Registered Dietitian Nashville TN

13 Medicinal Properties of Coconut Oil

03 Sep
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  No Comments


Awhile back I wrote a post about the amazing benefits of coconut oil titled
“Nuts Over Coconuts.” I wanted to share with you more research I read this morning about just how good coconut oil is for your health.  This information is from Green Med Info.

13 Evidence-Based Medicinal Properties of Coconut Oil:

  1. Fat-Burning: There are 2 studies showing that 2 tbsp. a day of coconut oil can reduce belly fat in 1-3 months.
  2. Brain-Boosting: Cognitive improvement has been shown in studies of alzheimer’s disease patients
  3. Clearing Head Lice: Coconut oil + anise spray works better than the insecticide permethrin
  4. Healing Wounds: Coconut oil has been used as a healing agent for centuries
  5. NSAID Alternative: Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and fever-reducing properties
  6. Anti-Ulcer Activity: Coconut oil has been shown to be as effective as the conventional drug sucralfate as an NSAID-associated anti-ulcer agent.
  7. Anti-Fungal: Coconut oil is natures anti-fungal.  It especially works against drug-resistant Candida species.
  8. Testosterone-Booster: It reduces oxidative stress in the testes of rats, which increases testosterone levels.  Low testosterone has become a big problem over the years.  Most people don’t realize that theirs is low.
  9. Reducing Swollen Prostate: Coconut oil lowers testosterone-induced benign prostate growth in rats.
  10. Improving Blood Lipids: Improves cholesterol (LDL:HDL ratio).  Coconut oil is a saturated fat that unclogs arteries.
  11. Fat Soluble Nutrient Absorption: Improves tomato carotenoid absoption
  12. Bone Health: Lowers oxidative stress inside the bone, which can possibly reduce structural damage in osteoporotic bone.
  13. Sunscreen: Blocks out UV rays by 30%; Coconut oil is great to use for short-term sun exposure (just enough to get your vitamin D but not get burnt).

I even rub coconut oil all over my baby after his baths.  It’s a great moisturizer and great for his immune system.

For the full article, including all the links to the research behind all of this, go here.

If you need help choosing the right coconut oil (and at the cheapest price), click here.

Enjoy this God-given miracle food!

Naturally Yours,
xoxoxo
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, LDN, CLC

 

Nutrition Makes A Difference

29 Aug
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  No Comments

I got this email from one of my clients today: 

 

“This week – I planned my meals and feel really great!
My clothes are already feeling looser than before.
And I don’t have any “drops” in energy right before my workout class.
One other thing I am noticing is that my sleep is improving.
I did not notice it much before, but now feel like my sleep is deeper than it was.
Thanks for your help!
I think that focusing on more balanced meals will help instead of zoning in on calories.
Because I definitely was not getting enough protein or healthy fats!!
You have been such a great resource for me.
I have liked your Facebook page and also your blog.”  

 

This is why I love doing what I do.  I’m so passionate in helping people heal themselves so that they feel better.  I talk to so many people who struggle with weight loss, energy, sleep problems, joint pain, and the list goes on and on.  What some people don’t realize is that nutrition affects everything. You CAN feel better and you CAN improve your health. Don’t give up!  Instead of counting calories-count your nutrients.  Everything else will fall into place.  


Naturally Yours,

xoxoxo
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, LDN, CLC

Sugar 101: The Truth About Sugars & Sweeteners

08 Aug
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  No Comments


Sugar.  Who would have thought it would be such a confusing topic.  And now that food companies have added artificial sweeteners to the market, Americans are even more confused.  One minute Splenda is good for you, the next it’s bad.  Should you even be consuming sugar in the first place?  I’m here to hopefully clear up some of your confusion. First, know that sugar can be very toxic to your health
, especially in the amounts our generation consumes it.  This article is about differentiating between the most popular sweeteners, so I’m not going to spend much time on the toxicity of sugar.  I think most of you know the less the better.  And when it comes to artificial sweeteners: AVOID THEM ALL! If your great grandmother has never heard of it, don’t eat it.  They’re not real food.  They’re a mix of unnatural chemicals that are toxic to your bloodstream, can cause damage to your organs, and can even lead to mutations in your cells.  If you’re going to use sweeteners, use the ones that God gave us, the natural ones.  Here is the lowdown on some of the most popular sweeteners out there:

