Ways to Eliminate Heavy Metals from the Body Naturally

A variety of heavy metals, including mercury, cadmium, arsenic, lead, etc., are present inside our bodies. These heavy metals enter our bodies through the food we consume, water we drink, pollution in our atmosphere, etc. Some of these heavy metals such as iron, zinc and copper are good for our bodies, but in very small amounts. If too much of these heavy metals accumulate inside our bodies, it can lead to heavy metal poisoning. Wilson’s disease is one such example, which hampers proper elimination of copper from the body resulting in accumulation in the organs, especially the liver and the brain and could potentially have life-threatening consequences.

If our bodies, and particularly our organs, are exposed to heavy metals for prolonged periods of time, it would lead several damaging side effects. It could be something simple like constant, irritating headaches or something more complicated and serious like organ damage. Overexposure to heavy metals has also been documented to cause thyroid problems, neurological issues, birth defects, etc. The persistence of symptoms such as the aforementioned headaches, abdominal pain, abdominal cramping, vomiting, nausea, fatigue, diarrhea, respiratory issues, etc. is a possible indication that your body is overexposed to heavy metals. If the overexposure turns into chronic heavy metal poisoning, then some of the symptoms would be chronic infections, tingling and/or burning sensations in the body, visual side effects, brain fog, insomnia, paralysis, etc.

Chelation therapy can eliminate these heavy metals from the body. This medical procedure involves the intravenous injection of a chelation agent into the bloodstream. This agent binds with the toxins in the bloodstream (in this case the heavy metals) and removes them through the kidneys. However, one issue with this procedure is that the kidney is put under a lot of strain and could even be damaged in the process. In addition to this, while pharmaceutical chelation using agents such as calcium disodium EDTA (CaNa2EDTA), dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA) and dimercaptopropane sulfonate (DMPS) are effective in excreting lead, mercury, arsenic and cadmium from the body, there have been documented cases of death and other major issues post the administering of chelation therapy using these agents. The other thing you should be wary of are over-the-counter (OTC) chelation products. The US Food and Drug Administration has not approved any such product for OTC sales. All chelation products approved by the FDA require a valid prescription.

If the concentration of heavy metals in the body is particularly high, then chelation therapy might be unavoidable, but nonetheless it’s a short-term fix at best. You will have to complement it with dietary changes and lifestyle changes to ensure that your body isn’t overexposed to heavy metals in the future. If currently you aren’t suffering from any of the severe symptoms mentioned earlier, then you should give chelation therapy using chemicals a miss. There are a number of natural edible items that function as natural chelators or natural chelation agents. You will have to include these in your diet and over a period of time the toxins or heavy metals will be eliminated from the body. This will take longer, but if you integrate these food items into diet permanently, then the benefits will be long lasting.

Food Items That Are Natural Chelators

You don’t need to depend of pharmaceutical chelators. There are a number of vegetables, fruits, plants and other food items that are natural chelators and can eliminate heavy metals from the body.

Garlic

It’s an excellent natural item that can help remove some of the heavy metals in the body. Since it also adds flavour to the dish you’re eating, it makes sense to incorporate garlic into your diet. Ideally, you should be having it in the raw form, but many people dislike garlic in the raw form because it it leaves a bad taste in the mouth, similar to onions. It’s a fairly versatile seasoning ingredient and can blend in with a variety of cuisines and elevate the flavor levels.

Cilantro

Cilantro, or coriander, is a herb that’s regarded as an effective natural chelation agent. You can add a bunch of coriander in your green smoothies or juices and you can incorporate it in your meals or add it as a garnish. A study to determine the effect of coriander in extracting lead from the body was conducted on kids between the ages of three and seven. It was a randomized, case-controlled clinical trial with a total of 32 kids. The parents of these kids had been exposed to lead in their respective employment. They were divided into two groups and for a period of 14 days one group was given coriander extract and the other a placebo. Urine and blood samples were tested before and after the study and the results indicated that there wasn’t a marked difference in lead extraction between the two groups. However, anecdotal evidence has suggested that coriander or cilantro does function as a natural chelator.

