What if your own home was making you unhealthy?
People tend to focus on diet and exercise when they think of health. But your environment can have just as much impact on your health.
You may not have a lot of control over your work environment or the environment in your neighborhood. But you should have a lot of control over the environment in your own home.
With people spending even more time at home due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s absolutely worthwhile spending some time and money to create a healthy environment at home.
If you eat well and exercise, you don’t want an unhealthy home undoing all your good work.
There are some simple steps you can take to create a healthier home.
Get A Filtered Water Tap
Whichever part of the world you live in, your tap water probably contains a lot of stuff you shouldn’t be drinking.
Unhealthy contaminants, bacteria, toxins and metals are often found in tap water. Even in developed countries.
Some of the worst compounds found in tap water are:
Studies have found that drinking water containing chlorine is associated with a 93% higher risk of cancer. Arsenic has also been linked to various cancers including lung, skin, kidney and prostate cancer.
Trying to find the right water filter for your home can be difficult. There are a lot of options of the market. Some much better than others.
Reverse osmosis filters will remove the most contaminants, but they also remove healthy minerals. These filters also produce a lot of water wastage and are usually the most expensive.
After doing a lot of research I chose this carbon filter countertop water filter for my own home. A good carbon filter will remove chlorine, heavy metals, pesticides and the bad taste of tap water. And they retain the healthy minerals.
Replace Plastic With Safer Materials
BPA is a carcinogen found in plastics that is linked to diabetes, infertility and other risks. It’s now believed that BPA can lower your Vitamin D levels.
Vitamin D is involved in so many important functions in your body and many people are already deficient in it.
Because of its widespread use, it’s nearly impossible to completely avoid BPA. But replacing the plastic in your house can go a long way to reducing your exposure.
There are many safer alternatives to the plastic products in your home that contain BPA:
- Plastic water bottles can be replaced with stainless steel bottles
- Plastic food storage containers can be replaced with glass containers
- Glass containers are also a better alternative to using plastic wrap on foods
- Plastic cooking utensils can be replaced with wooden or stainless steel utensils
- Plastic blenders and kettles can be replaced with stainless steel or glass
You might see a lot of BPA free plastics in the supermarket. But that doesn’t mean they’re safe either.
BPA isn’t the only dangerous chemical found in plastic. According to National Geographic, BPA free products can contain BPA alternatives that are just as harmful.
Aside from the health benefits, removing plastic from your house is better for the environment.
Turn Off The WiFi at Night
Little is known about the long term effects of Wifi and EMF exposure. But evidence appears to suggest that the EMF radiation exposure from Wifi and other modern devices can be harmful to your health.
A simple way to minimize your risk is by turning your Wifi router off at night. You’re not using the internet while you sleep at night, so you don’t need it anyway.
If you’re forgetful, you can buy a timer power point for the Wifi router and set it to switch off at whatever time you go to bed each night.
Then if you want to go even further to limit your radiation exposure in your home, you could use Ethernet cables. Or you could purchase a Wifi router guard. This is like a small box that your router sits inside and it reduces much of the radiation.
Buy Indoor Plants
Oxygen is perhaps the single most important nutrient you need. You use a filter tap to purify the water you drink, so it would make sense to also purify the air you breathe, right?
Indoor plants can help to purify the air you breathe inside, removing nasty toxins, mould and allergens. Aside from the health benefits, these plants just look nice in your house.
Personally I like the Peace Lilly plant, which is said to improve air quality by 60%. But there are plenty of other healthy indoor plants including:
- Spider plant
- Aloe Very
- Devil’s Ivy
- English Ivy
- Boston Fern
Healthline has a good article on indoor plants, explaining which toxins each plant removes and how much attention each plant requires.
Don’t Have a TV in Your Bedroom
Quality sleep is one of the most important components of a healthy lifestyle. But there is one common mistake most people make that dramatically reduces their sleep quality.
That is watching TV or viewing other screens before bed. The blue light from your TV and other devices suppresses melatonin production. Melatonin is the hormone that helps you go to sleep.
Basically, the blue light tricks your body into thinking that it’s daytime. And not time to go to sleep.
When you have a TV in your bedroom, you will always be tempted to watch it before you go to bed. And that’s one of the worst things you can do for your sleep.
