Wellness: Appetite for Destruction—Cleaning the Metal out of the Pipes

Heavy metal music kicks ass. Heavy metals, the actual metals, are not always so awesome.

Metals like cadmium, lead, mercury, aluminum, and plutonium are too dense for our bodies to efficiently metabolize and can accumulate inside us. Excessive concentrations of these heavy metals can be toxic, causing all kinds of problems in our nervous systems, organs, and general well-being– everything from Alzheimer’s and autism to hair loss, arthritis, cancer, schizophrenia and growth defects.

 

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No problem right? Heavy metals have been around forever and we’re all still alive so as long as we stop putting handfuls of roofing nails in our mouths, we should be okay… Well, not exactly.

By Feet Banks

 

“These metals can be found in the air we breathe, the food we eat and in the household and workplace,” says Jenn Keirstead, a registered holistic nutritionist. “We ingest them from car exhaust fumes, non-stick cookware, smog pollution, fungicides, and even cleaning supplies. I think it’s so gnarly that we can actually go and buy products with a skull and crossbones label and keep them in our homes. Many of us are exposed to toxins every day without realizing it.”

Some of the food we eat also contains heavy metals from pollution and pesticides through the process of bioaccumulation, where the stored toxins and metals work their way up the food chain, growing in concentration along the way.

Of course, some metals are beneficial to us. “We do require varying amounts of some heavy metals,” Jenn explains. ‘Iron, cobalt, copper, manganese and zinc are essential. However, excessive levels can be damaging. It’s a fine line.”

Metals like cadmium, lead, mercury, aluminum, and plutonium are too dense for our bodies to efficiently metabolize and can accumulate inside us. Excessive concentrations of these heavy metals can be toxic, causing all kinds of problems in our nervous systems, organs, and general well-being– everything from Alzheimer’s and autism to hair loss, arthritis, cancer, schizophrenia and growth defects.

But the fine line is difficult to walk because it’s becoming increasingly difficult for us to avoid heavy metals. Got fillings in your teeth? Remember leaded gasoline or paint? Ever cooked with aluminum foil or inhaled tobacco smoke, eaten from a tin can or drank water that ran through a copper pipe, used cosmetics or swallowed food grown with phosphate fertilizer? Those are only a few of the many ways heavy metals can enter our bodies.

A group called Environmental Defense Canada (EDC) recently found cadmium and lead in all kinds of foods, from raisins to beef to muffins to salad oils. The EDC say that much of it comes from industrial pollution ending up, via precipitation or runoff, in the soil used to grow food or livestock. And while levels are usually below the acceptable levels set by the World Health Organization, no one is sure what the long-term effects are.

Since avoiding heavy metals seems pretty much impossible these days, the best bet is to try cleansing them from your system. Jenn has laid out some ways for us to do just that:

 

  1. Dry saunas are incredible for removing fat-stored toxins & metals out of our cells and organs.
  2. Cardio– breaking a sweat through hard physical activity brings in oxygen to our cells; which has an alkaline effect and kills bad organisms/bacteria that generally thrive when our intestines are             compromised.
  3. Lemon water– lemon and lime enzymes bind to heavy metals and flush them out. Drink a full glass of room temperature lemon water every morning before you eat anything else.
  4. Green foods– kale, dandelion greens and nettle are super detoxifiers.
  5. Fibre–binds to “bad-guy” bacteria in our colon and scrubs it out along the way. Top sources include ground flax seed (a little goes a long way, don’t heat it), aduki beans (chew all beans well), and beets.
  6. Natural anti-carcinogens like garlic, onions, oregano, cayenne and turmeric.
  7. Super-foods like parsley, cilantro, spirulina and blue-green algae can cause our cells to open up and excrete toxic heavy metals.

 

For more serious cleansing, Jenn also discussed Chelation therapy, where a synthetic amino acid is administered intravenously to remove heavy metals form the body. If you are going to get that serious about it, she recommends talking to a naturopath or open-minded doctor.

In the mean time shout at the devil, run to the hills, suck lemons and eat dandelion greens; you’ll soon be a metal master in every sense.

 


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