Natural Ways to Reduce Inflammation

Polyphenols are chemical compounds that come from plants. They are used by your gut bacteria to make beneficial substances for you, and they help to keep your gut bacteria balanced by some of their antimicrobial effects.

Polyphenols also help to prevent the damage of free radicals in the body. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage the arteries and cause serious health problems.  Several studies have been conducted in an attempt to learn which foods contribute the highest levels of polyphenols to our bodies.

Eating more polyphenol-rich foods has been shown to create an optimal gut bacterial balance, which, in turn, can reduce your risk for many diseases. If you have a decreased abundance of some beneficial gut bacteria, increasing your intake of polyphenol-rich foods is one thing you can do to improve your gut bacteria balance.

Most vegetables have polyphenols or other antioxidants, while onions and potatoes have moderate to high content of polyphenols.  Choose bright colors vegetables with all colors eaten each week, including yellow, blue, purple, red, orange,  white and green. Eating three to five servings of vegetables each day is essential for good health.

Eat These Vegetables

  • Artichoke – helps to fight breast cancer.
  • Olive (both black and green) – a natural polyphenolic anti-inflammatory agent uniquely found in extra virgin olive oil.
  • Red and Yellow onions – provide high bioavailability of the polyphenol hydroxybenzoic acid.
  • Potato extract have shown success with preventing weight gain.
  • Red lettuce  – has been shown to have the highest polyphenol content.
  • Asparagus The main components responsible for asparagus bioactivity are, carotenoids oligosaccharides and phenols (flavonoids) especially rutin, a compound with antioxidant properties.
  • Spinach – has Anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, also immune enhancers.
  • Shallot – higher in polyphenols than onions.
  • Spirulina – has neuroprotective effects.

Eat These Fruits

Organic blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, citrus fruits and other fruits as good sources of polyphenols. A study published in the March 2008 issue of “The Journal of Nutrition” found that dark grapes, bilberries, cherries, apples, dark plums, blackberries and blueberries were all good sources as well. Fruit juices, such as grape juice, contain especially high levels of polyphenols. All fruits contain polyphenols or other antioxidants, and a healthy diet should contain around three servings of colorful fruits each day.

This table shows the 48 foods and spices with highest amount of polyphenols. Eating these foods will help to neutralize free radicals in your body, reduce inflammation, and support gut health. If you have Gluten sensitivity, avoid foods that may contain gluten.

Screen Shot 2017-03-29 at 5.44.37 AM


Seven Ways to Kick Sugar Addiction


Sugar is an extremely addictive substance and giving it up isn’t always as easy as just making the mental commitment to stop it. If you want to give up your sugar cravings and stop the mood swings and insulin spikes, it’s important to understand what it does to our body.

Marketers figured this out a long time ago, that’s why sugar is added to almost every product. Sugar affects the same part of the brain as heroin. Having a little bit creates a craving for more and eventually stopping it causes withdrawal symptoms such as mood swings, insomnia, cravings, headaches, and fatigue. Sugar addiction leads to an autoimmune conditions, adrenal exhaustion, digestive disorders, obesity, and diabetes.

Did you know the average soda size in 1955 was only 7 ounces? How did we go from 7 to the 128 ounces in 62 years?

Everybody knows that sugar toxic for your health (find out why), but how can you stop this addiction without experiencing horrible withdrawal symptoms?

In this article I will share with you my secrets of breaking this distractive cycle of addiction so you can start lose weight, have more energy, sleep better, reduce pain, and have a stable mood.

Sugar is an ingredient in almost all conventional pasta sauce, hummus, sauces, salad dressings, bread, canned vegetables, yogurt, and even baby formula. No wonder we are so addicted to it!

Here are the different names for sugar that you may find on food labels (and in organic food too!):

  • fructose
  • maltodextrin
  • high fructose corn syrup
  • dextrose
  • maltose
  • sucrose
  • corn syrup solids
  • glucose/glucose syrup
  • sorbitol
  • mannitol
  • lactose
  • barley malt
  • corn syrup
  • cane juice
  • evaporated cane juice

Here are the methods I use with my clients to break their destructive sugar cravings:

Use Spices and Natural Sweeteners

Ceylon Cinnamon has been proven to stabilize blood sugar and to have a curing effect on the pancreas and high cholesterol. Remember that the the Cinnamon Cassia type that you find in the grocery stores in not the same as Ceylon Cinnamon.

