Plastics and Microplastics - A Gut Check!

Plastic has been one of the most amazing inventions but we are realizing slowly that it poses a threat to our environment AND to our health in so many ways.  Plastic has no natural breakdown process - it doesn't rot, mold or degrade in any way and will last in our landfills almost forever!

Did you know:
▶️ Plastics break into TINY pieces called MICROPLASTICS? Plastic will shatter and break into shards called MICROPLASTICS which leach into soil and water creating plastic contamination all over the place. These are the breakdown products of plastic after exposure to heat, water and chemicals. The names of just a FEW microplastics are .... polypropylene (PP), polyurethane and NYLON.
▶️ Chemicals such as styrene, toxic metals, phthalates, and bisphenol A, may be absorbed on the surface of microplastics. Microplastics are found in groundwater, oceans and in the soil just about everywhere in the world.
▶️ Microplastics are found in stool samples from people all over the world 🌍

Back to our GUT HEALTH, microplastics: 
▶️ Change the way fats (lipids) are handled by our intestines and liver creating metabolic
▶️ Tips the balance in favor of the "unhealthy" bacteria in the gut creating inflammation
▶️ Decrease in the "good" bacteria in the gut increases susceptibility to illnesses

So that's some of the BAD 🤢 NEWS. It definitely feels discouraging and difficult!
What can we do?
✅ FIRST AND FOREMOST, avoid buying plastic as much as possible. Most plastic cannot be recycled - that little ♻️ symbol gets you thinking that it can be! Most plastic with numbers higher than 2 end up in the landfill!
✅ Heat food on the stove or in the oven. Using plastic especially in a microwave creates lots of plastic breakdown which we end up eating.
✅ Hand wash plastic with hot soapy water. This will clean dishes but not breakdown the plastic. Try not to use plastic containers to store food if possible.
✅ Using bottles for your little one? Put formula or breastmilk in glass bottles
✅ Choose wood toys to avoid the breakdown that occurs as babies and young children put EVERYTHING in their mouths and chew releasing many microplastics in saliva

Plastic products have their place and are relied on for many reasons.

  • In low income communities, plastic makes life more affordable and accessible
  • In healthcare, plastics keep the environment sterile and safe
  • Reliable for food and disaster relief

Saving plastic use for these purposes is great and reduces plastic use when alternatives can be utilized. There are LOTS of things we can do in our homes and in our diet to limit our exposure to the plastic problem ~ you just have to understand the problem to take action!



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