Did you know that heavy metals like mercury, uranium, and aluminum (among others) permeate our bodies while we eat and breathe and can even be absorbed by our skin? They can come from metal tooth fillings, batteries, and pesticides, and in fact, our body requires them, but only in trace amounts. When the percentage gets too high, it becomes toxic and causes everything from migraines to fatigue to chronic infections to depression, which is why it’s important to regularly detox metals from your body. But do you have even an inkling about how to go about doing so or why the metals end up there in the first place? We didn’t, so we figured this was something to look into.
The scientific reason the metals stick around in your body is that a bond forms between them and the tissues. Your goal in any detox is to break the electric charge between them and find a way to remove the metals before they’re able to latch onto you again. “Heavy metal toxicity—from metals such as mercury, aluminum, copper, cadmium, nickel, arsenic, and lead—represents one of the greatest threats to our health and well-being,” says Anthony William, author of the New York Times best-selling book Medical Medium: Secrets Behind Chronic and Mystery Illness and How to Finally Heal. Since the situation is serious, so is the method of removal. With a combination of four actions, you can detox metals from your body—learn exactly how below.
Eat detox superfoods
When you think of starting a detox, you may think that you’re not going to eat anything. Although some people choose to fast, if you learn to combine the right things, you can keep eating (although you should still most definitely avoid alcohol). When combined, five superfoods act to remove the metals from your body (make sure to have each within 24 hours of another for it to make a major impact). These five foods are spirulina, barley grass juice extract powder, cilantro, wild blueberries, and Atlantic dulse.
Spirulina (a blue-green algae), targets the metals in your brain, your nervous system, and your liver. Williams says you can mix two teaspoons in water or juice. The barley grass powder can also be mixed into a beverage and works to detoxify the spleen, the intestinal tract, the pancreas, the thyroid, and your reproductive system. Cilantro, the only item you may already have in your house, gets into all the nooks and crannies to pull out the metals that have been hanging around in your body for far too long. The wild blueberries work their magic in the brain, while Atlantic dulse clears out anything bad remaining in your digestive tract.
Opt for a low-fat diet
As we already mentioned, it’s not necessary for you to fast. But if you’re not eating right, the process may not be effective. (Seriously, you don’t want to do all of this and not have it work.) It’s important to stick to low-fat foods since any extra fat in your diet may attract the metals you’re trying so hard to get rid of. William says that it’s optimal for you to reduce your dietary fat by about 25%.
Sweat it out at the sauna
Infrared saunas (aka those that use light to create heat) are a great method of ridding your body from toxic chemicals and metals. “It drives up the circulation, warms up the tissues, and produces sweating,” says Harlan Lahti, a Vancouver-based pharmacist who owns Finlandia, a pharmacy and natural health center that has its own sauna. “Toxins are water-soluble; they come out in sweat,” he says. Lahti says he’s even witnessed a former addict rid himself of the remainder of methadone in his body by consistently doing sauna sessions.
Drink tons of lemon water
Lemon is a natural diuretic that helps us flush out anything bad from our system (that’s why some people swear by drinking a cup of lemon water every morning). The more H20 you consume, the faster you will be able to move the metals or chemicals out of your body. Plus, a few squeezes of lemon juice promotes the function of enzymes in your body that help you detox your liver (it’s because of an antioxidant in the fruit called d-limonene that’s primarily concentrated in the peel).
Up next: What to toss in every single room.