Add cinnamon to your smoothie, coffee, hot chocolate, sweet potato, or other foods is a great way to gradually eliminate sugar from your diet. It tastes sugary and very satisfying when used in amount that works for you. Experiment with it!

Cumin Seeds helps to reduce sugar craving and speed up metabolism. One of the most important weight loss impacts of cumin seeds, according to scientific research, is that it can help your body to digest and absorb fats. When you exercise and eat healthy foods, cumin can maximize on your positive changes.

There are natural sweeteners that have a sweet taste without the negative impact on the body are coconut sugar, maple syrup, liquid stevia extract, and raw unprocessed honey.

Start using these spices and natural sweeteners and eventually you will crave less and less of processed sugar.

Decrease Caffeine

Did you know that coffee without breakfast leads to sugar craving throughout the day? In the morning healthy functioning adrenal glands are supposed to produce stress hormone cortisol, which helps you have energy for the day. But because your adrenals are not producing enough cortisol, you may feel tired and reach out for caffeine for a quick energy boost.

When you drink coffee, your adrenals work too hard to produce more adrenalin, which eventually lead to adrenal fatigue and burnout.

This adrenal spike pushes cortisol into your cells’ receptors and blocks insulin from entering them. When the cortisol production wears off, your cells become very low in insulin which creates the state of emergency for your body. This may cause mood swings, anxiety attacks, headaches, or depression.

If you don’t want to give up your morning coffee, enjoy it with the healthy breakfast which contains protein and fat. Adding collagen powder, bone broth protein, coconut powder, or grass-fed butter to black coffee will boost your brain and give you energy.

Collagen is rich in the amino acid glycine that has been scientifically studied to help reduce joint pain. Collagen also aids in healthy tissue repair and helps to decrease inflammation.

You may also try a roasted dandelion, chicory or green tea to lower your caffeine intake and to cut your caffeine dose slowly.

Take  Trace Minerals

Purified and reverse osmosis water often lacks trace minerals, which may cause sweet cravings. Trace minerals are essential to hydrate your cells and detoxify your body.

So resolve this deficiency, use the essential trace minerals supplement by adding a few drops to each glass. Drink sufficient amount of mineralized water daily: 1 liter (34 ounces) for every 50lbs of body weight daily. Drinking enough mineralized water will boost your energy, reduce sugar cravings, and support your digestive and immune systems.

I often use my favorite mineral Chromium as a part to my detoxification protocol when I work with clients with long-standing sugar and alcohol addictions.

Chromium regulates blood sugar and helps insulin transport glucose into cells where it can be used for energy. Chromium also appears to be involved in the metabolism of carbohydrate, fat, and protein. Two forms are commonly available as supplements are chromium picolinate and glucose-tolerance factor (GTF) chromium.

Take 200mcg of chromium GFT with breakfast and lunch for 4-6 weeks and you will be amazed how fast your sugar cravings disappear.

Eat Complex Carbohydrates

If you are severely addicted to sugar, try eating a sweet potato for breakfast or lunch for about a week. Because sweet potato is complex carbohydrate, this will help to slow down the release of glucose in your bloodstream, reduce energy imbalances and lower sugar cravings.

You may also include other complex carbohydrate such as beets, carrots, zucchini, parsnips, plantains, butternut squash, and yams with breakfast, lunch, and dinner regularly.

Get 7 Hours of Sleep

Studies have found a link between poor sleep and some serious health problems, such as heart disease, heart attacks, diabetes, and obesity.

If you’re getting seven or eight hours of sleep a night, I suggest that you turn off the lights or use the red or amber light bulbs, shut down your computer, meditate, and go to bed an hour early. There is no replacement for a good night sleep! If we don’t sleep enough, the body creates a balanced state by craving for energy; and sugar is fastest way to get that energy. If you have trouble sleeping, try taking Melatonin or Gaba 1 hour before bedtime.

The most amazing thing that works for 95% of my clients is binaural music generated by the GDV software. It balances chakras and, as an additional benefit, helps to fall asleep faster and have uninterrupted peaceful sleep. Many of my clients reported that they have great sleep the night after listening to the binaural music for only 10 minutes. (You can listen to a sample HERE).

