Although heavy metals are ubiquitous in our environment, they are truly hard to pinpoint in terms of exposure. That is precisely why conducting a regular body cleanse with heavy metal detox smoothies and juices is the best way to ensure that heavy metal exposure doesn’t lead to health problems with time.
How Do Heavy Metals Accumulate in the Body?
Heavy metals in our environment are the unfortunate effects of modern living. From cooking pans to car exhaust, they are ever present in our daily lives – oftentimes without our direct awareness.
Although you may know that heavy metals like the aluminum hide in pans, cans, and skin-care products, you may not be aware that the most prevalent source of heavy metals is found in soil and water. Heavy metal water pollution is most commonly the side-effect of rusty, old pipes that leach lead and copper into the water supply.
Likewise, soil heavy metal accumulation is caused by commercial fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides that erode and acidify the soil over time, decreasing the quality of our food supply significantly.
Some major ways heavy metals can sneak into our daily lives is through conventional health protocols that we believe are truly good for us – such as inoculations and dental fillings. Environmentally and generally, we can also be exposed to other major sources of heavy metals from mining, industrial production processes, untreated sewage sludge, traffic exhaust, and coal-burning by-products.
Which Heavy Metals are the Most Common and What Health Conditions Do They Cause?
You can think of heavy metals as blockages and binders that prevent your organs from functioning optimally. When they are ingested or absorbed by the body, it is unable to break down and easily eliminate them, storing them in the liver and fatty tissues, such as the brain.
Undoubtedly, frequent heavy metal exposure – which can occur through ingestion, skin, and inhalation – can be the precedent for many neurodegenerative disorders, such as dementia, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s.
Heavy metals are known to impact the function and deterioration of the nervous system, with an accumulation and exposure causing autism (both in-vitro through the mother or exposure as a child), attention deficit disorder, and other neurological developmental problems. In fact, researchers point to many similarities between the symptoms of children with autism and those poisoned by mercury.
By knowing where you could be exposed and how this exposure can impact you, your potential baby (if you are or plan on getting pregnant), and your family, you can better take measures into your hands and ensure that you minimize your exposure and detoxify regularly with heavy metal detox protocols, such as heavy metal detox smoothies and juices.
The following are the most common heavy metals to watch out for and their effects on the body’s health through accumulation:
- Lead: Causes impaired brain development, lowered IQs in children, cardiovascular disease, and the onset of cancer.
- Mercury: Poisons and weakens the nervous system; its vapor diffusion can cause neurological and behavioral disorders, frequent headaches, emotional challenges, insomnia, memory loss, and neuromuscular changes. Mercury can also harm kidney and thyroid function.
- Inorganic Arsenic: Instigates the impairment of cognitive development in children, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, diabetes, gastrointestinal issues, and cancer.
- Chromium: Causes severe liver and kidney problems, instigates problems in nerve tissues as well as the circulatory system; poses possible skin irritations and ulcers.
- Cadmium: Incites kidney disease and cardiovascular disease; causes development of cancer; possible neurological side-effects.
- Aluminum: Prompts neurotoxicity in the central and peripheral nervous systems, as well as the development of breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Copper: Excess copper causes not only oxidative stress but is also responsible for DNA damage and lowered cell proliferation.
- Nickel: Extremely toxic in high quantity, affecting lungs, larynx, and nose; it can also compromise prostate and heart health.
The Most Common Sources of Heavy Metals
Heavy metal poisoning is often a silent health debilitator, since sources of heavy metals are often not very well known and their ingestion is obscure due to their hidden presence in some of the most common everyday foods, liquids, and items. So, what are some of the most common sources of heavy metals in your home?
Food is one of the most common sources of heavy metal exposure, and you would be quite surprised where heavy metals are lurking! From herbal supplements to baby food, heavy metals are ubiquitous in most non-organic foods and products as well as chemically treated new furniture such as sofas and rugs.
When it comes to food, cooking may reduce metal content. However, some foods can absorb metals if the cooking water (tap water), the pot (made from aluminum), and the serving bowl (glazed ceramic) are contaminated. Metals used in food processing equipment or food packaging material could also contribute to the contamination of foods with heavy metals.
