out, not including added water and salt.
- Be aware of the “dirtiest” foods. Some fruits and vegetables are more prone to have high concentrations of pesticides than others. Strawberries and raisins, for example, probably have the highest concentration of pesticides because they grow so close to the ground. Other fruits and vegetables likely to be pesticide-ridden include peaches, apples, peppers, celery, nectarines, cherries, pears, grapes, spinach, green beans, and winter squash. It is therefore most important to buy these items from organic sources whenever possible.
- Drink filtered water, not bottled. Did you know that drinking water can help to lower your blood pressure? But you want to make sure you're drinking clean water. If you haven’t already done so, install water filters on your sinks so that you drink only non-chlorinated water. Also install filters on your showers and bathtubs, since even inhaling chlorine vapors while taking a shower can be toxic to your lungs. If your budget allows, consider installing a central water filtration system. It’s the best way to get rid of chlorine in your house and works just like the smaller drinking tap filters on a much larger scale, filtering all the water that enters your home. I recommend systems that use reverse osmosis as a filtering method.
More Dr. Sinatra Advice on Detoxification and Heart Health
What can you drink to detoxify the body and promote a healthy heart? Get my recipe for a special detox drink to help you boost your heart health.
How can you adjust your breathing to help detoxify the body and boost heart health? Find out how to perform a simple deep-breathing technique that both detoxifies the body and keeps your heart healthy.
Want other natural solutions for detoxifying the body and achieving optimal heart health? Learn additional ways to rid your body of the environmental toxins that threaten heart health.