When it comes to environmental pollutants, most people would recognize the dangers associated with pesticides, exhaust fumes, and contaminated water. But, even to this day, the general population is not aware of the toxic metals in our food supply – mainly because there are no labeling requirements.
In reality, one of the greatest threats to our health is the overabundance of toxic metals found in our food such as, lead, mercury, arsenic and cadmium – which can damage the central nervous system and many organ systems.
Although heavy metals seem ubiquitous, there are many things we can do to protect ourselves from harm. Naturally, to avoid heavy metal toxicity and improve your health, eating a diet mainly comprised of unprocessed foods is a good place to start. Simply put, commercially-produced, processed foods put you at a greater health risk – especially when you consider the lack of nutrients found in heavily processed foods. Obviously, another intelligent strategy is to consume high-quality herbs and nutritional supplements for their health protective properties.
Best ways to protect yourself from heavy metal toxicity
Take a careful look at your diet to make sure that it supplies all of the essential nutrients you need. An adequate diet not only keeps you from developing deficiencies, but also reduces your risk of being affected by heavy metals. Purify your drinking water and immediate air space, avoid the use of toxic personal care products and, above all, ask questions before you buy any product or food item.
Don’t be embarrassed to call the manufacturer, of your favorite foods, and ask “have you tested your food for heavy metals?” This may feel like a hassle but, if you’re dealing with a chemical sensitivity or serious health issue – the effort is well worth the reward. Just be warned, most companies are NOT testing – which should only motivate you to buy local (organically-grown) foods, as much as possible or purchase your food from a reputable source that satisfies your concerns.
Your body absorbs heavy metals through the same transport mechanisms it uses for certain nutrients, such as calcium. For example, when you’re deficient in iron, or zinc, your body is better able to take up heavy metals such as cadmium. A balanced diet ought to include lots of organic fruits and vegetables, beans, whole grains, small amounts of pasture-raised (grass-fed) dairy or meat (if you like), nuts and seeds. Naturally, to reduce your absorption of unwanted contaminants – a diet rich in fiber, dark leafy green vegetables like, kale and collard greens plus the regular consumption of superfoods like, chlorella and Hawaiian spirulina are a wise choice.
And another thing, often overlooked, is your cookware – which may be leaching toxic metals into your meals. For best results, you may want to invest in a ceramic cookware set. Often said, but worth repeating, a child’s greatest exposure to metals come in the form of vaccines and mercury-based fillings. To avoid exposure, find a healthcare provider you can trust.
And last, but not least, exercise (or use a far-infared sauna) on a regular basis – because sweating is one of the best ways to rid yourself of toxic debris.
Nutritional supplements designed to protect our health
Unfortunately, your diet may not be sufficient to promote optimal health, and you may not be able to avoid all exposure to heavy metals. However, a variety of nutritional supplements can help.
- Fish oil supplements can provide the essential fatty acids you body needs – but be sure to ask your provider about heavy metal testing. A reputable company should be able to provide results.
- Selenium supplementation can help lower the effects of toxic heavy metals such as cadmium, thallium and mercury.
Silicon dissolved in mineral water can help your body excrete metals like, cadmium, mercury and lead.
- Vitamin C and E are powerful antioxidants that protect against oxidative damage from heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium and lead.
- Probiotics are health-promoting bacteria that can trap and metabolize heavy metals, such as cadmium and lead, to prevent them from having as great of an effect on your health. Best food sources include raw sauerkraut, kombucha and other fermented products like, tempeh and miso.
Every year, we see environmental toxins becoming a greater health concern – especially since we know these substances bioaccumulate and cause serious health problems such as nausea and vomiting, anemia, cancer, heart disease plus many brain disorders like, dementia. Making better food choices and engaging in healthier lifestyle habits will dramatically reduce the risk to our health.