To ensure you experience as least exposure as possible, always choose organic, locally-grown, and locally produced (the smaller, the better, and more regulated).
The more connected you are to your local food producers, the more you will know about their methods of production and trust them to use the highest standards of food cultivation and processing. Farmers’ markets are also a great source of locally-sourced produce that is usually free from pesticides and commercial fertilizers.
- Fish, source of mercury
- Bone broth, a source of lead
- Non-organic Rice, a source of arsenic
- Foods in cans, sources of aluminum
- Peanuts, a source of barium
- Soy products, a source of nickel
- Seaweed, a source of contaminants such as mercury
- Herbal supplements, herbs, and spices (non-organic and unregulated), especially those manufactured in China or developing countries
- Cocoa and dark chocolate (non-organic and unregulated), potential sources of lead and cadmium
- Tap water, a source of various heavy metals
- Baby food (a recent report claimed that 95% of baby foods contain toxic heavy metals including arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury)
- Root vegetables (non-organic and grown in commercial fertilizer-rich soil)
- Conventional fruit juices (past studies have found that fruit juices like apple and grape juice contain arsenic and lead)
- Cereals, cadmium exposure
- Non-organic leafy greens, a source of cadmium
- Vegetable oils
- Corn syrup
- Tap Water
- From the mother’s womb and hospital birth chemicals
- Cigarettes and e-cigarettes (cadmium and heavy metals)
- Pesticides, Fertilizers, Insecticides, and Herbicides
- Talcum Powder
- Conventional Baking Soda (processed with aluminum)
- Mercury Fillings
- Cosmetics and beauty products
- Cooking Pots and Pans and Aluminum Foil
- Carpet and Rugs
- House and Car Keys (2.5% lead by weight)
- New Furniture (mattresses, couches, seat covers, and rugs)
- Tobacco (Tobacco plants naturally accumulate relatively high concentrations of heavy metals in their leaves)
- Furniture and Mattresses
- Ceramic Mugs, Plates, and Bowels
- Old Paint
- Antiperspirant Deodorant
- Dentist’s Office
What Are The Health Effects of Heavy Metal Exposure?
Heavy metals cause oxidative stress, which leads to the development of various conditions and diseases by inhabiting cellular energy production. If you are experiencing high degrees of fatigue, recurrent headaches, autoimmune disease, thyroid issues, or adrenal fatigue, many of these problems could be caused or exacerbated by heavy metals. Think back on any possible heavy metal exposure you may have had over time to put the pieces of the puzzle together to understand your current symptoms.
Here are some of the most common symptoms and health effects of heavy metal exposure:
MS (Multiple Sclerosis)
Arthritis and achy joints
Although true heavy metal poisoning is rare, depending on your own constitution, genetic weaknesses, and lifestyle, the accumulation of heavy metals over time can cause a variety of health issues listed above that you may not necessarily associate with heavy metals.
Some concrete ways you can find out if your symptoms can be traced to heavy metals is with a kidney, urine, or liver function test.
Why is It Important to Detox Your Body Often?
Detoxification is a method of eliminating and healing acidic and toxic obstructions from the body by using food, herbs, exercises, and other detoxification methods. Acidic accumulation in the body is the result of an acidic diet, an imbalanced lifestyle, and emotional/mental anguish. Over time, it leads to chronic inflammation, which is the catalyst for most modern diseases.
Since the body is intelligent and self-healing, simply removing these acids, toxins, and chemicals is the first step toward enabling the body to regain its homeostasis and have enough energy and resources (nutritional chemistry) to heal and regenerate. Detoxification is the main natural method of healing disease in all ancient healing traditions – from Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine, to Shamans and Herbal Healers.
But while detoxification helps the process of healing and regeneration, it doesn’t happen overnight. Just imagine how long it took for the body to be exposed to imbalance and adapt to it through time by regulating, compensating, and suppressing functions and processes. The healing process can take as long for true regeneration to take place, but this all depends on your commitment to a natural detox protocol that is holistic, long-term, and diligent.
