In high amounts, heavy metal toxicity can cause numerous symptoms like headache, nausea, vomiting, sweating, and even death. In lower amounts toxicity from lead or mercury, for example, can have much subtler effects. In either case, however, ridding the body of these harmful metals is important.
Removal of heavy metals from the body is known as chelation. This word actually comes from the Greek word “claw” and was used because early practitioners saw substances that they believed grabbed a hold of the metals and carried them out of the body through the digestive system. The term stuck.
Fortunately, there are foods with natural chelation properties. In cases of minor exposure, you don’t need to spend a fortune on prescriptions or even supplements in order to restore optimal health. The following are natural heavy metal chelating agents.
Amino Acids. Amino acids are great at removing metals from the body – so good for meat eaters. These proteins are found in eggs and fish, among other things, and can work to increase liver health and balance enzyme production.
Cilantro. Cilantro is just one super-herb that can effectively remove heavy metals (aluminum, mercury, and lead in particular) – in only two weeks. Also, because these metals can damper the immune system, cilantro is also recognized as an immune-booster.
Food-Grade Activated Charcoal – Dr. Al Sears, MD, has his patients use food grade activated charcoal for general detoxifying; this includes detoxing heavy metals. For heavy metal detoxifying, he recommends a total of 20 grams per day, spaced apart in two to four doses, over a 12 day period. I prefer taking a heaping tablespoon once in the morning, well before breakfast for general detoxification.
Brazil Nuts: Not necessarily a chelation food, Brazil nuts actually work to restore the good minerals, like selenium and zinc, that may be lost in the chelation process.
Onions and garlic. The sulfur in onions and garlic can also work to eliminate heavy metals. Along with these, things like eggs, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage also have high sulfur content.
Chlorella. The superfood known as chlorella can serve as a mild chelation-helper. You can find it in supplement form or as a powder to add to various dishes.
Lots of Vegtables – Cilantro, parsley, alfalfa, and a blue-green algae, chlorella, are three extremely powerful chemical and heavy metal chelators. Dark green vegetables and herbs alkalize and purify the blood, making it easier for the body to rid itself of wastes with less discomfort or “healing crisis” (when the loosening of toxic debris causes a sick or flu- like reaction). You can juice these, include them in salads, and/or mix powdered forms into water or juice for a quick and effective dose.
Juicing – Devote 3 to 14 days (or more for the advanced juice faster) to consuming only fresh, organic, unpasteurized vegetable and fruit juices. Kale, celery, cucumber, beet, carrot, lettuce, ginger and lemon are all excellent choices for neutralizing acidity in the body, increasing our nutrient levels, and flushing our systems of unwanted materials. Remember to actually juice real foods, and not buy bottled juices from supermarkets.
Sweat it Out! – Detoxing your body naturally through sweating is very important. Through moderate amounts of cardio exercise, wastes is removed through pores on the skin. Aim to sweat at least fifteen minutes every day. You can even follow up with a detoxifying brushing of our skin from head to toe with a boar bristle brush to remove dead skin cells that clog the pores.
Get Plenty of Sleep – Sleeping causes your body to go into a state of cleansing and regeneration. Without proper and sufficient sleep, detoxification organs don’t get the full recharge they need to function at optimal levels. Aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night, in a dark, noiseless environment for optimal results.