3. Increase Intake of Polyphenols
Polyphenols are micronutrients found abundantly in our diets. Their role in combating cancer and cardiovascular disease is well-known.
The richest sources of polyphenols include cloves, star anise, dried peppermint, dried oregano, flaxseeds, cocoa powder, dark chocolate, green tea, elderberries, chokeberries, blueberries, strawberries, black currants and plums.
A lesser-known fact about dietary polyphenols is that they enhance the production of metallothionein, a major antioxidant enzyme. This enzyme is responsible for metabolizing and detoxifying heavy metals.
Polyphenol-rich beverages like red grape juice, green tea and red wine increased metallothionein production in the human body, according to a 2010 study published in the Journal of Food Science.
Eating more polyphenol-rich foods will help you on your way to detoxifying your body of heavy metals.
4. Consume Sulfur-rich Foods
Glutathione is the primary antioxidant in the human body and is key to purging the body of harmful toxins and heavy metals. It attaches itself to heavy metals and flushes them out via the bloodstream through the liver and kidneys.
Arsenic is a heavy metal that directly inhibits the production of glutathione in the body.
The glutathione levels in the body significantly dropped when a group of 378 adults were fed different concentrations of arsenic mixed in water, according to a 2013 study published in Environmental Health Perspectives.
Sulfur-rich foods boost glutathione activity in the body.
Foods rich in sulfur include cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale, spinach, collard, watercress, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower as well as garlic, onions, leeks and shallots.
Alternatively, you can consume oral glutathione supplements after consulting your doctor.
5. Consume Milk Thistle
The liver is the detoxification powerhouse of your body.
Milk thistle strengthens the liver cells, which prevents the absorption of toxic heavy metals. Silymarin is the primary active substance in milk thistle, also known as silybum marianum.
According to a 2006 study published in The Indian Journal of Medical Research, silymarin appears to be a highly promising treatment for heavy metal contamination. The study further notes that silymarin promotes the production of glutathione and prevents its depletion.
It’s easy to incorporate milk thistle into your daily diet.
- Drink up to 6 cups of milk thistle tea a day for detoxification purposes. To make the tea, add 1 teaspoon of ground milk thistle-seeds or a milk thistle tea bag to a cup of hot water and let it steep for 10 minutes.
- Alternatively, you can take milk thistle supplements.
Note: Before consuming milk thistle in any form, consult your doctor for the exact supplement and tea doses appropriate for your health status to prevent possible side effects.