After eliminating acidic chemistry, the final step of detoxification is to introduce mostly alkaline chemistry into the system through raw and organic foods so that more energy circulates through the body than is lost through the digestion of foods, assimilation of nutrients, activity, and metabolic cellular processes.
When the body has more energy coming in than it spends daily, it will always be healthy, since energy is the main resource for healing. This is the case of living on the alkaline side of chemistry. However, most of us live on the acidic side and our bodies must leach electrolytes from tissues and bones in order to keep us alive. Detoxification and alkalization are truly keys to curing all diseases and maintaining vitality for life!
What Are Some of The Best Natural Heavy Metal Detoxifiers?
Although medical chelation therapies are conventional methods of dealing with heavy metal poisoning, I wouldn’t recommend them. The body is a sensitive system that is not built for the common stressors and interventions of the modern world, especially of the chemical medical system that relies on drugs in high doses to stabilize the body.
Natural chelation methods are much more preferred, as they provide the body with the capacity to adapt and assimilate the detoxification agents and rebalance on its own without the aggressive input of man-made chemicals that could shock the system.
So what happens during a natural heavy metal chelation therapy? When you ingest heavy metal binding agents such as chlorella, they bind to heavy metal ions and help remove them through urine (kidneys), sweat (skin), feces (colon), and mucus expulsion (the lymph system). And since this process relies heavily on elimination organs, building up the body through an alkaline diet should precede a heavy metal detox to ensure they perform at their best and can handle the influx of toxins circulating through them.
When you decide to go on a heavy metal detox with foods and smoothies, the best advice is to use multiple helpful foods (fruits, veggies, superfoods, and algae) together to take advantage of their synergistic effect on the body.
Since heavy metal detox involves many complex processes before it can properly detox metals from the body, using multiple heavy metal detox foods together will help ensure that it does so with the ultimate support of a team, maximizing the effectiveness of the detox.
And when it comes to heavy metal detox symptoms, it is important to understand them and not fear them! Such symptoms involve common detox symptoms and healing crises, which occur naturally as the body moves toxic waste from one area to the elimination organs for purgation, which you can read all about in my article. The symptom severity depends on the level of body toxicity and detoxification levels required to clean it.
Most of the symptoms will take on physical and emotional changes, such as cold and flu-like symptoms, crying, anxiety, shakes, and fatigue, to name a few. You can also experience skin breakouts, hair loss, and other physical side effects that may initially seem extreme but are only the body’s way of rejecting toxic and weak structural components to make room for health regeneration.
Anthony Williams, also known as Medical Medium, has a unique perspective on how heavy metals impact the body and shares some of his views on what to expect on a heavy metal detox:
For example, heavy metals can serve as a feeding ground for Streptococcus A or B, E. coli, C. difficile, H. pylori, and yeast cells. This can create an overgrowth of multiple bacteria in our gut, resulting in a condition known as SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), which is characterized by bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation (or both), and can lead to nutrient deficiencies.
Additionally, when viruses such as Epstein-Barr and shingles feed off toxic heavy metals, this can produce symptoms such as tingling, numbness, fatigue, anxiety, heart palpitations, ringing in the ears, dizziness, and vertigo, as well as neck pain, knee pain, foot pain, pain in the back of the head, and a variety of other aches and pains that are often attributed to other causes.
The following are some of the most effective natural detoxifiers to include in your heavy metal detox smoothie protocol:
Parsley and Cilantro – Cilantro and parsley are wonderful kidney strengtheners and are best used together with chlorella, since they work synergistically to extract heavy metals from tissues and organs and chlorella easily binds to these compounds for release. Parsley and cilantro leaves contain plenty of anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antiseptic, antimicrobial, and even their own chelating properties.
Spirulina – Specific amino acids are necessary for the detoxification of the liver. In fact, scientific studies report that Spirulina possesses promising heavy-metal toxicity-ameliorative effects that can be traced to its intrinsic antioxidant activity and chelating capacity. Make sure you invest only in organic, since conventional spirulina has been known to contain heavy metals itself due to mass production methods.
Barley Grass Juice Powder – Barley grass supports the function of the spleen, intestines, pancreas, thyroid, and uterus, and works to prepare mercury for extraction and absorption by spirulina or chlorella. It is known to support the body’s detoxification pathways and help unload the body from heavy metal toxin overload.