Honey: My favorite sweetener & God’s created sweetener!  Honey contains amino acids, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, & antioxidants, which is why its known to be medicinal.  It can even be applied topically to wounds.  Beware when shopping for honey at the grocery store-most are processed and void of the good stuff mentioned above. The best honey to buy: RAW, LOCAL. You want raw so that the enzymes & nutrients are still alive.  Otherwise, they are killed during the heating process. Raw honey also has so much more flavor than the processed brands.  Local honey is best as it contains the immune stimulating properties needed for your body to adapt to its environment (Fights allergies to pollen/grass/etc in your area).

Stevia: If you must have a zero calorie sweetener, this is the one to go with because it has a glycemic index of less than 1 and does not feed candida (yeast) or cause any of the numerous other problems associated with sugar consumption.  It can be used by diabetics as it doesn’t adversely affect blood glucose levels. Some people (me included) have reported a bitter aftertaste when ingesting stevia.  Also, a little goes a LONG way when using this sweetener.

Maple Syrup (Grade B): Grade B is the least processed.  Maple syrup has been contributed to promoting heart health.  It is an excellent source of zinc and manganese and also provides trace amounts of calcium, iron and magnesium.   Maple sugar can be used at a 1:1 ratio for white or brown sugar.

Raw Coconut Nectar/Sugar: Made from tapping the coconut tree & draining the sap in a process similar to producing maple syrup. (Coconut nectar doesn’t require heating, though.)  Coconut sugar is also relatively low on the Glycemic Index.

Molasses: Molasses is a by-product of the refining part of the sugar making process. A quality organic (must be organic!) molasses provides iron, calcium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc, and is alkalizing to the body.

Refined Table Sugar: Conventionally grown, chemically processed, and stripped of all beneficial properties, many health advocates believe that refined sugar is one of the two leading causes (high fructose corn syrup is the other) of nearly every health ailment known to man (or woman or child). Not only does it have a high GI ranking, but it also is extremely acidic to the body causing calcium and other mineral depletion from bones and organs (sugar is alkaline but has a very acidic effect on the body).  -Source: Michael Edwards

Organic Sugar: Organic sugar comes from sugar cane that is grown without the use of chemicals & pesticides.  However, it is still processed, just not to the degree that white sugar is processed.  Organic sugar is darker in color than white sugar because it contains some molasses.

Turbinado: Turbinado sugar is partially processed and is also known as raw sugar.

Agave Nectar: This sweetener has been very popular lately, however, I do not recommend it.  It is not natural. It comes as a syrup and is highly refined.  Agave nectar even has more concentrated fructose than high fructose corn syrup according to the Weston A. Price Foundation.  Agave was developed in the 1990′s and is made primarily in Mexico.  To produce agave nectar, the leaves are cut off the plant after it has aged 7 to 14 years. Then the juice is expressed from the core of the agave. The juice is filtered, then heated, in order to hydrolyze the polysaccharides into simple sugars. The filtered, hydrolyzed juice is concentrated to a syrupy liquid, slightly thinner than honey, from light colored to dark amber, depending on the degree of processing.  This is not a traditional sweetener and the high levels of synthesized fructose in agave puts people at risk for obesity, heart disease, arterial inflammation, high blood pressure and increased insulin resistance.

