Heavy Metals: The Hidden Harmful Ingredient (Even in “Healthy” Foods)

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Harmful Effects of Heavy MetalsI try to be 100% conscious of what I put into my body. If you are like me, you also avoid pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, growth hormones, and other chemicals found in a lot of foods. I am very aware of any ingredient in the foods I ingest.

But even though you may consume a clean, organic diet, free of most highly processed foods, you could be unknowingly being poisoned with toxic heavy metals. Yes, it’s true. The same cadmium in your batteries or paint can also be found in your “healthy” cereals, protein powders, and supplements.

How Do Heavy Metals Affect Your Health?

Heavy metals are pretty much everywhere you turn. They can be found in cosmetics, contaminated water, medications, household items, canned foods, cigarette smoke, and even in your favorite soft drink. Even rice is known to contain high levels of arsenic. Mercury is found in dental amalgam fillings and some tattoo ink. And if you’re the type of person who gets severe headaches, you may have heavy toxicity toward lead, aluminum, cadmium, or nickel.

Even if you’re consuming just a little at a time, the accumulation of these heavy metals can cause serious health conditions, such as autism, infertility, dementia, thyroid problems, immune system disorders, heart disease, and even cancer. Other effects from heavy metal toxicity include birth defects, constipation, anemia, liver disease, hypertension, seizures, and insomnia. In other words—heavy metal toxicity is a very serious concern.

Are Heavy Metals in Healthy Foods?

Approximately 25% of Americans blindly suffer from heavy metal toxicity. I think that estimate is fairly low, especially when you are exposed to many toxic heavy metals every day. I was even shocked to learn that toxic heavy metal levels can even be found in a so-called healthy food I eat every day.

Mike Adams is a renegade food activist, food researcher, and consumer health advocate, and he helps issue industry-wide agreements for cleaner and safer food. He is also the science lab director for the Natural News Forensic Food Lab, which is a project of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center.

Levels of heavy metal content in any processed foods occur from food packaging materials and the equipment used during food processing. There are no limits on heavy metal content in foods, or even organic foods, enforced by the U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Administration) or the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture). As a result, you could be consuming extremely toxic levels of lead, cadmium, arsenic, copper, mercury, nickel, and tungsten, and not even know it.

Adams has tested more than 1,000 products for heavy metal content with the ICP-MS atomic spectroscopy instrument. What Adams has found is alarming! Certain junk food cereals contained particularly high heavy metal concentrations, but it was the healthier foods that shocked me. Rice protein powders contained more than 10 parts per million (ppm) of tungsten, 500 parts per billion (ppb) of lead, and 2,000 ppb of cadmium. Ginkgo herb products also contained more than five parts per million of lead. Cacao is considered a healthy alternative to cocoa in chocolate, but more than 400 ppb of lead was discovered in cacao powder products.

Certain whey protein powders, sprout proteins, pea proteins, hemp proteins, superfood grasses, and processed sea vegetables also contain toxic levels of heavy metals. Your pet is not even safe; high concentrations of mercury were also found in dog and cat treats. A list of some brand names for heavy metal results can be found at the Natural News Forensic Food Lab.

How to Avoid Heavy Metals

Unfortunately, at this time, it is legal for highly toxic levels of heavy metals to remain in your processed foods—even the so-called healthy products. Knowing this, it is best that you avoid processed foods in general to reduce your heavy metal exposure.

In response to Adams’ heavy metal testing, some natural and organic product companies are testing heavy metals more carefully; however, other companies insist that heavy metals are good for you, despite the evidence that suggests they are harmful for your body.

Are you silently suffering from heavy metal toxicity? An advanced blood test or hair mineral analysis can reveal the toxic levels of metals in your body. A heavy metal detox protocol can help you flush the excessive metal exposure from your body; however, professional guidance from a natural health practitioner is required. Heavy metal detox kits can produce side effects, such as fatigue or headaches. It may take months before the body is ready for a heavy metal detox, and digestive support, and cleanses of the kidneys, liver, and lymphatic system are also necessary.

In the meantime, make changes in your diet and include nutrient-dense, dark green, leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and collard greens. Other foods that can help expel heavy metals from the body include Brussels sprouts, eggs, cauliflower, cilantro, parsley, and chlorella.

Sources for Today’s Article:
“A New Standard in Consumer Food Safety,” Low Heavy Metals Verified web site; http://www.lowheavymetalsverified.org/, last accessed February 9, 2015.
Goldstein, H., “Everyday heavy metal toxicity,” Natural News web site, January 13, 2013; http://www.naturalnews.com/038769_heavy_metals_toxicity_copper.html, last accessed February 9, 2015.
Hupston, F., “Top foods that chelate the body of heavy metals,” Natural News web site, January 14, 2013; http://www.naturalnews.com/038670_heavy_metals_chelation_foods.html, last accessed February 9, 2015.
Morgan, J.N., “Effects of processing of heavy metal content of foods,” Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology 1999; 459: 195–211.