Berries – Wild, organic blueberries provide incredible support for brain function. They are known to draw out toxic heavy metals from brain tissues and heal the brain damage created due to heavy metal exposure. Other berries are wonderful healers and regenerators of the nervous system and help support neuron health and overall neurological function.
Seaweed and Dulse – Sea vegetables are very high in alginic acid, which helps to extract heavy metals and radiation from your body. They are the ideal food to have after airplane travel and visits to doctors and dentists. Since conventional seaweed may contain high levels of arsenic, always ensure you buy organic.
Chlorella – Chlorella binds to heavy metals like mercury, aluminum, cadmium, zinc, copper, and lead, and can remove these metals from the body through chelation. Chlorella is also a powerful liver detoxifier and promotes liver detoxification. It is usually used as a binder that works well with other detoxifying foods to detox the body from heavy metals more effectively. As an environmental cleaner, Chlorella is used to detoxify wastewater from metal contaminants.
Zinc – Foods and whole food powders rich in zinc are excellent supplements to other heavy metal detoxifiers. Zinc and magnesium are some of the best minerals for detoxification, where zinc works to destroy free radicals and remove heavy metals from the body.
Sulfur-containing Foods – Sulfur-rich foods such as broccoli, ginger, brussel sprouts, onions, cabbage, and other cruciferous vegetables contain certain amino acids and compounds that help the body make metallothionein, which is a polypeptide that absorbs toxic substances like cadmium, mercury, and lead.
Shilajit – This natural biomass that is naturally found in the Himalayas is rich in more than 80 traces of enzymes, minerals, phytonutrients, and amino acids. Shilajit acts a lot like activated charcoal to help eliminate free radicals and heavy metals from tissues. As a natural chelator with a 50% fulvic and humic acid composition, it can bind to toxic molecules.
3 Easy Heavy Metal Detox Smoothie Recipes
For all the ingredients listed below, make sure all are organic! Place all the ingredients in a blender, add a bit of purified/filtered water, blend, and serve. I highly recommend consuming the smoothie right when you make it, since the bioenergetics of food is the highest just when it is picked and blended.
Another helpful tip is when you sit to enjoy your detox smoothie, to visualize it helping you clean your body and relieving all your heavy metal symptoms. Visualization is truly powerful and a great tool in healing!
To help you in your detox protocol even further, when you enjoy all of the heavy metal detox foods listed above, help your body with the hydration and elimination process by sipping lemon water and/or herbal detox tea throughout the day.
Apple, Pear, Banana, and Kiwi Detox Smoothie (w/ Cilantro and Spirulina)
¼ to ½ teaspoon of cilantro (5-6 strands of fresh cilantro) and spirulina powders
Mango, Banana, and Cherry Detox Smoothie (w/ Shilajit, Beet, and Chlorella Powders)
½ Cup of Cherries (frozen or fresh)
½ Teaspoon of Beet Powder
⅙ Teaspoon of Shilajit
⅓ Teaspoon of Chlorella Powder
Berries and Banana Detox Smoothie (w/ Chlorella, Turmeric, and Beet Powders)
1 Cup of Organic Frozen or Fresh Berries (all kinds, including wild blueberries)
⅓ Teaspoon of Chlorella and Turmeric Powders
½ Teaspoon of Beet Powder
Juices and smoothies are some of the best ways to ingest fresh fruits and veggies and incorporate superfood powder blends into your diet. Heavy metal detox smoothies are not only delicious but also pack a powerful punch, penetrating deeply into tissues and acidic obstructions to detoxify the body from toxins and heavy metals – but also build up the function of all the elimination organs.
When you start on your heavy metal detox smoothie protocol, it is important to ease into it slowly and skip days to give your body room to adjust to the new influx of alkaline chemistry. As the body acclimates to purging toxins stored in its tissues for extended periods, it will be better prepared and have more time to deal with the effects of heavy metal elimination.
Detoxification is a delicate process that requires planning and understanding how the body processes and eliminates chemistry. That is why I encourage you to learn how to prepare your body for detoxification and how to approach detoxification most effectively. To health and vitality!