Spirulina

This is an edible algae that’s easily identifiable due to its dark green color and distinctive odor. Spirulina powder is commercially available and so is spirulina drink. It contains protein and essential amino acids that are good for the body, along with beneficial metals such as iron and manganese. It also contain vitamin B, folic acid and selenium. It’s particularly effective in extracting heavy metals accumulated in the nervous system and liver.

Chlorella

Chlorella is another edible algae that helps get rid of heavy metals from our bodies. It’s a water-grown algae and is rich with chlorophyll. It forms strong bonds with heavy metals in the body and eliminates them from the system. Chlorella is also known to increase the oxygen saturation levels in the bloodstream and cleanse the blood.

Atlantic Dulse

From algae we move to seaweed. This edible seaweed is an excellent chelator of heavy metals such as aluminium, lead, copper and mercury. The best part of atlantic dulse is that it works it way through heavy metals in the entire digestive tract, including the colon and eliminates them from the system.

Ginger

Ginger is a potent anti-inflammatory agent and helps maintain the health of the kidneys. The kidneys play an important role in eliminating heavy metals from our bodies, so it’s important that they remain healthy and continue to function at the optimum level. Ginger also improves digestion. It can be easily incorporated in a variety of dishes. You can also add ginger to green tea or regular black tea.

Leafy Green Vegetables

Leafy green vegetables, especially bitter greens help detox your body off heavy metals. Kale, spinach, dandelion greens, etc. should be part of your diet. These also contain vitamin C, which is great for the body as well.

Wild Blueberries

It’s important that you have wild blueberries and not those that have been grown in farms. Wild blueberries contain phytonutrients that are particularly good at extracting heavy metals from the brain and the antioxidants in them help reverse any oxidative damage that may have been caused during the process of eliminating the heavy metals.

Barley Grass Powder

This should ideally be consumed along with spirulina, as it’s not as potent on its own. The barley grass powder helps spirulina completely absorb mercury in the body. You can make a juice with the powder and it will help remove heavy metals from the digestive system, including the intestinal tract, spleen, thyroid, pancreas as well as the reproductive system.

Flax and Chia Seeds

These contain omega-3 fats as well as fiber that helps detoxify the colon and is an effective anti-inflammatory agent. You need the colon to be healthy as it plays a part in removing heavy metals from the system. Fish is a rich source of omega-3 fats, but fish also carries heavy metals such as mercury. Freshwater fish might be better than sea fish or seafood, but it’s best that you look for alternative sources of omega-3 fats.

Bone Broth

Bone broth provides glutathione, which improves the health of the liver. You need your liver functioning at the optimal level for successful elimination of heavy metals. It also provides much needed hydration to the body as well as essential amino acids. You can easily make bone broth at home and drink a couple of cups every day. Alternatively, you can buy bone broth based protein powders.

Milk Thistle

This is a herb that also helps detoxify the liver. It has antioxidant properties as well. You can directly consume milk thistle or you could also make tea with it and have a couple of cups per day.

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Detox Day

You can choose to go through a detox in a single day or continue it for two to three days back to back.

  • Start the day by squeezing fresh lemon juice in a tall glass of lukewarm water and drink it up. This activate your liver and ensure that the heavy metals are remove properly.
  • Your bowel function is crucial to the detox process. So, you should remove dairy and gluten from your diet at least a month before undergoing detox. You can further complement it by taking probiotics and enzymes. This will ensure that your bowel function is fine.
  • If you have been experiencing problems with your digestive system, consult a physician and get that sorted out.
  • The various food items mentioned above cannot all be consumed in a single day. So, you need to plan it in advance. You could makes salads, broths, smoothies, juices and various other things using those ingredients and plan out in such a way that you have three proper meals.
  • Use ginger, garlic, shallots and other similar ingredients in the dishes you prepare.
  • Green tea or milk thistle tea can be consumed as a beverage.

Post Detox

All of the food items mentioned above are powerful natural chelators and will help eliminate the heavy metals accumulated in your body or at least lower the concentration to safe levels, but you still cannot afford to be complacent. You need to incorporate certain lifestyle and dietary changes to ensure that your body isn’t overexposed to heavy metals in the future.

