Heavy metals exist in our earth’s crust. They occur naturally in the air we breathe, the soil under our feet, and the water we drink. In tiny quantities, they are fine, but if they build up in our bloodstream and organs, they can cause harm to our bodies. Some consumer products increase the risk of exposure more than others, yet based on the nature of their existence, it’s nearly impossible to eliminate exposure. So what’s a savvy person to do? Here we provide three solutions to this prickly situation.
1. Knowledge is Power
The last three articles in our Heavy Metal Toxicity Series explain where some of the most dangerous heavy metals like to hide [insert hyperlinks]. By enlightening ourselves to the avenues of heavy metal exposure we can try our darndest to stay out of harms way. Another great resource is the Environmental Working Group’s consumer guide. This webpage provides the information needed to make wise decisions about the products we use. They also have a new app called EWG Healthy Living App (http://www.ewg.org/apps/) so you have the knowledge at your fingertips while shopping.
The body, as beautifully resilient as it is, makes a compound called glutathione that helps detoxify our bodies from heavy metals. What I’m about to say may give you flashbacks to your dentist nagging you to floss but I’m going to say it anyways; a great way to boost your body’s natural glutathione production is by exercising. Especially when combining weight training and cardio, exercise has been shown to increase glutathione production. You get a gold star if you can manage to break a good sweat during exercise because this could also help in the detoxification process. Another way to boost your glutathione production is to adopt a ketogenic (high-fat, low-carb) diet. You can take glutathione supplements, but we’re not sure that gets into your body unscathed. Taking ALA (alpha-lipioc acid) supplements, which is a co-factor of glutathione, may be a better way to supplement but supplying the building blocks for producing this hugely important molecule.
Eating clean (i.e. doing a detox or cleanse) can also help in this goal. Starkel Nutrition holds period group cleanses (link to our website’s cleanse page) to help guide you through this process.
We all have heavy metals in our bodies, the questions are, how much of which ones and how are they harming our health? You can get a blood test to find out your levels of heavy metals. Based on these results, your healthcare practitioner may recommend that you get chelation therapy. This involves a chelating agent which is administered into your bloodstream orally or through an IV. The chelating agent binds to the heavy metals and removes them from your body through your urine.
If this all sounds a little overwhelming do not fret! Starkel Nutrition can help by creating an individualized detox plan, connecting you to a doctor who can provide chelation therapy, or simply setting up an appointment to discuss nutritional prevention of heavy metal exposure.
Contact us here!
By Nutrition Student Marieve