Realize it or not, most people are exposed to heavy metals on a regular basis. They include: cadmium, lead and mercury, to name a few of the most prevalent ones.
Dealing with heavy metals requires a two-fold approach: reduce your exposure and increase the foods that help purge them from your body.
REDUCE YOUR HEAVY METAL EXPOSURE
First, it is imperative to reduce your exposure to metals. While it is not possible to eliminate them altogether, we can make a concerted effort to minimize our exposure to them. There are many common sources of heavy metals. Here are some of the most common ones:
Cadmium is potentially toxic to every bodily system because it interferes with critical mineral absorption in the body. Minerals like calcium, iron and zinc are needed for a healthy immune system, brain, bones, nerves and much more, so interfering with their absorption can cause serious health issues. Cadmium is found in: black rubber, burned motor oil, some ceramics, cigarettes, some drinking water, fertilizers, some floor coverings, pesticides, soft drinks (from vending machines with cadmium in the pipes) and tires.
Once lead gets into the body it can be difficult to remove, so it is essential to reduce exposure. Once inside the body it can interfere with brain and mental functions. It is most commonly found in: canned food, ceramic dishes, cigarette smoke (first or secondhand), lead candle wicks, paint in older homes, water pipes, some municipal water supplies, some chocolate and vehicle emissions.
Mercury is a well-established nervous system toxin that can have damaging effects on the brain, mental functioning and the nervous system. It is most commonly found in older dental fillings, some fish (particularly farmed fish) and in most vaccines. The fish that tend to regularly show up as having the highest levels of mercury in them include: mackerel, farmed salmon, shark, swordfish, tilefish and tuna. Additionally, it is emitted into the environment from coal-fired power plants.
FOODS THAT HELP PURGE HEAVY METALS
There are many foods that can help purge metals. Start by eating a high fiber diet since fiber can bind to some metals to help escort them out of the body. That means eating more legumes like black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, navy beans, pinto beans and many others. Strive to get at least a half-cup to one-cup of beans in your diet every day.
Apples, citrus fruits and berries tend to be high in a particular type of fiber known as pectin. Add more apples, oranges, grapefruit, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and other foods to your daily diet. Choose organic options or you may be adding more heavy metals from pesticides into your body.
Other foods that can help purge heavy metals include: chlorella, cilantro, garlic, green tea, probiotic-rich foods like sauerkraut or kimchi, seaweed, spirulina, tomatoes and turmeric. Some of these foods bind to metals to escort them out of your body while others like garlic contain important sulfur compounds that help to clear liver pathways to ensure efficient detoxification systems, and therefore improved likelihood of removal from the body.
Equally important, you’ll want to reduce the amount of processed and fatty foods you eat since metals tend to accumulate in fat. So that includes: most meat and dairy, as well as fried foods.
Eliminating heavy metals from your body is not an overnight process. It takes time and patience, and persistence through metal avoidance and a healthy diet with a focus on metal-eliminating foods.