If you’ve ever broken an old fashioned thermometer, you know that mercury is fascinating. But did you also know this element’s toxic secrets?
While mercury is a naturally occurring element found in the water, soil, and air, it’s classified as a toxic heavy metal to humans. Mercury provides no benefit or function to the body, but rather, acts as a poison. When we are exposed to mercury in high amounts, the kidneys, heart, brain, lungs, and immune system can all be damaged. There are two forms of mercury poisoning, depending on the form of the exposure and the level of exposure. Acute exposure relates to being exposed at one time to a large amount of mercury, which can result in very serious problems, or even death.
The more common type of mercury poisoning however is chronic, or continued, low-dose exposure. This form happens over a long period of time, where the mercury builds up in our cells and tissues. Mercury is stored in the body in the kidneys, blood, spleen, brain, liver, bones, and fatty tissues. Mental health issues such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are on the rise due to the brain’s exposure to greater amounts of toxic heavy metals such as mercury.
To avoid or minimize exposure to mercury, it’s important to understand from where it’s most commonly coming. One of the top ways many Americans have been chronically poisoned by mercury is from dental fillings using mercury. Second, is from contaminated sea foods. Certain sources of fish are known for mercurial content, including tuna fish
In order for the body to deal with and work to eliminate mercury, it must have the ability to detoxify. This means the diet must receive focus and optimization. This means first and foremost to avoid all continued intake of mercury. This could mean removing any dental fillings made from mercury, eliminating certain fish and seafoods that are particularly contaminated, and doing your best to eat the cleanest, organic, whole, and natural foods as possible.
In order to maximize the body’s detoxification, it’s also important to not overburden it with toxins. This means consuming only clean, pure, wholesome, fresh, real, natural foods. As much and as often as you can, choose organic foods. When the body is free from the toxic loads coming in through poor foods, it’s able to instead focus on cleaning up toxins, such as mercury, stored in the tissues and cells of the body.
Avoiding pro-inflammatory foods is also key. Some top pro-inflammatory offenders to be avoided include:
- Hydrogenated oils (trans fat)
- Vegetable oils
- Processed sugars (high fructose corn syrup, sucrose)
- Artificial & synthetic ingredients (colorings, preservatives)
- Fast food
- Highly processed foods (canned foods, boxed foods)
In addition to removing the bad, it’s important to add in a lot of the good so the body’s natural detoxification and anti-inflammatory pathways can be fully functioning. Some key foods that heal inflammation and boost natural detoxification include:
- Dark leafy greens
- Vegetables (raw, steamed, lightly sautéed, roasted)
- Healthy fats (unrefined coconut oil, avocado, grass-fed butter, olive oil,)
- Fresh, whole fruits, especially citrus fruits
- Fresh, whole beans, legumes, and lentils
- Foods naturally high in probiotics (fermented foods, cultured foods)
- Chlorella & Spirulina
Other considerations for naturally removing mercury include:
- Sitting in an (infrared) sauna to help the body detoxify and cleanse
- Drinking plenty of pure, clean water to flush out toxins
- Getting proper rest so the body can optimally detox
- Regular, proper exercise and physical activity to help the body cleanse