How Toxic Is Your Home?

When we are at home the last thing we think about is toxins, we are in our safe environment, or so it seems but we are increasingly becoming aware of the potential dangers lurking in our home and quite rightly we are now questioning them and unfortunately finding out more than what we bargained for.

The Living Room and Bedroom:

Let’s start with the 1970s when flame retardants were added to foams, plastics, furniture, carpets, building insulation and children’s car seats. Most flame retardants escape from the products into dust and the air we breathe. When dust contaminated with flame retardants gets on the hands, you can easily end up ingesting the dust in your mouth and also through your skin. Scientists have found exposure to flame retardants can affect the nervous and reproductive system and some flame retardants like PBDEs may be linked to neurodevelopmental problems, including impaired cognition and ADHD, particularly if exposure occurs at a very young age. In Europe the use and export of brominated flame retardants have been banned or severely restricted but PBDEs are still used in plastic manufacturing in China.

To minimise and limit your risk of exposure try to keep dust levels down by wet-mopping, and vacuuming with a HEPA filter and wash your hands before eating and avoid buying furniture filled with polyurethane foam.

The Kitchen:

In most homes the kitchen tends to be a minefield, do you ever use the self-cleaning feature on the oven?  Many people assume that the self-cleaning feature does not involve chemicals so it’s a safe choice. Self-cleaning ovens work by heating the oven to insanely hot temperatures and the problem is that the walls of many self-cleaning ovens are coated with Teflon that actually begin to break down at high temperatures, releasing toxic chemicals into the air. Inhaling these fumes may lead to polymer fume fever, so get your rubber gloves on and get some hot soapy water and use elbow grease to clean your oven, and avoid the self-cleaning oven feature like the plague.

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Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Talking of Teflon, have you checked your Teflon pans lately and seen scratches on them? if so time to say goodbye to them, many people are still using non-stick pans even after they have become damaged and begin to flake off.  The chemical Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) which was used in non-stick Teflon pans up until 2015 and has been linked to many diseases such as breast cancer, prostate cancer, liver tumours, and reduced fertility. This chemical was found to build up in people’s bodies so if you are using your frying pans daily you will be at a higher risk.

Ceramic coated pans are one of the best replacements to Teflon as they are free of toxins. Always choose a brand that clearly states it’s toxic-free and environmentally friendly.

Do you dry your clothes in a dryer that resides in your kitchen?  Every time you put a load of washing on or dry the clothes inside the machine it gives out volatile organic compounds, which include Benzene and Acetaldehyde, carcinogenic substances which are not something you want to breathe in regularly, so if you live in an apartment and cannot dry your clothes outside just open those windows whenever you use your appliances.

The Bathroom:

Some bathrooms tend to be a damp haven which is a breeding ground for bacteria and harmful organic matter, mold can build up on tiles, on the walls and even on shower curtains and is usually caused by lack of air ventilation, so make sure you have a fan built in to your bathroom or open the windows when you shower or bath to avoid this build-up as the spores from mold can cause toxic disturbances and illnesses over a long period of time.  Throw away old shower curtains, re-masticate the tiles and keep mold away by using white vinegar.

Most cleaning products you also use in the bathroom and kitchen are filled with hazardous chemicals which you ultimately inhale when spraying them onto the surfaces, thankfully there are many less harsh cleaning alternatives on the market nowadays and I find my favourite natural solution is white vinegar, it is a great and safe substitute for cleaning anything but especially great for taps, shower screens, mirrors, and mold too. If you don’t like the smell of vinegar try adding some lemon oil.

(Never use chlorine bleach on mold which is often used to clean all manner of surfaces, not only does it produce fumes that pollute the air it also generates a by-product called dioxin, which is linked to cancer. Used over time, bleach builds up these pollutants in the environment, the last thing you want to do is create more toxic chemicals in your home, mold is toxic enough.

The World Health Organisation has pinpointed environmental pollution as a serious contributing factor to diseases and there have even been calls for a ‘Healthy Home Mark’ to be brought in that could be as important as energy efficiency when it comes to people’s decision to buy a home say Envirovent. 