High Fructose Corn Syrup: I’m sure you’ve seen the commercials that say HFCS is the same as sugar, and that when used in moderation, it’s safe. Well, it’s not the same or safe. When used in moderation it is a major cause of heart disease, obesity, cancer, dementia, liver failure, tooth decay, & more. “Why is the corn industry spending millions on misinformation campaigns to convince consumers and health care professionals of the safety of their product? Could it be that the food industry comprises 17 percent of our economy?”   Check out Dr. Mark Hyman’s post “5 Reasons High Fructose Corn Syrup Will Kill You.” Something new that I learned in this post is that HFCS contains mercury, which as we know is extremely toxic and detrimental to our health.

So when you must reach for a sweetener, aim for a natural, unprocessed one.  And most importantly, use in moderation!

Naturally Yours,
xoxoxo
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, LDN, CLC

Homemade, Nontoxic Cleaning Products

12 Mar
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  No Comments


I’ve gone “green” and “natural” on almost all cleaning and beauty products in my house.  However, I happened to find a small amount of Pledge dusting spray left in a cabinet a few weeks ago.  I didn’t even know I had it until my mom came over to clean my house for me (since I’m 38 weeks pregnant) and started using it.  She mentioned that I needed to get more Pledge since I was almost out, but I of course don’t want toxic chemicals in my home (especially with a newborn coming soon) so I wanted to make my own dusting spray.  You can buy the high-priced “green” cleaning products at the store, which I definitely do most of the time since I’m so busy, but my goal is to start making my own cleaning/laundry products more often so I can save money and cut back on plastic waste. Another reason to make your own laundry detergent is so that you know every single ingredient going on your family’s skin. Here are a few recipes you’ll want to try:

Dusting Spray:

Ingre­di­ents you need:

  • 2 Tsp. Light Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup White Vine­gar
  • 20 drops Lemon-Essential Oil
  • Warm Water (fill the rest of bottle)
  • 16 oz Spray bottle

Shake well before using. It’s probably beneficial to use a damp cloth so you don’t just move the dust around.

For General Cleaning Around the House:
Mix 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1/4 cup of distilled vinegar for every quart of water. Wipe down all surfaces.

Laundry Detergent (The most basic one out there)

Ingredients You’ll Need:

  • Soap: Fels-Naptha is the most popular soap used. You could also just use Ivory soap.
  • Borax
  • Arm & Hammer Washing Soda: NOT baking soda.
  • Grater
  • Lavender or Orange Essential Oil (Optional)

Directions: Remember this Ratio: 1:1:1

  1. Grate your bar of soap (as finely as possible).
  2. Mix it with 1 cup of Borax & 1 cup of Washing Soda
  3. Stir together for approximately 5 minutes.
  4. Optional: Add 1/2-1oz of your favorite essential oil & stir.
  5. Use about 2 Tbsp. per load of laundry.

This is a dry laundry detergent recipe but there are recipes out there for liquid ones. Good luck & enjoy that extra money you save!

Sincerely,
xoxoxo
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, LDN, CLC

 

Carbs-As Addictive As Cocaine?

01 Feb
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  1 Comments


Could carbs be as addictive as cocaine? Yes!

Do you find yourself craving refined carbs in the morning? Do you have a hard time cutting back on the amount of carbs you eat?  Do you feel awful if you go a day without refined carbs?  You might be addicted to carbs.  Before you beat yourself up, remember that carbohydrates are just as addictive as cocaine. So it’s not going to be easy to be free from this addiction. But you CAN do it!

How It Works:
Carbohydrates release serotonin in the brain.  They are very sedating.  Especially highly refined carbohydrates (e.g. white bread, pastas, bagels, cookies, etc).  “Heavily processed carbohydrates quickly raise the amount of sugar in your blood,” said Dr. Simon Thornily, a registrar with the Auckland Regional Public Health Service, whose report appeared in the journal Medical Hypotheses. “This rush of sugar stimulates the same areas of the brain that are involved with addiction to nicotine and other drugs.”  Scientists at Princeton University have also been studying Thornley’s thesis. The American scientists have turned rats into sugar addicts and then suffered cravings when the sugar was taken away. When the scientists gave the rats sugar again, the rats binged on it.