You should also try to minimize all electronic devices in your bedroom to create the best environment for sleeping. Doing so will help to limit your EMF exposure.
Instead of watching TV, try reading a book, meditating or doing something that doesn’t involve looking at light from a digital device.
Install Blackout Curtains in Your Bedroom
If you want to improve your sleep quality, you will need to keep your bedroom as dark as possible when sleeping.
Even if you’re eyes are closed and you don’t see the light, your body has receptors that can sense the light and it will disrupt your sleep quality.
Researches have found that being exposed to light during sleep can cause mental problems and can even be linked to depression.
The easiest way to keep light out of your room is by using blackout curtains. These curtains will ensure that no light gets in your bedroom from outside.
They also block sunlight from coming into your bedroom during the day. On hot summer days, this will help to keep your bedroom temperature lower, making it easier for you to go to sleep.
Declutter Your House
Do you feel chronically stressed? Most people are. And chronic stress is associated with a host of health problems including insomnia, depression, anxiety, weakened immune system and cardiovascular problems.
Your home should be a calm and relaxing environment. Not a place that increases your stress levels.
In one of my favorite books Getting Things Done, David Allen talks about how incomplete tasks in your mind creates mental overload, which increases stress. You know something needs to be done and until it’s complete you will have a lingering feeling in the back of your mind.
Clutter in your home has the same effect. It’s a reminder that something needs to be done. You know you’re going to have to tidy it up at some point. And each time you see this clutter, your body will have a stressful response.
This clutter can be found anywhere in your home. Staying on top of it will help to reduce your stress.
Your pantry, refrigerator and cupboards can often be a major source of clutter. It’s easy for things to pile up that you never use. Take the time to go through them, throwing away anything you haven’t used recently.
I suggest making decluttering part of your routine. Schedule time for it or it will probably get left for too long.
You could spend two minutes every morning tidying up. Or schedule a pantry and refrigerator clean up once every month.
Once you remove the clutter, you will instantly feel more relieved and it will lower your stress hormones.
Use Chemical-Free Cleaning and Cosmetic Products
Toxins can disrupt your hormones, damage your DNA and organs, as well as a host of other negative effects.
But chances are, you’re absorbing these toxins every day at home. If you want a healthier home, limiting toxins and chemicals is one of the best steps you can take.
Culprits include cleaning products, shampoos, conditioner, hand soap, body wash, and laundry detergent. Mainstream brands found in supermarkets are usually loaded with potentially dangerous chemicals and toxins.
Some chemicals you should be particularly careful to avoid are:
Phthalates: Found in plastic wrap, nail polish and fake
fragrances, phthalates are linked to breast cancer.
Parabens: Can disrupt normal hormone production. These are often found in cosmetic products including shampoos, body wash and soap.
Triclosan: Found in toothpastes and cosmetic products. May weaken the immune system, lower thyroid hormone production and potentially alter hormone regulation.
Fragrance/parfum: Watch out for these words on ingredient lists of soaps and cosmetic products. ‘Fragrance’ often contain a host of toxic synthetic compounds that product manufacturers aren’t required to list.
Carefully check the ingredient list on all your cleaning and cosmetic products in your home. If you’ve never heard of an ingredient, try Google searching it and see what comes up.
Ideally, most of the ingredients in these products should be natural. Some brands like The Thankyou Co and Eco Store offer good products containing natural ingredients.
I also highly recommend Dr Bronner’s castile soap, which is made from natural and non-toxic ingredients. Castile soap can be used for many purposes including hand wash, dishwashing, house cleaner and even shampoo.
Use an Essential Oils Diffuser
An essential oil diffuser is easy to use, affordable and offers some incredible health benefits.
The practice of aromatherapy is said to help people who suffer from:
- Chronic stress
- Muscle pain
Using an essential oil diffuser in your bedroom at night before bed can help you get a good sleep and reduce stress levels.
Some commonly used essential oils to use in the diffuser include lavender, peppermint and frankincense. You can use just one essential oil, mix multiple oils together or use a blend.
Your home will have a large impact on your health. It’s worth taking some time and spending some money to create a healthy home.
There are many more ways to make your home healthier but these ideas will put you in a good position.