As to how bad your house is, there are a number of tests and outside agencies that can come in to assess the quality of your air especially if you suffer from respiratory or asthma symptoms, it might be worth checking out whether the toxins in your home are to blame.

 

 

 

 

 

Could Forest Bathing Make You Live Longer?

The forest isn’t the first place you think of when planning to go bathing, but its all the craze in Japan and has been since the 1980s. In Japan, its called “Shinrin-yoku” which means immersed in nature and it has become a vital healing medicine in Japan.

Many health experts have been claiming that forest bathing is the most important thing you could do for your health. According to national figures, in the UK we are a stressed-out nation, 74% of UK adults are overwhelmed by stress at some point in their lives making it one of the biggest health problems we face today.

There have been many scientific studies that demonstrate the healing effects of simply being in nature that can help us live longer and healthier lives.

So how does something so simple as a walk in the forest give you ultimate health benefits?

It’s proven to:

  • Reduce high blood pressure
  • Reduce stress
  • Improve your mood
  • Increased ability to focus,
  • Accelerated recovery from illness
  • Increased energy levels
  • Improved sleep

 

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It seems the effect of just switching off from your everyday problems and thoughts to spend some time in nature has a positive healing effect physically and mentally.  We live in such an unnatural environment, constantly connected to our phones which distracts us from what is important in life. Just listening to the sounds of the forest is the best meditation.

I tried it this weekend and went to the forest with my dog, we just walked slowly and peacefully connecting with nature, I noticed the trees, the branches, the simple things became magical,  I felt a sense of calm which lasted for days, I am usually affected by high cortisol levels and anxiety and this all disappeared, I could think more clearly and my problems felt so insignificant, I didn’t want to come out of the forest that day.

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The best methods for forest bathing.

  • Turn your phone off,  the idea is to escape such intrusions that enter your life
  • Even if you are in the company it’s better to be quiet and listen to nature not the sounds of your friends talking even if the conversation is great.
  • Don’t use this time to think about your problems which would make this a useless exercise.
  • Be mindful, take in the sounds of nature, the birds, the leaves blowing in the wind, smell the earth, feel the ground under your feet.

 

If you live near a natural park, the countryside, or a forest, make time to try forest bathing and feel the healing power of nature. The more you do it the more benefits you will feel from this free and mindful practice and you will keep wanting to go back for more. Natural healing is definitely the best medicine for me.

 

 

 

Are You Getting Enough Sleep?

Apparently as many as 16 million UK adults* are suffering from sleepless nights. That’s 1 in 3 adults who suffer from insomnia. Have you ever suffered with this debilitating sleep disorder?

Sleep is essential for our general well-being. When we sleep it allows for healing to take place. It helps to keep our hormones balanced, improves immune health, digestion, brain health and also skin health. It also gives us a better capacity to cope with everyday stresses and gives us the ability to make sound judgments. 

How can we make sure we get enough quality Zzzz’s?

  • Many studies are being done to understand the connection between our gut and our brain health. Our gut microbiome is the complex community of microorganisms that live in our digestive tract. So if you’ve been having trouble sleeping, embracing a gut-friendly diet and lifestyle will put you on the right path to protecting your overall health which will also give you a better chance for some good sleep.
  • It’s uber important to get enough exercise as it releases tension and toxins which help relieve the body of any mental and physical reasons which could be keeping you awake at night. Exercise boosts the effect of natural sleep hormones such as melatonin.
  • What’s your bedtime ritual? Is it to look at Instagram or watch TV in bed? This will stimulate your mind and the light from your devices will deplete your melatonin levels. If you are struggling with sleep, try reading a book. According to a study conducted in 2009 by researchers at the University of Sussex showed that six minutes of reading reduces stress by 68%, clearing the mind will really help to calm the body and induce natural sleep. 
  • Meditation is an ancient practice which can improve symptoms of Insomnia by reducing measures of arousal in the brain, whether you do it for just 10 minutes in the morning or before you go to bed, this will train your brain to clear itself of negative thought patterns or the constant chatter in our minds which can keep you awake at night. 
  • Digestion is a very common reason why some people can’t sleep. If you are making your digestive system active just before bed, your liver and kidneys will be working hard, which could keep you awake. Your kidneys repair between the hours of 10-1am so its good to eat at least two hours before bed and try to get in a sleep routine where you go to bed at the same time if possible.

