Tuesday, 28 June 2016

7 Foods That Guard Your Body From Everyday Toxins

Our bodies are exposed to a lot of contaminants on a daily basis. When we sit in traffic, we're breathing in air pollution; when we eat seafood, we're sometimes exposed to mercury; when we drink water, we might have to worry about lead contamination; when we choose milk alternatives, we need to check for carrageenan. Luckily, there are some foods that can help fortify your body's natural defenses against these toxins. Click through the slideshow to see what they are.


1. Broccoli Sprouts
A study performed in the Yangtze River Delta region of China, an area with severe air pollution, found that consuming a beverage made from broccoli sprouts may lessen the long-term health risks associated with air pollution. According to the study, broccoli sprouts are especially high in glucoraphanin, a type of antioxidant that can promote excretion of some airborne toxins from the body. The sprout juice is highly concentrated, and study authors say more research is needed to determine if the sprouts are as effective at lower concentrations. For now, it wouldn't hurt to add them to more of your sandwiches and salads or even in green smoothie recipes for a potentially toxin-blocking benefit.

2. Kale
People who have asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are more vulnerable to air pollution if they're low on vitamin C, according to a UK study. The authors recommend eating lots of fruits and veggies that are rich in vitamin C, like kale, to help bulk up your defenses.


3. Olive Oil
Move over, fish oil supplements. A study comparing the effectiveness of fish oil and olive oil capsules at guarding against air pollutants found that olive oil was the clear winner. Breathing polluted air is hard on the body, and it can trigger high blood pressure, which can potentially lead to heart attack and stroke. After taking olive oil supplements, participants had an easier time breathing, thanks to improved blood vessel function and more tPA in the blood, a compound that dissolves blood clots.

4. Sunflower Seeds
Researchers at King's College London believe that vitamin E can improve lung function and help mitigate the damage done by particulate matter, one of the most harmful forms of air pollution. Sunflower seeds are one of the highest vitamin E foods, according to Harvard's TH Chan School of Public Health; add them to your salads or tote them around for a healthy midday snack.


5. Green Tea
Research shows that green tea can offer relief from airborne allergens like pet dander, pollen, and certain toxic chemicals. Scientists think that green tea's main antioxidant, EGCG, may block histamines and immunoglobulin E, the compounds responsible for triggering reactions.

6. Probiotic Foods
Heavy metals like lead and mercury pollute our air, water, and food. Researchers are now looking into how certain types of probiotic bacteria, like lactobacillus, can help detoxify these contaminants and prevent your body from absorbing them. Cue the sauerkraut.


7. Milk
According to the Massachusetts Department of Health and Human Services, eating a healthy diet high in calcium can help prevent lead from being absorbed by the body. Load up on dairy and other high-calcium foods like leafy greens.

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