Having a craving every once in awhile is normal, but having to eat carbs to feel good is an addiction.  Carbs and cocaine have the same effect on the pleasure center in the brain.  Like all other addictions, you become immune to small doses; therefore, it takes more and more carbs to get the same fix.

Too much carbohydrates will dangerously affect your health.  Not only could you gain weight, but you’re putting your body at risk for diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and you’re completely throwing off your hormones.  You’re probably asking yourself, “How do I change?”  First of all, when you’re weaning yourself from anything, it’s not always good to go cold turkey.  Instead of focusing on what you “can’t have,” focus on what you can eat.  Focus on a plant-based diet. Numerous studies show that this type of eating is healthiest in many ways.  You’ll not only feel better, but you’ll lower your cholesterol, blood pressure, and most importantly prevent a variety of diseases.  Make sure that the meat you eat is organic (free of hormones, antibiotics, etc) and 100% grass-fed. (More on this topic in another post).  Start adding seeds & nuts to your meals for extra nutrients and healthy fats.  At first it may be difficult to get out of the habit of thinking that you need grains at every meal.  You definitely don’t need them because most grains are extremely processed so aren’t even good for you.  If you’re going to enjoy whole grains, make sure they’re soaked or sprouted when possible.

What’s Causing You to Overeat on Carbs?
Many people overeat on carbs because they release serotonin, which is a feel-good hormone.  They solution to this problem is pin-pointing the reason you’re turning to carbs for comfort.  Are you stressed?  Are you down about something?  Do you have unresolved conflict that needs to be addressed?  Instead of turning to food, try going for a walk or talking to a friend about how you’re feeling.  Yoga or any other type of exercise is a great way to feel good without turning to food. 

Could you be addicted to carbs?  What steps will you start taking today to free yourself from this?  It will be difficult, but so worth the freedom.  Good luck in taking charge of your health!

Naturally Yours,
xoxoxo
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, LDN

Preventing Winter Weight Gain

17 Nov
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  No Comments


First, of all I want to start off by apologizing for not posting in a long time. Free time in the 1st trimester was spent resting after work, and lately I’ve been writing at my other blog.  I’m blogging about baby over at
Baby Makes Three. If you want to see pictures from our Gender Reveal Party, check them out here.

Preventing Winter Weight Gain:
If you’re like me, the winter months may make you to want to stay inside under a blanket with a cup of hot cocoa.  Now that daylight savings has hit and it gets darker earlier, I find myself coming home from work and wanting to sit on the couch with a good show/movie.  My normal (and usually easier) plan is to head to the gym for a workout class or meet a friend to go walking.  So, I completely understand how hard it is to get yourself to the gym in the winter rather than do what your body wants, which is hit the couch.  But I promise you that once you complete that workout, your body will thank you for the extra energy and the mood-lifting endorphins.

