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How to Reduce Heavy Metals in Your Home and Body

Armed with some solid know-how, not only will you live your best life, you’ll make better decisions for you and your family.

Your home, especially your kitchen and bathroom, is a cesspool of heavy metals and toxic chemicals. So is your body. But don’t panic — ridding your body and home of toxic heavy metals is not as hard as you think.

Start by understanding two facts about heavy metals.

First, not all heavy metals are bad. Traces of certain heavy metal actually sustain life. In fact, people benefit from limited exposure to heavy metals like iron, cobalt and zinc.

Second, other heavy metals, such as mercury and lead, are harmful and should be avoided.

Everyone is vulnerable to heavy metal exposure. Contact happens via the air you breathe, the food you eat and the water you drink. Still, you have the power to limit that exposure, and maybe even eliminate it altogether, in your home and your body.

Rid Your Home of Common Toxic Heavy Metals

Mercury can severely damage the kidneys and nervous system. Found in the air and in contaminated food, mercury is dangerous because it builds up in the body, thwarting organs’ function. Mercury power switches might be found on older appliances such as space heaters, water heaters, furnaces, washing machines and dryers, or on home décor such as antique mirrors and vases.

Cadmium, considered a carcinogen, is dangerous even at low levels. It’s found where ore is processed, such as industrial work sites. Cadmium is also found in batteries and fertilizers. Cadmium exposure occurs through smoke from cigarettes, exhaust fumes and contaminated food. One way to avoid cadmium is by choosing organic foods at the grocery store. Cadmium is detrimental to your entire body, particularly the central nervous system.

Aluminum, though not a heavy metal, is harmful. It’s found in makeup and deodorant, but processed food is the primary source of exposure. In fact, you consume between 7 and 9 milligrams of aluminum each day.

Lead, like other heavy metals, occurs naturally, but is not dangerous in low concentrations. Construction workers might be exposed to lead. Exposure to lead is possible if you mine, burn fossil fuels or manufacture goods. Other sources of lead include older paint or paint chips, cosmetics, pesticides and kids’ toys. In children, lead poisoning could result in developmental delays.

Rid Your Body of Heavy Metals

healthybody2Eating the following foods and drinking purified water will not only help remove toxic chemicals from your body, but also provide a host of other benefits, including lowering cholesterol and helping prevent diabetes and cancer. All the more reason to stock your refrigerator and fill your cabinets with these tasty items!

  • Greens such as spinach, broccoli and kale have alpha-lipoic acid, an antioxidant that attaches to heavy metals and helps your body excretes them. Antioxidants attack free radicals, which damage the cells in your body that fight infection.
  • Pectin is a fiber found in fruits like green apples, oranges and guavas. The benefits of pectin are immeasurable.
  • Cilantro, also rich in antioxidants, latches onto heavy metals in the bloodstream — in a process called “chelation” — to help remove metals from your body. Cilantro aids in digestion, too. A dash of cilantro on your favorite foods really goes a long way!
  • Foods that are protein-rich, like eggs, nuts, beans and seeds, are perfect salad toppers.
  • Water that’s been distilled or purified to avoid the fluoride found in tap water.

Read the Reports

Go straight to the source to read more about heavy metals and their impact on your health. Three excellent online resources include the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, International Agency for Research on Cancer and National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services.

Also, get in the habit of reading labels on food containers, medicine bottles and cleaning supplies.

Talk to Your Doctor, Dentist or Pharmacist

Consult an expert in the medical or pharmaceutical field. In addition to building rapport with a trusted professional, you’ll have your most pressing questions answered and learn new facts.

Live Your Healthiest Life

As it turns out, your body, which constantly works to expel foreign substances, already does most of the work. You can help your body by knowing what heavy metals are, where they hide, and how to avoid them.

To live your healthiest life, follow these three steps:

  • Observe Your Behavior: Observe your shopping habits, cleaning habits and food-consumption patterns.
  • Modify Your Activities: Change the behaviors that put you at risk.
  • Stay Cognizant: Keep up with the latest research and data.

Armed with some solid know-how, not only will you live your best life, you’ll make better decisions for you and your family.

Bobbi Peterson, the author of this article, is a green living and environmental writer.

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