Recently, I found out that I have heavy metal toxicity, specifically mercury. I wrote about that here.
Mercury being one of the worst neurotoxins known to man, I rather not have it in my body. That is not the only reason why Mercury is bad. It also hinders many enzymatic functions in our cells which attributes to practically every single organ in our body functioning well. Mercury is a known endocrine disruptor which controls the hormones in our body and studies have also linked Mercury to Autoimmune diseases. Candida also thrives on heavy metals and heavy metal toxicity is one of the reasons people may experience recurring Candida overgrowth. Research has also shown that Mercury induces inflammatory media release from human mast cells otherwise known as histamine. So if you have histamine intolerance and recurring Candida, it will be wise to get your heavy metal levels checked with a functional or an integrative doctor.
There are different ways to detox heavy metals and one way to gently detox heavy metals out of our bodies is through food. As Mercury is being detoxed out of the cells it goes back into the blood plasma which is then processed by the liver and finally out to the digestive tract to be excreted. So addressing every part of this detoxification process is key in a successful detoxification of Mercury without reabsorption.
Below are some of the foods that I have been eating regularly to get the blasted Mercury out of my system.
Detoxing Heavy Metals naturally with Food
I mean at this point I think there is not much that garlic can’t do. Not only is garlic an anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-microbial, garlic also supports liver detoxification which is crucial for heavy metals and toxins to be eliminated from the body. Studies have shown that selenium has protective effects against mercury which garlic is rich in.
The humble apple is high in pectin – a gelatine like substance which binds to heavy metals and other toxins in the gut, helping to remove them. Buy organic apples when possible as they are part of the EWG’s dirty dozen – produce which are among the most contaminated with pesticides so please buy organic apples. Better yet support your local farmer who already maybe growing organic apples without the added labelling or cost that comes with organic food.
The most important part for the detoxification system to work well is to have daily bowel movements. This where all the heavy metals and toxins are going to be coming out from. So eating enough fibre is an important part of doing a heavy metal detox. This is where flaxseeds come in. Flaxseeds act like gentle laxative due to its fibre and mucilage content and they also contain lignans which bind to toxins in the gut, supporting elimination without aggravating and feeding candida overgrowth like other fibres do. I always use flaxseeds as a substitute for eggs in my baked goods and another great way to eat them is to sprinkle some on your morning muesli or smoothie. Flaxseeds are also rich in Omega 3 and lignans which contain phytoestrogens. Studies have shown that the phytoestrogens in the lignans of flaxseeds may block too much estrogen from being absorbed into our body. Too much estrogen is a toxin that our body has to regulate and get rid off. If you are still unsure about eating flaxseeds, you can read this article by Elyn Jacobs a breast cancer survivor on how introducing flaxseeds into her diet has been a major part in her fight against breast cancer.
Coriander (also known as Cilantro)
Coriander brings out the cellular mercury the old stuff that has been stored in the cells of your body for a long time to be detoxed out. Coriander is my favourite herb so I simply use it generously in my cooking. Always buy organic it may not guarantee zero heavy metals but it will at least have lesser toxins that may burden your detoxification system further. Read more about why I buy organic here. Try my Chunky Avocado Salsa which uses plenty of coriander and a hint of fresh garlic which literally is a superhero in its own right.
Ok so this is not really a food that you cook with but it is an important functional food to include as a supplement in the successful detox of heavy metals. Chlorella binds to the heavy metals that coriander brings out from the cells until they are eliminated through the bowels . They work synergistically together preventing reabsorption and redistribution of the heavy metals back into the body. So if you are going to eat coriander everyday to get the heavy metals out then it is advisable to also include chlorella as part of your protocol because eating coriander alone may just mobilise the heavy metals out of the cells without proper detoxification thus they may just end up retoxifying the body instead of detoxifying it. You can read more about this here. You can buy chlorella either in tablet or powdered form. Do make sure the Chlorella you supplement with is of good quality and clean as I found out that some may already be contaminated with heavy metals to start with.
Food is medicine but it can also be poison as not everyone responds to every type of food in the same way just like with medication. So please consult your functional or integrative doctor for advise before you embark on any detox or diet especially even more so if you suffer from a chronic illness.
Most of all, always listen to your body on how you respond with any detox or diet that you may be doing for your health. Your body is YOUR best healing guide, it always has your back.
Would you recommend any other foods that has done a gentle detox of heavy metals for you? I would like to know, share your thoughts in the comments below!