3 Tips to Prevent Weight Gain:

  1. Hit the Gym at the Right Time:  For some people, they are too exhausted after a long day at work to work out.  You know that you will not even try to force yourself to make it to the gym even though you know it will make you feel better. So, if you’re one of those people, you may benefit from an early morning workout (before you head to work). Sure, you’ll have to get up earlier, but you will get a great workout in, and you won’t feel guilty for watching your favorite TV shows after a long day on the job.  Or maybe you are someone who cannot get motivated again once you make it home from work. The best tip for you is to always keep gym clothes in your car, and make sure you head straight to the gym after work (do not go home first).  Because you know that once you make it home, you won’t be getting out in that cold weather again.  You must plan in advance to accomplish your workout goals.
  2. Get REAL FOOD Conscious: During the winter, people’s vitamin D levels drop because they are not exposed to the best source of vitamin D, which is sunlight.  This is one reason why it’s very important to get your vitamin D levels checked regularly-you probably need supplementation at least during the winter months.  Low vitamin D levels are linked to depression, and many people struggle with SAD (Seasonal Affect Disorder), caused by not being exposed to as much light/sunshine.  This could lead to comfort eating during the winter blues.  Instead of turning to comfort foods turn to real foods, which will boost your mood. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, folate, & B12 are especially important.  These include wild salmon, walnuts, eggs, dark green leafy veggies, sunflower seeds & organic/grass-fed meat products.  When you’re focused on eating foods that grow from the earth and less processed foods, the weight will naturally come off.
  3. Don’t Go Overboard at Holiday Festivities: Some people blame the winter pounds on the holidays.  And if you’re someone that has multiple Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years parties to attend, than you definitely have to work harder at preventing the weight gain than others.  But it IS possible, and you CAN do it.  The best way to not overeat at a holiday party is to eat a healthy snack right before the party.  A handful of nuts is an easy snack to keep in your purse when you’re on the go.  The healthy fats & protein in the nuts will keep your blood sugar from dipping and will give you a sense of satiety so you’re not starving at the party.  Make sure you’re eating protein at every meal/snack to keep you feeling fuller longer.  When you’re at a party, don’t feel like you have to deprive yourself.  Enjoy the food, but just make sure you limit the items that are exceptionally high in calories/fat/sugar.  Load your plate up with veggies/fruit and protein first, then have a small portion of the higher carbohydrate items.  Remember that sugar is just as addictive as cocaine is, so the more you eat it, the more your body wants it.  Focus on your veggies & protein during the winter months, and this will help you not go back for seconds and thirds on all those holiday desserts.

Enjoy this holiday season and remember the reason for it all.  Don’t stress over the little things, because we all know what stress does to our body.  Have fun with all your loved ones, and safe travels to you all!

If you ever need help with your weight or other nutrition issues in your life, feel free to schedule a private consultation with me.

Naturally Yours,
xoxoxo
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, LDN, CLC

Getting Ready for Cold/Flu Season

18 Sep
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  1 Comments

via Blooming Natural Health

As most of you know, cold and flu season is just around the corner.  Unfortunately, it seems as if the “stomach bug” has already shown its face in many people’s homes.  I’m sure you’ve also seen all the signs for flu shots in your area.  While I won’t be getting a flu shot, I will be practicing preventative tips to protect myself from the flu.  Here are ways to keep your immune system strong this season:

Tips for Protecting Your Health During Cold/Flu Season:

  • Get plenty of Vitamin D: Most people are deficient in vitamin D.  Unfortunately, one wouldn’t know this unless they got their vitamin D levels tested. I know, I say this a lot, but it is extremely important to know your vitamin D levels.  I get mine checked at least twice a year.  Optimal vitamin D levels are: 55-65 ng/mL.  A deficiency of vitamin D triggers infections, autoimmune diseases (multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease), cardiovascular disease, and cancer.  Optimal vitamin D levels are known to be more effective in preventing the flu than a flu vaccine.  The best source of vitamin D: sunshine!  It’s important to get out and enjoy at least 10-15 minutes of sun per day (without sunscreen).  As winter approaches, and it becomes harder to get natural sunlight, it may be necessary to take a daily vitamin D supplement.  Many people even need a supplement during the summer; again, why it’s so important to get your levels checked! 