Boost Your Serotonin Levels

Serotonin is called the “happiness hormone,” which can be increased through diet, exercise, and the good sleep schedule. When you have enough of serotonin, you are less likely to have cravings for sweets. Serotonin is a hormone that acts as a mood stabilizer. It helps to produce healthy sleeping patterns and improve your mood. Studies show that serotonin levels can have a positive effect on mood and behavior, and this chemical is associated with feeling good and living longer. Supplements, such as tryptophan, can increase your serotonin levels. Here are the Serotonin-rich foods that you can incorporate into your diet: eggs, pineapple, tofu, salmon, nuts and seeds, turkey.

Research shows a clear relationship between being exposed to bright light and serotonin levels. To get better sleep and to boost your mood, spend one hour a day outside on direct sunlight or use the Light Therapy.

More Ways to Reduce Sugar Cravings

  • Meditate Daily
  • Avoid processed Foods
  • Keep your blood sugar stable by eating more protein and fat
  • Eat more sea vegetables (they contain minerals)

I would love to hear about your ways to deal the sugar addiction. What do you do when you feel tired and fatigued? Please share your comments below.

Sources and references:


I have been sick…

I have been very sick since last Sunday…

It started as a general fatigue and no appetite.

Couple days later these symptoms followed by penetrating headache, dizziness, body aches, chills, and itching in the throat.

3 days later I was in bed with 103 degrees fever, severe cough and breathing difficulties. I couldn’t move my body, I couldn’t talk, eat, or respond to people.

My friend, who is a medical doctor, explained that I had Pneumonia – an infection that inflames the air sacs in the lungs, causing cough with phlegm or pus, fever, chills, and difficulty breathing. I also learned that bacteria, viruses and fungi can cause pneumonia.

My mom has been taking care of me all this time. She used only old Russian remedies, which she learned from her grandmother. This illness allowed me to spend several days with her…  it was nice to reconnect again.

After a week of being in bed, I am finally starting to feel better as my energy is slowly coming back. I didn’t use any drugs while I was sick, not even over the counter medications like Tylenol or Advil. I have to say that my body feels so much lighter; my mind is sharper than ever, my joint and muscle aches are gone, my eyes are brighter, and my skin is glowing. My digestive system was very happy to take a break from food.

And the most important, I am grateful for my body’s ability to recognize and destroy a virus that had an attempt to invade my body.

I know, this recovery and feeling of rebirth and complete renewal wouldn’t be possible if I  took antibiotics or other flu medications. I know the difference – I used to take flu medications in the past. They made me feel drowsy, nauseous, weak, and lethargic.

When I get sick, I use natural remedies and healing foods to support my recovery. When I do that, my body and mind feel restored and reinvigorated after illness. I have more energy and feel inspired and supported by the army of ‘dedicated inner soldiers’ – my immune system that fights for my health and always wins!

This inner trust into my body’s capacity to overcome any illness is very uplifting. I experience a deep gratitude and humbleness for being alive. Only 5 days ago my entire body was sick and inflamed when I was unable to take a breath without coughing. I felt scared, as I didn’t know what would happen to me tomorrow.

My renewed health and sense well-being is a reminder about the miraculous healing power that lives within me… and within all of us…

This experience makes me feel deeply inspired and wanting to continue my healing practice to help my clients achieve their wellness goals, creating a brighter future for themselves and their families.

P.S. Do you want to know about the powerful Russian remedies that I used to cure myself? HERE is the remedy that gave me energy and helped me to detox my liver.

What is your experience? What do you do when you get sick?  Please share your comments below….

Irina Maryanchik, EHH-MA, EEM-CP, PLT

#1 Russian Remedy for Cold and Flu


Did you know that Onions were used in Europe to successfully fight off the plague in the early 1900’s?

In Russia onions have been used to fight flu and cold we well as clear impurities around the house.

My grandmother used an onion compress for the chest and feet to cure coughs, fevers and flu. She also used the onion pad to reduce pain and inflammation in her joints.

