The body’s first line of defence to heavy metals, bad bacteria, parasites, poisons, toxins, phthalates, zeno-oestorgens and virus’s is the microbiome – that amazing group of organisms that live in your gut and help you do many things, including dragging heavy metals out of your body.
Since the dawn of time, humans have been exposed to heavy metals. When a volcano erupts it releases mercury and other heavy metals; many of our soils are enriched due to volcanic activity. Our oceans have methyl mercury, they always have. Heavy metals such as cadmium, arsenic, aluminium, lead and copper are all around us and our body has the capacity to either use these metals or rid the body of it.
Given the right conditions, our body has several fail-safe mechanisms. The first line of evacuation of heavy metals is the microbiome in the gut. If these bacteria can’t get rid of the heavy metal, the toxins pass into the blood and then with the help of key chelation biochemistry the metals are chelated (joined to compounds) and either taken back into the gut via the liver or released through sweat and urine. Failing that, the body will store the heavy metals in organs, hair and fat tissue until it can release them safely.
What are the right conditions?
1. Normal heavy metal exposure
The problem is that many of us are now being exposed to heavy metals from every angle of our life through dental amalgams, increasing concentrations in the air, polluted houses from copper piping, lead based paints, cleaners, off gases from carpets and furnishings, personal care products and makeups, air pollution and the increase of mercury in our water ways and thus in our fish and drinking water to name a few. Our exposure is far greater than it was just 100 years ago.
2. A healthy microbiome
Through antibiotics and other medications, chlorinated water, refined foods, genetically modified corn, round up, herbicides and generations of dysbiosis, we have a weakened microbiome which in turn cannot clean up the heavy metals in the first incidence. Improving the microbiome would be the first line of defence to stop heavy metal toxicity - using beautiful stocks and broths as well as the Changing Habits Probiotics and fermented foods begins this healing process.
3. A diet enriched with micro and macro nutrients
Once the heavy metals head into the blood system, there are several chelation (joining) pathways for heavy metals to be bound, so as not to disturb other important biochemical pathways. Micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants) help in this chelation process, as do our macronutrients (fats, amino acids and sugars). The problem is that most people are not consuming nutrient rich foods with sufficient micro and macronutrients in order for the body to do chelation of heavy metals naturally.
4. A diet enriched with green foods containing chlorophyll
Green leafy foods contain chlorophyll - high concentrations are found in chlorella. Chlorella is a water-grown algae full of chlorophyll; it is highly regarded for its ability to detoxify and cleanse the body by binding to toxins and heavy metals and carrying them out of the body systems. It also cleanses and helps oxygenate the blood. I also ensure that I eat some sort of green salad mix at every meal. By taking the Supreme Green Blend and daily greens, there is increased assistance in helping the second line of removing heavy metals.
5. A diet using seasonal herbs and spices
Herbs and spices have been used for thousands of years; fresh and seasonal were used as well as dried – these were used for taste as well as medicinally. The herb coriander, which is also known as cilantro has been found to be a natural chelating agent. ‘Coriander chelation’ calls for a small amount of fresh coriander, which can be made into a pesto sauce, added to salads and very often in Asian dishes and eaten on a daily basis while in season. Turmeric - both fresh and dried is a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and chelates some heavy metals.
There are probably many other herbs and spices that help with getting rid of heavy metals but these are two that have been studied extensively.
6. A diet dictated by the seasons
In evolutionary terms we ate seasonally and locally, we ate foods that we adapted to eat depending on the environment, altitude, cultures and traditions. Typically, more food was available in the summer and less in the winter. There was an ebb and flow on an annual basis for food and as a result, there was a gaining of weight in the summer and then a loss of weight in the winter. This ebb and flow enabled the body to detoxify by losing fat cells and any heavy metals that may be enclosed within the fat cells or surrounding organs. Smaller amounts of foods were consumed during this time, thus allowing the body to naturally detoxify any remnants of heavy metals or toxins that were being stored.
Fast forward to today… what happened in our evolution enabled us to survive a volcano spewing mercury and other heavy metals, but it’s not like that now. The 6 factors ‘given the right conditions’ I’ve discussed show a very different world.
By allowing our evolutionary bodies to experience these conditions while still living in a modern world, we may be able to enhance our body’s natural ability to get rid of heavy metals on an ongoing basis as opposed to waiting until we are sick and then trying to dispose of a build-up of heavy metals. That in turn may cause problems as they are dumped by the body.
Here is a list of possible symptoms from heavy metal exposure: