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  • Jan Clementson

How to clean up the air in your home for greater weight-loss?

Did you know that the air quality inside of your home can have a dramatic impact on your weight, as well as your health? A recent report from the Royal College of Physicians suggests that indoor air pollution has been overlooked when considering environmental toxicity and the effects that it can have on health. According to a 2019 report, almost half of UK homes have high levels of indoor pollution. Since we spend around 90% of our time indoors, this is a concerning thought.

The Link Between Air Quality and Weight

We tend to think of symptoms realting to environmental toxins as allergenic or respiratory conditions but these toxins can have a significant impact on your weight causing you to bloat up, gain weight and not be able to lose it There has been quite a lot of research over the past few years linking such environmental chemicals with weight gain and the whole umbrella of health conditions collectively called "metabolic syndrome". These include obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. These toxins are especially good at disrupting hormone functions, energy production and your ability to control your weight. Further information on this impact on metabolic health can be found in my book The Energy Solution.

Common Sources of indoor Air Pollution

  • Tobacco smoke

  • Carbon monoxide

  • Household cleaning products

  • Synthetic home fragrances and air fresheners

  • Building materials

  • Emissions from cooking and log fires

  • Off-gassing from home furnishings, including carpets, curtains, memory foam mattresses and vinyl flooring

  • Off-gassing from paints, furniture and fittings (such as MDF products)

  • Allergens from pets, house dust mites and moulds - mould and mycotoxin exposure in the home has exploded since the pandemic

  • Emissions from outdoors infiltrating the home

The Role For Air-Purifying Plants

With National Houseplant Week running throughout this week, I thought it would be a great way to tie in the humble houseplant with your weight loss goal. So, what is it about houseplants that can help with weight loss? Well, it all comes down to the quality of the air in your home. Back in 1989 NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) conducted a research project called the Clean Air Study to research ways to clean the air in sealed environments, such as space stations. In addition to oxygenating the environment through photosynthesis, certain common indoor plants were found to provide a natural way of removing some of the common pollutants found in modern homes. Other studies since then have added other plants to the original list. Here is a list of the most common plants deemed to be the most beneficial at air purification:

  • Snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata laurentii)

  • English ivy (Hedera helix)

  • Peace lily (Spathiphyllum 'Mauna Loa')

  • Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema modestum)

  • Bamboo palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii)

  • Red-edged dracaena, marginata (Dracaena marginata)

  • Weeping fig (Ficus benjamina)[5]

  • Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium)

  • Boston Fern

  • Spider Plant

  • Parlour Palm

  • Aloe Vera

Case Study: Amanda

My client Amanda, is a great case in point. She came to me for help with her weight, amongst other things. One of the key things that I picked up on from our inital consultation was her use of artificial plug-in home fragrances. Amanda had several dogs and she was very conscious about the smells that they can cause in the home and sought to remedy this with numerous of these plug-in fragrances all over the house. Her son had repeatedly complained that he thought they were making him ill but she dismissed this. However, I did agree with her son. Together, we started to clean up her home environment as well as clean up her diet. Out went the synthetic fragrances and in came natural essentials oils diffused through the air via simple reed diffusers as well as electric diffusers. So, we took away a major source of toxicity in the home and then we put in some houseplants that would help to purify the air. Within a month, Amanda had lost almost one stone in weight.

Top 3 Tips for Cleaning Up Your Home Environment

Here are my top 3 tips for getting you started with your home environment clean-up.

  1. Ventilate, ventilate, ventilate! - Make sure that your home is properly ventilated by opening windows and allowing fresh air into your home every day - even when cold.

  2. Air fresheners & cleaning products - switch to natural products. Essential oils are good air fresheners and make your home smell beautiful. Experiment with different scents. There are many natural cleaning products in supermarkets these days such as Ecover or Method or you could make your own using a combination of essential oils, baking soda, soda crystals and white wine vinegar.

  3. Buy an air-purifying plant - choose one of the plants from the above list and add to your home. Start with one plant and then expand your range.

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