My mother used onions to protect the body from viruses and colds. She used to say that white onions worked better than red onions. It was very common to have onions at a Russian home during winter flu season and to have cut onions in the room  an ill family member to relieve symptoms quickly and naturally.

If someone was sick, she would peel the onions and left them around the house as a preventive measure against flu and viruses. She would then replace the onions every 3 months.

If someone in your home becomes ill with a cough, flu, cold or fever, place a peeled white onion cut in half in a bowl in their room. The onion needs to be cut in half in order to expose the most amount of ‘healing power’ from its pungent odor.

It’s best not to leave a cut onion open in the fridge (to eat later) because as soon as an onion is cut, it will start to absorb bacteria.

If you cut an onion for a salad, either use the whole thing or put the other half in your garage or basement to absorb bad smells. Once the onion is in a salad in a sealed container, it is safe and can be eaten at a later time.

What Makes Onions So Effective

Onions are rich in sulfur-containing compounds that are responsible for their strong odor. Sulfur is a powerful detoxifying ingredient and helps the body to release toxins, especially for the liver. High sulfur foods help your body to detox from heavy metals like lead, arsenic and cadmium.

The onion is the richest dietary source of quercetin – a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to thin the blood, lower cholesterol, ward off blood clots, and fight asthma, chronic bronchitis, hay fever, diabetes, atherosclerosis and infections and is even linked to inhibiting certain types of cancer.

Onions are also naturally anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and antiviral. That, of course, is when you eat them.

Best Russian Cold/Flu Remedy

  • Cut one large white organic onion in quarters and place it in a food processor.
  • Add 3 tablespoons of raw, unfiltered organic honey and one organic lemon (cut it in half and remove seeds).
  • Blend this mixture together for 2-3 minutes until it becomes a paste-like consistency.
  • Eat one tablespoon every hour if you have flu or cold.
  • Or eat 1-2 tablespoons daily during the cold season to prevent getting sick.    

Sock Onion Remedy

  • Cut the white onion in half.
  • Place one half on the bottom of each foot so that the cut onion is against the skin.
  • Place a sock on top of the onion so it stays secure in place and leave overnight.
  • This remedy is excellent for flu and fever.

Let me know if any of these remedies worked for you. Leave your comments below.

How to Determine Your Food Sensitivity

According to the New England Journal of Medicine, we have finally crossed the line where for the first time in the history of the human race, our children will have a shorter projected life span than their parents. This means “our children are going to get sick earlier, get diagnosed with disease earlier, and die earlier than their parents from completely preventable diseases like diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. More kids are diagnosed with diabetes, ADHD, autism, and pediatric juvenile idiopathic arthritis than ever before.”

This is shocking, unfair, and simply unacceptable.

One of the reason we are getting sicker is constant inflammation in our body and toxicity in our environment. GMO, pesticides, processed food, and gluten play a major role in orchestrating inflammation and contributing to autoimmune illnesses.

If you have any food or gluten sensitivity, most likely you have a leaky gut syndrome and your body is attacking its own tissues. It will take years to diagnose, so don’t wait until you have a full-blown autoimmune. Most people do not experience any visible syndromes or might have mild discomfort, such as gas, headache, insomnia, indigestion, brain fog, or sneezing after eating, which they consider “normal”. It’s NOT NORMAL. 

If you have food intolerance symptoms, my recommendation is to remove gluten and dairy from your diet. If this doesn’t help, the next step would be to begin working with a certified Kinesiology or Healing Touch practitioner who is trained in Applied Kinesiology. Many chiropractors are trained in Kinesiology muscle testing, so if you can call the office to inquire.

Actually, it’s not that difficult to learn muscle testing, but it requires training and practicing on people. I teach these techniques in my workshops and use this chart as a guide. I use muscle testing with all my clients to find out which foods create reactivity (and inflammation).

Your Blood Tells All About You

Here is another way to determine early signs of autoimmune disease. You can order a blood test to test for food and gluten reactivity. Although there are many tests to check reactivity to wheat, they are all insufficient to meet the complexity of the wheat grain.