If you are looking for a good sleep formula without the health risks of prescribed sleeping tablets. We+People have formulated a blend of organic plant based ingredients listed below, which are all proven to induce calm and promote natural sleep.

Valerian Root:

A herb native to Asia and Europe, is often referred to as “nature’s Valium.” In fact, this herb has been used since ancient times to promote tranquility and improve sleep.

It contains a number of compounds that may promote sleep and reduce anxiety. These include valeric acid, isovaleric acid and a variety of antioxidants.

Valerian has received attention for its interaction with gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a chemical messenger that helps regulate nerve impulses in your brain and nervous system. Researchers have shown that low GABA levels related to acute and chronic stress are linked to anxiety and low-quality sleep.

Ashwagandha: 

The Ashwagandha plant is a small shrub with yellow flowers that are native to India and North Africa. It is one of the most important herbs in Ayurveda, a form of alternative medicine based on Indian principles of natural healing.

It is best known for its stress-lowering effects. It’s classified as an “adaptogen,” meaning that it can help your body manage stress.

Bacopa: 

Bacopa Monnieri has been used for centuries in Ayurveda traditional medicine and has long been thought of as a “wonder herb.”

As a quintessential Adaptogen, it has a helpful effect on our stress management. It has similarities to L-Theanine, in that it reduces anxiety and keeps you calm, but also provides additional benefits such as enhancing your memory.

To purchase ‘Sleep’ head over to wepeople.uk

Ramp Up Your Own Internal Collagen Production

Collagen is a protein fibre naturally found in our body and a major component of connective tissue. As we naturally age our body’s production of collagen declines even from as early as 21 our collagen production starts decreasing which causes our skin to have less tone creating more visible facial lines and loose skin.

Collagen is essential not just for our skin health but also for our bones, ligaments, tendons and muscle strength. Therefore if you want to maintain your collagen health and stay looking younger and feeling more agile its important to make sure that you are getting the vital nutrients to keep your body producing enough.

Camu Camu

Studies show that the Camu berry provides 30-60 times more natural vitamin C than an orange or lemon, and vitamin C plays a crucial role in the formation of collagen and cell renewal. 

Cinnamon 

Cinnamon contains cinnamaldehyde which is the organic compound that gives cinnamon its flavor and colour which increases collagen levels. Cinnamon is said to improve fine lines by plumping the skin and stimulating blood vessels to bring a healthy glow to the surface of the skin.

Acai Berry 

Acai berries are also high in vitamin c which is a powerful antioxidant in supporting and maintaining our natural production of collagen and fights cell-damaging free radicals. Acai berries also contain copper which activates an enzyme called lysyl oxidase. This cross-links collagen fibres with other supportive fibres and helps to form the scaffold that supports your tissues keeping your bones, heart and blood vessels healthy. 

Barley Grass, Barley grass can stimulate the regeneration of cells with the help of B vitamins, iron, and chlorophyll. It also contains phycocyanin, a blue pigment that supports the creation of white and red blood cells and when these cells are rejuvenated it helps to keep your skin looking more youthful. This ingredient also has Quercetin, a flavonoid and anti-inflammatory agent that helps to maintain your skin’s elasticity thereby improving your skin’s overall texture and appearance. 

Renew

At We+People the ‘Renew’ supplements are specially formulated for skin and collagen health and this powerhouse of skin-friendly nutrients from Acai, Cinnamon, Camu Camu, and Barley Grass, means you will be arming your skin with plenty of natural defenses against ageing. 

Renew Supplements – We+People.