  • Eat Healthy: Everyone knows it’s important to eat healthy, but I think that most people underestimate the power that food has on the immune system.  If you’re eating healthy and are exposed to certain illnesses, you have a great chance of not catching it.  Foods to enjoy are:
    • Organic fruits & vegetables
    • Fermented foods such as kombucha, yogurt, etc.
    • Organic, pastured meats & eggs (including 100% grass-fed beef)
    • Healthy fats, such as coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, nuts.
    • Avoid sugar, especially refined sugars. Sugar weakens the immune system.  If you need sweeteners, use raw honey, maple syrup, & stevia.
      • Raw honey has antibacterial, antifungal, & antiviral properties (LOCAL raw honey is best, especially for allergies)
    • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar per day
    • Supplements: Vitamin D (depending on your levels), probiotic, elderberry, fermented cod liver oil or another purified source of omega-3 fatty acids
  • Get plenty of sleep: 7-8 hours per night is ideal
  • Exercise: Increases your resistance to illness
  • Stay stress-free! Find ways to manage your stress to keep your immune system strong.  Try yoga, prayer, meditation, talking to a friend, whatever works for YOU.

Even if you still get sick doing all of these tips, your symptoms will be a lot milder than if you weren’t following these healthy guidelines.

Praying your family enjoys a sick-free fall and winter!
Naturally Yours,
xoxoxo
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, LDN,CLC

Nuts Over Coconuts!

17 Aug
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  2 Comments


You may be wondering what’s the deal about this big coconut rave?  Are coconuts and coconut oil really that good for you?  And how can they be healthy when they are high in saturated fat?  Well, I’m here to answer those questions for you and to let you know where you can get organic coconut oil for a great price.

Not too long ago, our society was all about the low-fat, fat-free craze.  Fat was considered the “culprit” to our diets.  Thankfully, people have realized that fat is good for our bodies, and is even necessary for proper absorption of antioxidants and other nutrients.  So let’s talk about coconut oil and why it’s so good for you.  Yes, coconut oil is high in saturated fat, but the fat in coconuts is different & unique from all other fats & contains many health benefiting properties.  In my opinion, coconut oil is a superfood.  The difference is in the fat molecule.  Fats and oils contain fatty acids.  Approximately 98 to 100% of all the fatty acids you consume are long-chain fatty acids (LCFA).  Coconut oil is composed mostly of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), also known as medium-chain triglycerides (MCT).  Our bodies metabolize each fatty acid differently, based on its size. MCFT do not have a negative effect on cholesterol like LCFA do, and they help to protect against heart disease.

Here are a few of the MANY benefits of coconuts & coconut oil:

  • Acts as an anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral.
  • Lowers cholesterol.
  • Provides protection from damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation form the sun.
  • Helps relieve symptoms and reduce health risks associated with diabetes.
  • Reduces inflammation.
  • Supports tissue healing and repair.
  • Supports and aids immune system function.
  • Increases metabolism supporting weight loss
  • Great natural skin/hair moisturizer
  • Much more!

Use coconut oil as your cooking oil of choice and/or add it in your favorite smoothies for its health benefits.  Rub it on your skin to help protect against the sun’s UV rays.

Right now Amazon has the Nutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, 15-Ounce Tubs (Pack of 2), priced at $14.98, just $7.49 per jar. And you get free shipping.  Use the “Subscribe and Save” option to get it for this price.  Go nuts over coconuts!

Naturally Yours,
xoxo
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, LDN, CLC

 


Easy Recipe: Sweet Potato Fries

17 Jul
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  1 Comments


Sweet potato fries are a staple in our house.  They’re naturally gluten and grain-free, so anyone can eat them.  Most importantly, they are delicious!  Sweet potatoes are a complex carbohydrate which means they digest more slowly than white potatoes and therefore will not cause your blood sugar to spike as easily.

Sweet Potato Nutrients:

  • Great source of beta-carotene
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Manganese
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin B6
  • Potassium
  • Iron
  • Fiber (More fiber than oatmeal if the skin is left on)

Sweet Potato Fries Recipe:
(Serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • About 1 1/2 lb sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (very healthy & adds flavor to recipe)
  • sea salt (to taste)
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan (raw cheese is always best)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Cut sweet potatoes into strips that are about 1/4 inch wide on each side.
  • Place the sweet potatoes into a large bowl. Add melted coconut oil, salt, and rosemary. Stir well to thoroughly coat the fries.
  • Stir in 2/3 of the Parmesan. Spread out onto the baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan.
  • Cook for 20-25 minutes, turning halfway through. Fries are done when they are browned around the edges.
  • Enjoy!