Wheat Sensitivity Testing

Wheat sensitivity is an autoimmune disorder when people respond to wheat ingestion by creating antibodies against components of wheat. Wheat sensitivity can be very difficult to identify. Wheat Zoomer blood test is designed to examine the most complex associations with wheat sensitivity known today. It measures a level of antibodies and identifies any of the following conditions which may be associated with your symptoms:

  • Leaky gut syndrome
  • Celiac disease
  • Wheat allergies
  • Vitamin D deficiencies
  • Gluten ataxia (neurological)
  • Dermatitis / eczema (skin)
  • Click here to view the Wheat Zoomer sample report.

A wheat genome comprises of 17 billion base pairs. This is much higher than even the human genome which comprises of 3 billion base pairs. The proteome (a complete set of proteins) coded by the wheat genome is enormous and there is currently no platform that can completely cover the ‘entire wheat proteome’.

Wheat Zoomer is the most comprehensive test covering the Wheat proteome which uses a sophisticated three step testing algorithm. All the key proteins of wheat are arrayed on the Vibrant Wheat Zoomer chip. These proteins include but are not limited to the following:

  • Alpha Gliadins
  • Alpha-Beta Gliadins
  • Gamma Gliadins
  • Omega Gliadins
  • LMW Glutenins
  • HMW Glutenins
  • Wheat Germ Agglutinins
  • Amylase/Protease Inhibitors
  • Farinins
  • Globulins
  • Peroxiredoxin
  • Serpins
  • My favorite test is called a Wheat Sensitivity Zoomer. I like is because it’s extremely detailed and accurate.

Wheat Zoomer uses 3 Step Algorithm

This 3 step process makes Wheat Zoomer extremely reliable and accurate:


  • Testing for IgA and IgG antibodies against Deamidated gliadin peptide and tissue transglutaminase.
  • This step enables diagnosis of gluten sensitive enteropathies including celiac disease.
  • If an individual is positive for this test then he/she is considered to have celiac disease or other gluten related enteropathy.
  • Subsequent testing might be done for Endomysial Antibody and/or genetic testing for celiac HLA association.


  • Testing for IgG antibodies to native gliadin is performed.
  • These antibodies are most sensitive markers in gluten sensitivity including extra-intestinal manifestations.
  • If an individual is positive for this test then he/she is considered likely to have non-celiac gluten sensitivity.


  • Testing for IgE antibodies for wheat allergy is performed.
  • If the result is positive then the individual is diagnosed to be allergic to wheat

Wheat Zoomer tests for reactivity to more wheat peptides than any other diagnostic tool available to date. This test is used by the functional medicine practitioners to determine celiac disease and gluten sensitivity.

Image Source:

If you suspect gluten sensitivity, you can order your tests online. Vibrant Wellness laboratory performs a comprehensive blood analysis and provides results within 5-7 business days. You can work with your doctor or order them yourself. The results can save you money and help to avoid many years of unnecessary suffering and lost productivity.

If you don’t have access to a phlebotomist, please contact us. We will make arrangements to send a phlebotomists to your home to perform a blood draw at your location. After you receive your results, a licensed dietitian will assist you with interpreting them.

  • Click HERE to view the Wheat Zoomer Informational packet.
  • Click HERE to view the Wheat Zoomer sample report.
  • Click HERE to order the Food Sensitivity panel.

Contact us for more information:, 732-623-9846.


Harmful Substances That Affect Your Hormones and Lead to Cancer

Screen Shot 2016-09-01 at 6.26.24 AM

Dangerous Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that increase production of certain hormones and decrease production of others. They imitate your body’s natural hormones, turn one hormone into another and interfere with hormone communication throughout the entire body, telling cells to die prematurely. They can compete with essential nutrients, bind to other hormones, and accumulate in organs that produce your hormones.

Here is the list of the worst hormone disruptors and some tips on how to avoid them.

  • BPA
  • LEAD


Bisphenol A, or BPA, is an industrial chemical used to make common synthetics. It is a synthetic estrogen that can disrupt the endocrine system, even in small amounts. It has been linked to a wide variety of ills, including infertility, breast and reproductive system cancer, obesity, diabetes, early puberty, behavioral changes in children and resistance to chemotherapy treatments.

Completely eliminating contact with BPA is virtually impossible, but you can reduce your family’s exposure to this chemical.

How to avoid BPA?

