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A toxic heavy metal is a relatively dense metal or metalloid element that is potentially poisonous.
The term is typically applied to the metals cadmium, mercury, lead, and arsenic, although the World Health Organisation’s list of 10 chemicals of public concern also includes chromium, selenium, and thallium.
Heavy metals are found naturally in the earth. Moreover, many of the heavy metals—such as zinc, copper, chromium, iron and manganese—are essential in very small amounts to your health.
Heavy metals can become dangerously concentrated, and individuals may become poisoned due to: industrial exposure; air or water pollution; consumption via foods, medicines, or improperly coated food containers; and/or ingestion of lead-based paints. When this happens, strong concentrations of toxic heavy metals can enter your tissues via inhalation, eating and drinking, or manual handling.
A notorious case of mass heavy metal poisoning occurred in America in 2014 outside Detroit when 100,000 individuals were exposed via inadequate water treatment and the use of lead water pipes. At least 12 died and thousands experienced symptoms.
When heavy metals accumulate in the body in poisonous concentrations, serious physical damage may occur. The toxic metals may bind to your cells and inhibit your body’s vital functions.
Chelation therapy is the preferred medical treatment for various types of heavy metal poisoning. These types include toxic doses of mercury, iron, arsenic, and lead.
In chelation therapy one or more chelating agents—substances containing molecules and/or ions that bond to heavy metals—are administered. The chelating agent may be given to the patient orally, intravenously, intramuscularly, or orally. The administration method depends on the patient, the agent, and the type of poisoning.
The chelating agents then pass through the body, typically through the urine, eliminating the toxic heavy metals.
If you are undergoing heavy metal elimination therapy, here are some recommended lifestyle and dietary changes that may help speed your recovery.
Aluminium is a metal found in various household products. If you’re being treated for heavy metal ingestion, you need to eliminate these products from your environment.
Avoid antiperspirants and cosmetics containing aluminium. Switch to aluminium-free alternatives.
Always use latex dishwashing gloves (or the latex-free variety if you’re allergic to latex) when housekeeping or performing any task using cleaning products.
Check the label of your baking soda. Be sure it’s marked “aluminium free.” If it’s not, discard it and buy an aluminium-free substitute.
Go through your kitchen and immediately replace all aluminium and Teflon-based cookware with iron and glass-based alternatives.
Discard aluminium and other cooking foils. Instead, use oven-safe glass dishes for roasting foods. Be careful to avoid breakage.
Keep leftovers in glass containers instead of in foil. Discard any items in your fridge and freezer that are currently being stored in foil.
Replace your metal utensils with wooden, bamboo, or glass kitchen items. Be sure to clean these thoroughly in soap and warm water after each use. Wear gloves when washing up.
You’ve probably heard the phrase “You are what you eat.” If you’re undergoing therapy for heavy metal elimination, for maximum benefits you’ll need to examine and adjust your diet.
The Good: Be sure you regularly consume fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 is abundant in cold-water “fatty” fish, such as sardines, salmon, mackerel, and tuna.
The Bad: Stay away from farmed fish as it may contain high amounts of mercury.
Avoid canned foods, as the food can leach metal from the tins.
Use a high-quality filter for all the water you drink, and for the water you use when brushing and rinsing your teeth, as well.
The Zazen water filtration system, available for purchase at the Ella di Rocco Wellness Medispa, is extremely efficient at ridding your water of heavy metals such as lead, aluminium, nickel, cadmium, and mercury. The system creates mineral water naturally, not artificially, for optimum cellular hydration. Zazen-filtered water tastes like natural spring water.
Be sure you consume at least 1.5 litres of filtered water daily. Drinking quantities of water keeps you from becoming dehydrated, and it can help remove heavy metals such as arsenic from your body.
Moreover, drinking lots of water can free your body of parasites, as well as fluoride, chlorine, pesticides, industrial poisons, detergents, and other toxins.
Incorporate healthy foods into your diet. Green vegetables—such as kale, chard, broccoli sprouts, spinach, and mustard greens—are highly recommended.
Several herbs and spices can help reduce heavy-metal build-up: these include basil, parsley, oregano, rosemary, thyme, ginger, garlic, and coriander.
If you’re undergoing heavy metal elimination therapy, you need lots of vitamin C. So eat lots of citrus fruit, plus raw bell peppers and strawberries.
Glutathione has been called the body’s master antioxidant and detoxifier. Foods that boost glutathione levels are proved to help the body rid itself of heavy metals, chemicals, and other toxic substances.
However, both heat and long-term storage reduce the potency of glutathione. Thus, maximum benefits are derived from consuming glutathione-containing foods in their fresh and raw state.
Add raw foods, such as raw fruits and vegetables, to your daily diet. Foods high in glutathione include raw asparagus, raw okra, raw kale, raw broccoli, and raw cauliflower. It’s also found in large quantities in the spices turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, and curcumin. Try to find the freshest spices possible.
Silica is another nutrient that has particular value if you’re undergoing heavy metal elimination. It helps protect your bones, teeth, joints, tendons, ligaments, and connective tissues. It’s also great for healthy hair, skin, and nails.
Foods high in silica include melons, cucumbers, artichokes, asparagus, dandelion, bananas, oats, raisins, and leafy greens. It’s also found in large amounts in the herbs nettle leaf, horsetail, oatstraw, and rose hips.
Sometimes it’s hard to eat enough of the above-mentioned foods to get sufficient amounts of nutrients, so you should consider taking supplements.
Look for supplements containing silica, spirulina, milk thistle, vitamin C, glutathione, chlorella, probiotics, and prebiotics.
Visit your dentist if you have any mercury amalgam fillings. Discuss the possibility of replacing them with safer alternatives.
Regular and vigorous exercise is an essential part of any health regimen. Not only will a good exercise program facilitate your elimination of heavy metals, it offers a multitude of other positive effects on the body and mind. Don’t overlook this potent yet simple lifestyle adjustment.
Saunas, steam rooms, and massages help stimulate your blood flow and other functions of your body that are essential to eliminating heavy metals. Regular spa visits are highly recommended.
You may wish to meet and discuss your dietary needs with a nutritionist. At Ella di Rocca, we can arrange a consultation with a qualified nutritional counsellor.