Everyone knows that it’s important to stay healthy, and part of being healthy often means buying new things – comfortable work clothes, workout equipment, healthy groceries and so on. What many people forget is that the healthier option also means getting rid of certain things that are detrimental to your health and wellbeing. You can start improving your health by throwing these 13 items in the trash.
1. Old Plastic Containers
Check all of your old plastic containers and throw away any hard, translucent plastic containers that have “PC” (Polycarbonate) printed on them, as well as containers with scratches on them. These containers may be made from Bisphenol A, which is a substance that emits toxic fumes when heated. Experts recommend using glass containers to heat up any foodstuffs.
2. Air Fresheners
The chemical that causes the air freshener’s scent to last longer is called “Phthalate”. In recent years, air freshener manufacturers have been reducing their usage of this chemical, which was shown to be harmful to the development of the reproductive system in humans and other mammals. Instead, you can make your own air fresheners at home.
3. Antibacterial Soap
Antibacterial soap doesn’t kill more bacteria than regular soap, and a 2014 FDA report warns that it may be unsafe for use. The active chemical in the soap, called “Triclosan”, was found to change the normal hormone levels in mammals, and may facilitate the development of antibiotics resistant bacteria. Go back to using regular soap – it’s just as effective, but without the dangerous side effects.
4. Diet Soft Drinks
If you’re trying to lose weight, drinking “diet” sodas may be the worst thing for you. Nature Magazine published research findings that show that artificial sweeteners like sucralose, aspartame and saccharin cause changes in the beneficial bacteria that lives in our guts and aid in regulating our metabolism. They also reduce our body’s ability to process glucose. These side effects play a significant factor in raising the risk of developing diabetes.
5. Old Sneakers
Experts maintain that running shoes should be replaced after 300-400 miles (500-650km). For people who run an average of 30 miles a week, that means replacing your shoes every three months. Worn shoes lose their shock absorbing qualities and can cause damage to your knees and spine. If you don’t regularly run, replace your shoes as soon as you notice the soles are worn out.
6. Worn out Toothbrushes
If you brush your teeth twice a day as your dentist recommends, your toothbrushes wear out pretty quickly. On average, it takes two months of use to wear out a toothbrush, and experts agree that they should be replaced every three months. Worn out brushes lose their efficacy in the fight against tooth decay.
7. Clothes You Don’t Wear Anymore
Have a look in your closet and ask yourself when was the last time you wore each item. People who have lost or gained weight tend to keep their old clothes, fearing they may need them again in the future. Seeing these items can cause anxiety and even panic when preparing to go out, so getting rid of them can save you lots of heartache.
8. Old Liquid Makeup
Any liquid makeup (and mascara in particular) may become a habitat for bacteria. It is highly advised that you throw away any liquid makeup items after three months from the moment you opened them. By using old products, you actually apply new bacteria to your skin, which can lead to zits and infections.
9. Dirty Contact-Lens Cases
The #1 cause of eye infections is using a dirty contact lens case. Replace the case every three months and change the solution on a daily basis. Not following these rules can lead to eye ulcers and various other infections that can damage your eyes.
10. Old Sunscreen
Believe it or not, even sunscreen has an expiration date and ignoring it can be a mistake. The expiration date signifies the time period after which the active chemicals that prevent harmful rays from damaging your skin, become inactive. After that time, no matter how much sunscreen you apply, it won’t protect your skin. Without adequate protection, you’re left exposed to premature aging, sun damage, and skin cancer.
11. Worn out Bras
When was the last time you bought a new bra? The elastic band in bras stretches with time (especially in the washing machine), making the bra less efficient at providing support. It is recommended that you replace your bra the moment it stops being supportive. Following this simple rule can reduce back pain, and help slow down the aging process.
Margarine contains Trans Fats, which raise your LDL levels. At the same time, moderate use of butter has been shown to be beneficial for your health. In 2013, the US National Health Institute found that people who eat butter generally live longer than those who eat margarine.
13. Plastic Cutting Boards
Regular use of plastic cutting boards leaves nicks and grooves in the material. These grooves in the material become a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and fungi, all of which are hard to remove. It’s recommended that you use a wooden board since they often have sap inside, which is a natural antimicrobial substance that kills bacteria in the wood.