  • Buy baby formula in plastic, glass or other non-metal containers. When possible, choose powdered formula because the packaging contains less BPA and because the powder is diluted with fresh water. If your baby needs liquid formula, look for brands sold in plastic or glass containers.
  • Limit your consumption of canned food, particularly if you are pregnant.
  • Look for canned food labeled as BPA-free or buy food packed in glass jars or waxed cardboard cartons.
  • Buy fresh instead of canned food. Research which companies don’t use BPA or similar chemicals in their products.
  • Say no to receipts, since thermal paper is often coated with BPA.
  • Avoid plastics marked with a “PC,” for polycarbonate, or recycling label #7. Not all of these plastics contain BPA, but many do – and it’s better safe than sorry when it comes to keeping synthetic hormones out of your body. For more tips, check out


Dioxins can disrupt the delicate ways that both male and female sex hormone signaling occurs in the body. Recent research has shown that exposure to low levels of dioxin in the womb and early in life can both permanently affect sperm quality and lower the sperm count in men during their prime reproductive years. But that’s not all! Dioxins are very long-lived, build up both in the body and in the food chain, are powerful carcinogens and can also affect the immune and reproductive systems.

Nine animal studies conducted between 1973 and 2008 show that dioxin is harmful at levels even lower than in the human studies on which EPA based its proposal. Those human studies, conducted in 2008, explored the toxic legacy of a 1976 chemical plant explosion in Seveso, Italy, which exposed thousands of people to dioxin in unprecedented intensity and left large quantities of the chemical in the soil.

Ways to avoid Dioxin

  • Since the ongoing industrial release of dioxin has meant that the American food supply is widely contaminated, It’s difficult to avoid Dioxin.
  • Products including meat, fish, milk, eggs and butter are most likely to be contaminated, but you can cut down on your exposure by eating fewer animal products.


Atrazine is widely used on the majority of corn crops in the United States, and consequently it’s a pervasive drinking water contaminant. Atrazine has been linked to breast tumors, delayed puberty and prostate inflammation in animals, and some research has linked it to prostate cancer in people. Researchers have found that exposure to even low levels of the herbicide atrazine can turn male frogs into females that produce completely viable eggs.

Ways to avoid atrazine

  • Buy organic produce and get a drinking water filter certified to remove atrazine.


Studies have shown that chemicals called phthalates can trigger what’s known as “death-inducing signaling” in testicular cells, making them die earlier than they should. Studies have linked phthalates to hormone changes, lower sperm count, less mobile sperm, birth defects in the male reproductive system, obesity, diabetes and thyroid irregularities.

Ways to avoid phthalates

  • Avoid plastic food containers, children’s toys (some phthalates are already banned in kid’s products), and plastic wrap made from PVC, which has the recycling label #3.
  • Some personal care products also contain phthalates, so read the labels and avoid products that simply list added “fragrance,” since this catch-all term sometimes means hidden phthalates.


Perchlorate is a component in rocket fuel, contaminates much of our produce and milk, according to EWG and government test data. When perchlorate gets into your body it competes with the nutrient iodine, which the thyroid gland needs to make thyroid hormones. Basically, this means that if you ingest too much of it you can end up altering your thyroid hormone balance. This is important because it’s these hormones that regulate metabolism in adults and are critical for proper brain and organ development in infants and young children.

Ways to avoid Perchlorate

  • Reduce perchlorate in your drinking water by installing a reverse osmosis filter.
  • Make sure you are getting enough iodine in your diet. Eating iodized salt is one good way.

Fire Retardants

In 1999, Swedish scientists studying women’s breast milk discovered that it contained an endocrine-disrupting chemical found in fire retardants, and the levels had been doubling every five years since 1972. These incredibly persistent chemicals, known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers or PBDEs, have since been found to contaminate the bodies of people and wildlife around the globe – even polar bears.

These chemicals can imitate thyroid hormones in our bodies and disrupt their activity. That can lead to lower IQ, among other significant health effects. While several kinds of PBDEs have now been phased out, this doesn’t mean that toxic fire retardants have gone away. PBDEs are incredibly persistent, so they’re going to be contaminating people and wildlife for decades to come.

Ways to avoid retardants

  • Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, which can cut down on toxic-laden house dust
  • Avoid reupholstering foam furniture
  • Be aware when replacing old carpet (the padding underneath may contain PBDEs).