Foods to Eliminate from Your Diet

You need to avoid certain food items to aid the detoxification process.

  • Firstly, you should eliminate all forms of processed food and food items with excess fat from your diet. These slow down the detoxification process by making difficult for chelation agents to bond with the heavy metals. Note that not all fats are bad. As mentioned earlier, omega-3 fatty acids are good for the body. Its saturated fats that are bad for the body.
  • You should also completely avoid canned foods for the obvious reason that its packaged in a metal container.
  • Plastic containers should also be avoided because these more often than not contain bisphenol A (BPA). This is a toxic substance.
  • On a slightly different note, the vegetables, fruits and herbs you buy for consumption often have traces of insecticides and pesticides that contain toxic heavy metals. So, you should only buy organic produce. The local farmers market is usually a good place to buy organic produce from.
  • If you use plastic cooking utensils at home, then you should either ensure that they are BPA-free or replace them with utensils made with safer materials such as wood, bamboo, silicone, etc.
  • The same holds true for non-stick cooking utensils that have teflon coatings. Over time small portions of the teflon mix with the food being cooked and enters your body. Replace these with utensils made of cast iron, ceramic, glass, etc.
  • Food items that contain a high degree of Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols (FODMAPs) hamper the digestive system, which in turn negatively impacts the detoxification process. So, keep these out of your diet as well. The worst among these are food items that contain high-fructose corn syrup. You can easily check the list of ingredients on the packaging and avoid those that have it. Besides being an extremely unhealthy sweetener, sometimes high-fructose corn syrup also contains mercury.
  • Alcohol should also be avoided as much as possible. A glass of white wine, once in a while, is fine.

Keep Yourself Hydrated

The importance of staying hydrated cannot to emphasized enough. It’s crucial to ensuring that the heavy metals are successfully eliminated from the body. There’s a small catch to this. If you drink too little water your body gets dehydrated and hampers the removal of toxins in the body, but if you drink too much water that too can negatively affect your body. Overhydration leads to essential nutrients being flushed out of the body, along with the toxins. So, you need to maintain a balance. The other issue is that tap water contains a number of heavy metals. The water source itself might contain arsenic and mercury, as the pipes that transport the water to your house can deposit lead in the water. So, you should install a water filtration system at home. There are water filtration systems that remove the toxic heavy metals and retain the important minerals.

Changes at Home

You’ve ensured that the food that you’re eating and the water you’re drinking is now free from heavy metals. But there are other products in and around the house that also contain toxins. Most cleaning products used at home contain toxic metals. Replace them with all-natural products. The same goes for cosmetics and personal care products such as toothpaste, deodorant, etc. There’s a good chance that the replacement products will cost more than the ones you currently use, but that’s a small price to pay to ensure that you eliminate as many sources of heavy metals as possible.

Conclusion

A heavy metal detox is much harder than a chemical detox. Heavy metals have been accumulating in your body for years and from multiple sources and these can’t be eliminated overnight. High concentration of heavy metals might require chelation therapy, but you should begin by giving the natural methods a shot first. You begin by understanding which types of food helps eliminate these toxins from the body and which types of food you need to avoid to ensure that the elimination process is effective. But the process doesn’t end there. You will have to make several changes at home, beginning with buying organic produce only, cooking in utensils that do not further add to the heavy metals already in the body, ensuring that the drinking water at home is safe and removing products that contain heavy metals.

Eliminating heavy metals from the body isn’t really a choice anymore; it’s become a necessity, because we are more than ever exposed to much higher levels of toxins. The longer these stay in our bodies and greater harm they will cause. A number of degenerative diseases, including neurological disorders can be traced back to overexposure to heavy metals. Given that the levels of pollution are increasing, you need to carefully plan every aspect of your life to ensure that you can protect yourself from heavy metals and other toxins as well. Make it a habit so that the levels of heavy metals in your body do not go up again. Regular sauna use can also aid in detoxing everything from glyphosate to all sorts of metals. Of course we are pro-sauna use, being that 20 minutes a few times a week, can do wonders for your health paired with the right binders.

 

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