Junk These 10 Items for a Healthier Home

10 fingersIf you’re looking for ways to make your home a safer environment while improving your family’s health, consider saying goodbye to these ten items:

1. Artificial Sweeteners

Most of us know sugar is bad for our health, which has provided an opening for companies that want to sell us so-called “healthy alternatives” in the form of artificial sweeteners. There are some healthy choices, such as stevia, Luo Han and xylitol, but get rid of any products that contain Splenda (sucralose) or aspartame. These additives increase insulin sensitivity, disrupt the good bacteria in your gut, and actually promote weight gain and obesity, along with heart attacks, stroke and Alzheimer’s.

2. Plastic Food Containers and Bottles

Plastics are everywhere; they are convenient, unbreakable, and inexpensive. Unfortunately, plastic food containers contain chemicals that disrupt the human endocrine system. Bisphenol-A, bisphenol-S, and phthalates can all leach into food, particularly when the containers are subjected to heat and washing. Try switching to glass jars for storing food.

3. Non-Stick Cookware

Non-stick cookware is coated with perfluorooctanic acid (PFOA), a chemical that is a “likely” carcinogen. When non-stick cookware is heated, fluoride is released into the air, where it can be inhaled. Try switching to ceramic or glass cookware.

4. Air Fresheners

Deodorizers and air fresheners include use two dangerous chemicals, both of which are linked to health problems like early puberty and lung damage. Switch them out for essential oils, which have many positive health benefits. And don’t forget the benefits of fresh air; when the weather is nice, open the windows.

5. Antibacterial Soaps and Detergents

Antibacterial soaps and detergents are generally too much of a good thing, and largely unnecessary. They actually promote the growth of drug-resistant bacteria, and they may contain triclosan, which is implicated in allergies, thyroid and endocrine disruption, weight gain, tumors of the liver and kidneys, and inflammation. The best way to ensure protection from dangerous bacteria is to wash your hands with simple soap and water.

6. Commercial Cleaning Products

When you shop for home cleaning products, check labels. Avoid any products with glycol ethers, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and formaldehyde. Health experts recommend making cleaning products at home, using safe items such as:

Baking soda
White vinegar
Lemon juice
Hydrogen peroxide
Liquid castile soap
Organic essential oils

7. Personal Care Products

Many cosmetics and other personal care products include toxic heavy metals and chemicals, including lead and arsenic. Buy organic brands.

8. Stale Spices

Herbs and spices add flavor and nutrition to food, but they need to be used while they are fresh. Once they reach their expiration date, get rid of them. You might even enjoy growing your own, to ensure an ongoing fresh supply.

9. Electronic Devices

Health expert Dr. Joseph Mercola writes:

Smart phones and other devices have made our lives easier nowadays, but a report by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), begs to disagree. Frequent cellphone use could cause cancer, as the radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (EMFs) it emits are carcinogenic to humans.

Cell phones are undoubtedly here to stay, but don’t carry them next to your body, and refrain from constant use. Set limits on cell phone use for children.

10. Your Chair

All right, this one is a bit tongue in cheek. The chair isn’t actually the problem; it’s the sedentary life it represents. Research shows sitting for extended periods of time is very bad for your health. If you work at a desk, consider a standing desk. And spend ten minutes of each hour walking around.

The more of these suggestions you implement, the healthier your home – and your family – will be.