Lead harms almost every organ system in the body and has been linked to a staggering array of health effects, including permanent brain damage, lowered IQ, hearing loss, miscarriage, premature birth, increased blood pressure, kidney damage and nervous system problems.

But few people realize that one other way that lead may affect your body is by disrupting your hormones. In animals, lead has been found to lower sex hormone levels. Research has shown that lead can disrupt the hormone signaling that regulates the body’s major stress system (called the HPA axis). You probably have more stress in your life than you want, so the last thing you need is something making it harder for your body to deal with it – especially when this stress system is implicated in high blood pressure, diabetes, anxiety and depression.

Ways to avoid lead

  • Keep your home clean and well maintained.
  • Crumbling old paint is a major source of lead exposure, so get rid of it carefully.
  • A good water filter can also reduce your exposure to lead in drinking water.
  • Studies have shown that children with healthy diets absorb less lead.


Arsenic is a toxin is lurking in your food and drinking water. If you eat enough of it, arsenic will kill you outright. In smaller amounts, arsenic can cause skin, bladder and lung cancer. Arsenic messes with your hormones, it interferes with normal hormone functioning in the glucocorticoid system that regulates how our bodies process sugars and carbohydrates. Disrupting the glucocorticoid system has been linked to weight gain/loss, protein wasting, immunosuppression, insulin resistance (which can lead to diabetes), osteoporosis, growth retardation and high blood pressure.

Ways to avoid Arsenic

  • Use a water filter that lowers arsenic levels.


Mercury is a naturally occurring but toxic metal, gets into the air and the oceans primarily though burning coal. Eventually, it can end up on your plate in the form of mercury-contaminated seafood. Pregnant women are the most at risk from the toxic effects of mercury, since the metal is known to concentrate in the fetal brain and can interfere with brain development.

Mercury is also known to bind directly to one particular hormone that regulates women’s menstrual cycle and ovulation, interfering with normal signaling pathways. Hormones don’t work so well when they’ve got mercury stuck to them. The metal may also play a role in diabetes, since mercury has been shown to damage cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, which is critical for the body’s ability to metabolize sugar.

Ways to avoid Mercury

  • Avoid eating fish. If you still want to eat sustainable seafood with lots of healthy fats but without a side of toxic mercury, wild salmon and farmed trout are good choices.

Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs)

The perfluorinated chemicals used to make non-stick cookware can stick to you. Perfluorochemicals are so widespread and extraordinarily persistent that 99 percent of Americans have these chemicals in their bodies. One particularly notorious compound called PFOA has been shown to be completely resistant to biodegradation. PFOA doesn’t break down in the environment – ever.

Even though the chemical was banned after decades of use, it will be showing up in people’s bodies for countless generations to come. Since PFOA exposure has been linked to decreased sperm quality, low birth weight, kidney disease, thyroid disease and high cholesterol, among other health issues. Scientists are still figuring out how PFOA affects the human body, but animal studies have found that it can affect thyroid and sex hormone levels.

Ways to avoid PFCs

  • Skip non-stick pans as well as stain and water-resistant coatings on clothing, furniture and carpets.

Organophosphate pesticides

Neurotoxic organophosphate compounds that the Nazis produced in huge quantities for chemical warfare during World War II were luckily never used. After the war ended, American scientists used the same chemistry to develop a long line of pesticides that target the nervous systems of insects.

Despite many studies linking organophosphate exposure to effects on brain development, behavior and fertility, they are still among the more common pesticides in use today. A few of the many ways that organophosphates can affect the human body include interfering with the way testosterone communicates with cells, lowering testosterone and altering thyroid hormone levels.

Ways to avoid pesticides

  • Buy organic produce to avoid Pesticides in Produce
  • Buy only fruits and vegetables that have the fewest pesticide residues.

Glycol Ethers

Studies of painters have linked exposure to glycol ethers to blood abnormalities and lower sperm counts. And children who were exposed to glycol ethers from paint in their bedrooms had substantially more asthma and allergies. The European Union says that some of these chemicals “may damage fertility or the unborn child.”

Ways to avoid glycol ethers

  • Avoid cleaning products with ingredients such as 2-butoxyethanol (EGBE) and methoxydiglycol (DEGME).