There is no denying that harmful chemicals surround us. We inhale them through our lungs and skin, are exposed to them via medical treatments, apply them topically, and ingest them through our diets and beverages. Unfortunately, our exposure to these chemicals is only increasing. Exposure has a considerable impact on human health, particularly when considering the cumulative effects of exposure to a cocktail of xenobiotics like heavy metals and pesticides. According to Witkowska, Slowik, and Chilicka (202), this exposure can have significant long-term effects.
Not only can we be exposed to heavy metals but there are events in our life that can predispose us to higher levels of circulating metals such as disease, trauma and stress, chronic deficiencies, and pregnancy and other life stages including menopause (Sears, 2013).
There are upwards of 20 heavy metals that can cause health issues, typically, heavy metals of most common concern include:
Heavy metal toxicity is implicated in numerous diseases and disorders, the ones commonly featured in research include:
What is detoxifcation?
Detoxification is typically used to rid the body of compounds such as heavy metals to reduce symptoms and improve health and wellbeing. Detoxification can occur in four main ways:
DETOXIFICATION PHASES IN THE BODY
The human body, specifically the liver, has three main detoxification processes:
CAN YOU DETOX YOUR LIVER?
It's common to come across products that claim to detoxify the liver. However, some of them might not provide significant support for liver detoxification, and their effects could be limited or nonexistent. While marketed as weight loss treatments, there is minimal evidence to support this claim. Any variations in weight are primarily due to lifestyle and dietary changes that usually come with even minor modifications, such as the use of a liver tonic.
WHAT FOOD'S SUPPORT MY DETOX?
Typically, a protocol will involve a preparatory stage, an organ support stage and then a detoxification stage.
There are many foods and plants that can assist detoxification. The big question is how do you know which ones to use? Afterall to consume some of each every day would be unrealistic let alone ingesting enough for there to be a beneficial effect.
Heavy metal detox foods to eat include:
Some foods to limit or avoid in your heavy metal detox diet include:
Consumer Report (2021) tested 126 dried herbs and spices and found almost a third had heavy metal levels enough to raise health concerns. The specific metals were arsenic, lead and cadmium.
When we think about heavy metals in our diet, we tend to think of lead in drinking water or arsenic in children’s fruit juices or cereals. Ultimately, we need to look at a holistic approach to minimising harmful heavy metals. Our whole approach to our lifestyle needs to consider:
- Witkowska, D.; Słowik, J.; Chilicka, K. Heavy Metals and Human Health: Possible Exposure Pathways and the Competition for Protein Binding Sites. Molecules 2021, 26, 6060.
- Sears ME. Chelation: harnessing and enhancing heavy metal detoxification--a review. ScientificWorldJournal. 2013 Apr 18;2013:219840. doi: 10.1155/2013/219840. PMID: 23690738; PMCID: PMC3654245.
Source: Detoxification, Well College Global Fact Sheet 2024.
The information is made available through the Holistic wellness Coaching Program.
Leanne Cooper, Founder and Director of Well College Global.
Bev Whyfon; Bev's Healthy Food