Because of the toxicity of our environment, heavy metal buildup is unavoidable. From pollutants flying around in the air we breathe to the chemicals used in personal care products, our bodies are assaulted daily with mercury, lead, nickle, cadmium, aluminum, copper, arsenic, platinum, and a host of other heavy metals.
Nutrients play a key role in helping the body reduce the amount of these heavy metals. Here are a few that get the Oscar for detoxing heavy metals:
1. Calcium: Displaces mercury and lead in the body. Found in kale, parsley, watercress, beet greens, broccoli, spinach, romaine lettuce, string beans, oranges, carrots, celery, almonds, sesame seeds, and beans.
2. Magnesium: When consumed with calcium, magnesium helps displace mercury and lead. Good sources include beets, spinach, parsley, chard, carrots, cauliflower, blackberries, broccoli, and carrots.
3. Vitamin C: This powerpack vitamin displaces lead and mercury. You will find it in citrus fruit, broccoli, kale, parsley, Brussells sprouts, watercress, cauliflower, cabbage, strawberries, spinach, turnips, mangoes, cantaloupes, asparagus, and papaya.
5. Lipoic Acid: A potent antioxidant that is essential for healthy metabolism, lipoic acid is a fatty acid that binds to heavy metals in the body and helps clear mercury and lead from the system. Found in red meat, spinach, broccoli, potatoes, yams, carrots, beets, and Brewer’s yeast.
6. Soluble Fiber: Large amounts found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and beans, soluble fiber helps the body draw out lead. About 20-30 percent of your diet should include soluble fiber.
7. Sulphur: Lead, mercury, and cadmium rob the body of sulfur, which is essential for building cartilage and connective tissue. To avoid deficiencies caused by heavy metals consume foods high in sulfur: egg yolks, kelp, kale, turnips, raspberries, onions, cabbage and mustard.
8. Zinc: Zinc is essential for healthy metabolism and for fighting free radicals, which attack cells and cause disease, impaired immunity, and premature aging. In addition, zinc deficiencies can lead to fatigue and contribute to neuropsychiatric disorders such as ADHD, depression, and dyslexia. Pumpkin seeds, gingerroot, carrots, garlic, parsley, spinach, cabbage, lettuce and cucumbers are good sources of zinc.
Get your day started off right with 6 Simple Heavy Metal Detox breakfast ideas!
For more information on heavy metal detox check out the book Detox For The Rest of Us by Carole Jacobs.
Click here for part one of our heavy metal detox series