Our world depends on chemicals, many of which are considered essential to modern life. The EPA tells us that some chemicals break down quickly while others remain for a long time in our environment and may build up in the food chain. Avoiding harmful chemicals requires we make safe choices not only when choosing what to eat, but also when choosing household cleaning products and personal care products. Chemicals can enter our bodies through our mouth, lungs, or skin.
The Melaleuca Wellness Guide tells us that poisoning by inhalation can be much more harmful than ingestion. When something harmful is swallowed, the stomach actually begins breaking down and neutralizing the poison before it is absorbed into the bloodstream. However, when you inhale toxic fumes, the poisons go directly into the bloodstream and quickly travel to organs like the brain, heart, liver, and kidneys. We also learn that airborne chemical levels are much higher indoors than outdoors, especially in homes that are airtight. Deteriorated indoor air quality can lead to long term and short term health issues. To help understand how toxic exposure can immediately affect us, take the example of a hangover. The aches, pain, and nausea are side-effects of non-lethal ethanol poisoning (getting drunk). Poor air quality caused by chemical fumes and pollution can also lead to days of feeling 'hung over,' along with aches, pains, and nausea.
Our vision is precious. Unfortunately, changes can be so subtle that symptoms go unnoticed, or changes are blamed on just "getting-older." The National Eye Institute gives us an example of how a person "sees" who has age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic eye disease, glaucoma, dry eyes, or low vision. As we age it is common for us to reach a point where we need reading glasses, but severe vision loss is not part of normal aging.
The University of Maryland notes that cataract-prevention research has focused on antioxidants and carotenoids, specifically lutein and zeaxanthin, which are naturally found in the lenses of the eyes. And while researchers haven't been able to show that these nutrients prevent cataracts, it is known that colorful fruits and vegetables provide healthy antioxidants that are important for head to toe health. It is believed that important plant chemicals and nutrients may be associated with a lower risk for cataracts.
Our body needs cholesterol in order to make vitamin D, hormones, and cell membranes. Unlike other nutrients that must be consumed, most of the cholesterol in our body is made by our body, with only 25% of the cholesterol circulating in our blood made from the foods we eat. The Kids Health Organization explains the role and risk factors of cholesterol.
When we have a blood cholesterol test, our health care provider pays special attention to, not only the total cholesterol number, but also to the amount of high density lipoprotein (HDL) and low density lipoprotein (LDL). HDL, the good cholesterol, travels through the many miles of blood vessels in our body mopping up the "bad" low density lipoprotein (LDL). Saturated fat found in animal products such as egg yolks, full fat dairy, and butter contribute to elevated LDL. If cholesterol levels get too high, good HDL cholesterol is unable to remove the excess cholesterol. LDL cholesterol oxidizes, or turns rancid, and is deposited on artery walls forming a hard substance called plaque. Plaque makes arteries narrower and stiffer, reducing blood flow and causing blockage. "Hardening of the arteries" is a good description of the process.
Tea tree oil is antiseptic, soothing, safely penetrating, non-caustic, aromatic, antimicrobial, anti-fungal, and more. The many properties of tea tree oil make it effective for a variety of conditions.
It helps fight infection and has long been used as a soothing first aid treatment for cuts and burns. PubMed notes that staph, particularly MRSA, can cause life threatening infections. Tea tree oil preparations were found effective, safe, and well-tolerated when compared with two topical hospital MRSA treatments.
What do a soft fluffy loaf of bread, a traditional crusty loaf of French bread, and a store-bought loaf of bread with the first ingredient listed as wheat flour have in common? They may taste delicious but are made with refined wheat flour, and lack fiber along with other nutritious ingredients that are found in "whole" wheat flour. Our convenient Western diet is filled with foods that look healthy but lack nutrients. Most Americans only get about 15 grams of fiber a day, much less than the recommended 20 to 25 grams per day for a healthy adult. Healthy fiber is found in nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains.
Fiber is more than "roughage" to keep things moving. Fiber is the part of a plant that passes through your digestive tract somewhat undigested. It is classified as soluble if it dissolves in water and forms a gel-like substance. It is found in citrus fruits, apples, carrots, oats, beans, barley, and psyllium.