Naturally Yours,
xoxoxo
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, LDN, CLC

How Your Cosmetics Could Be Damaging Your Health (Part 1)

11 Jul
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  2 Comments

The Story of Cosmetics examines the pervasive use of toxic chemicals in our everyday personal care products, from lipstick to baby shampoo.  This 7 minute film reveals the implications for consumer and worker health and the environment, and outlines ways we can move the industry away from hazardous chemicals and towards safer alternatives.

I consider myself a health advocate, and since we can’t always count on the FDA, I’m here to do my own research to share with you.  About a year and a half ago, I started looking at what I was putting on my body in a whole new light.  Of course I knew that what I put in my body was important, but I had no idea that what I put on my body was even more important.  Your skin is your largest organ and is highly permeable.  What you put on your body does end up in your blood stream, and will therefore be distributed throughout your body.  I love the saying, “don’t put anything on your body that you wouldn’t eat if you had to…”  Dr Mercola, explains it best:

“Putting chemicals on your skin or scalp may actually be worse than eating them. When you eat something, the enzymes in your saliva and stomach help to break it down and flush it out of your body. However, when you put these chemicals on your skin, they are absorbed straight into your bloodstream without filtering of any kind, going directly to your delicate organs.  Once these chemicals find their way into your body, they tend to accumulate over time because you typically lack the necessary enzymes to break them down. When you add up daily exposure over the course of a lifetime, this adds up to an untold amount of chemical exposures.”

While there is a long list of dangerous toxins that appear in personal care products, here are some of the most dangerous ones that you want to avoid:

  • Parabens: Found in deodorants, moisturizers & shampoos. Parabens mimic the action of the female hormone estrogen, which can drive the growth of human breast tumors.
  • Phthalates: Found in, among other things, toys, food packaging, hoses, raincoats, shower curtains, vinyl flooring, wall coverings, lubricants, adhesives, detergents, nail polish, hair spray and shampoo.  Phthalates have been linked to birth defects in the reproductive system of boys and lower sperm-motility in adult men, among other problems.
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate: Found in nearly all shampoos, scalp treatments, hair color and bleaching agents, toothpastes, body washes and cleansers, make-up foundations, liquid hand soaps, laundry detergents and bath oils/bath salts. SLS is carcinogenic.
  • Mineral Oil, Paraffin, and Petroleum: They coat your skin like plastic, clogging pores and creating a build-up of toxins. They also slow cellular development, which can cause you to show earlier signs of aging, and are a suspected cause of cancer and disruption to hormonal activity.
  • Artificial Fragrances: The use of fragrances is unregulated, and there’s no need for manufacturers to specify what type of fragrance they’re using. It could be in the form of harmful cheap synthetic chemicals (which is the rule rather than the exception these days), and all they’re required to do is put “fragrance” on the bottle as an ingredient.  Artificial fragrances can cause asthma and trigger asthma attacks.
  • Toluene: Made from petroleum or coal tar, and found in most synthetic fragrances. Chronic exposure linked to anemia, lowered blood cell count, liver or kidney damage, and may affect a developing fetus.
  • Methylisothiazolinone (MIT): A chemical used in shampoo to prevent bacteria from developing, which may have detrimental effects on your nervous system.

While I completely understand that this can be rather overwhelming if you look at all your products and they contain almost all of these ingredients.  If you need to, take baby steps to cut back/avoid these toxic ingredients.  When you buy new products, make sure you get ones without these ingredients.  Come back tomorrow for tips on how to choose safer products and how to make your own.

Naturally Yours,
xoxoxo
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, LDN, CLC

Source:
Environmental Working Group
Mercola.com