What’s wrong when people follow dietary principles but still suffer from significant health problems? Why do so many people try to eat good fats but find they cannot digest them? What is the reason for digestive distress and dysbiosis despite taking high-quality probiotics and consuming cultured foods and broth?
The answer may be toxic metals. Though we may be consuming nourishing foods, we cannot realize our full health potential so long as we remain waste dumps for mercury, aluminum, cadmium, arsenic, lead, antimony and nickel. Mix well with a dose of chloride and fluoride found abundantly in municipal water supplies and it’s no wonder that so many of us are sick and tired.
To be truly effective, a detoxification program must include:
If you’re doing a cleanse to support your body, the last thing you want to do is add more toxins to the mix. Take a close look at your air, water, food, and personal care products to see how you can reduce exposures such as eating organic, using natural cleaning products, drinking filtered water, and choosing non-toxic skincare products.
Cookware: Use glass, cast iron, carbon steel, titanium and lead-free crock pots (slow cookers) and enamel cookwares. Aluminum and teflon are well known for their health dangers. Less known is the fact that stainless steel exposes people to accumulations of carcinogenic nickel, and often cobalt and chromium, as well.
Dental Work: Amalgam fillings may contain cadmium, zinc, tin, copper and silver in addition to mercury. Metal crowns are a problem with any metal, even expensive gold. Porcelain crowns may have metals hiding beneath. Root canals, implants, partials and dentures all contain potentially problematic ingredients. With dentistry, there are no truly good solutions, only ones that are less dangerous.
CFL Bulbs: A new home mercury danger has emerged in the form of “energy efficient” supposedly “green” CFL fluorescent bulbs. Broken CFL bulbs release mercury vapors and can turn your home into an environmental hazard zone.
Toxic Drugs: The toxicity of pharmaceuticals is well known, but natural medicines don’t get off the hook. Some Ayurvedic, Tibetan and Chinese preparations have proved to be high in mercury, lead and arsenic.
Eat Veggies: Some simple changes to your diet can be a great start for a great detox program. You can begin with drinking plenty of filtered water, eating colourful fruits, veggies and legumes as well as cruciferous vegetables, onions and garlic.
Animal Protein: We need good quality animal protein from meat, poultry, fish and eggs. These contain plenty of L-cysteine and L-cystine, the sulfur-containing amino acids necessary for detoxification, immune support and antioxidant protection. Animal proteins are also our best sources of pantothenic acid (B5), a key nutrient in many detoxification protocols. Liver is especially high in pantothenic acid and other critical B vitamins.
However, just make sure that meat is free-range and organic because factory-farmed animals usually contain significant amounts of cadmium.
Quality Fats: Good quality fats promote overall good health and ongoing detoxification. Acylglycerols, like the monolaurin in coconut oil, reportedly are fat-soluble chelating agents for methyl mercury, and perhaps even dimethylmercury. They serve as a unique oil-based chelating agent.
Fermented Foods: Cultured and fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir, and homemade yogurt contain beneficial microorganisms that contribute to gastrointestinal health. People with healthy gut flora are better able to handle the inevitable exposure to toxic metals, including the mercury found in fish.
Avoid Processed Foods: To avoid toxic metal buildup, we must avoid processed foods. Processed foods contain many unwanted metals. Sodium aluminum phosphate, for example, is used as an emulsifier in processed cheese and potassium alum is used to bleach flour. Alum is also a “spice” in commercial pickles. Cadmium is used as plating material in food processing plants.
Supplement Chlorella: Chlorella, a single-celled, micro-algae, is one of the most powerful detoxification tools to eliminate accumulated toxins, including mercury, in your body. Chlorella also contains complete proteins, so vegans and vegetarians can use it to enhance their B vitamin and protein intake.
Supplement Milk thistle and Glutathione: Milk thistle and Glutathione is a great supplement for any detox program. Milk thistle, a natural herb that has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, is commonly used to detoxify the body, especially the liver.
As you detoxify, your body uses up more and more of your glutathione stores until it’s gone. So its important to take glutathione supplement when detoxifying your body.
During a cleanse, you’ll want to nourish your body well to support your liver, kidneys, skin and colon. Ensure your bowels, kidneys, and skin are all working effectively to clear toxins released during a cleanse. For bowels, fiber is key. For kidneys, it’s essential to drink plenty of filtered water. For skin, it’s a good idea to exfoliate and ensure clean pores so you can sweat adequately and slough off dead skin.
Readers may find this a grim and alarming list of “no’s.” However, many of the suggestions are do-able, especially if we take “baby steps” and change one habit at a time. And although ill people need to dramatically reduce exposure and stay as non toxic as possible, most of us need not worry about perfection so long as we closely follow a healthy diet and regularly detoxify.