SHA Magazine Healthy Nutrition
The best natural remedies to detoxify the body of heavy metals
A diet based on vegetables and whole foods promotes the elimination of these toxic substances.
Car exhausts, industrial activity, technological development, the constant production of waste or the agricultural use of pesticides, among many other factors, generate a huge amount of heavy metals that are distributed throughout nature and pollute the environment. As a result, the water we drink, the food we eat and the air we breathe are full of toxic substances that, over time, accumulate in our bodies and affect our health.
As Joana André, Healthy Nutrition Consultant at SHA Wellness Clinic tells us, “ingestion, inhalation and absorption through the skin are the three ways heavy metals enter the body. However, it is important to note that not all of them are harmful. In fact, some, such as iron or zinc, are essential elements for the body to perform certain biological, physiological and metabolic functions. However, others such as mercury, lead, silver, arsenic and cadmium are potentially toxic, especially in high doses.
Heavy metals are present in a wide variety of products, from foodstuffs to mobile phones, plastics, cars and pesticides. As Joana explains, “their accumulation can significantly compromise health, causing changes in the structure of cellular DNA and leading to the development of neurological and cardiovascular diseases, some types of cancer and diabetes. It is therefore very important to be aware of the symptoms of intoxication and to pay attention to the signs. For example, arsenic poisoning causes fatigue, increased salivation, headaches, dermatitis, muscle weakness and hair loss”.
The best way to protect oneself from the harmful effects of heavy metals is to reduce exposure: living in rural environments away from urban pollution, eating organically and ecologically produced food, drinking quality water… But realistically, this is not always possible, so we have to learn to live with them and combat their toxicity.
As the expert states, “although the most conventional treatments involve the use of chemical compounds, such as the administration of chelating agents, certain foods and medicinal herbs can be very beneficial and, moreover, without the side effects of the traditional approach. Milk thistle, algae such as chlorella or spirulina, ginkgo biloba, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, coriander and green tea all help the body to detoxify.
A diet based on whole foods and vegetables promotes the elimination of heavy metals. Joana stresses the importance of “increasing consumption of whole grains, pulses and vegetables because they are a source of fibre, which is a natural chelator that reduces both the bioavailability and absorption of toxins. In addition, vitamin C, present in green leafy vegetables and berries, contributes to the reduction of oxidative stress caused by heavy metals. Finally, brassica vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and turnip, and sulphur-rich foods, such as garlic and onions, promote their elimination and alleviate the symptoms caused by heavy metal poisoning.
If you want to know more about how heavy metals affect your health, Click here