The word “detox” is incredibly popular in many wellness circles. When you hear the word “detox” what do you think of? I conjure up thoughts of green juice cleanses, special teas, mixing apple cider vinegar into my water every morning, and loads of supplements. If you really go down the detox rabbit hole, you will find salt baths, detox foot soaks, needling techniques, and more. I have tried a few of these as a general detox because I got caught up in the hype. However, I had not attempted to detox from heavy metals.

If you’re like me, maybe you haven’t considered a heavy metal detox before now. However, just because you don’t live next to a coal mine or a chemical plant does not mean you are safe. In this article, we will touch on the facts you need to know about heavy metals and how to detox from heavy metals safely to minimize side effects.


What Are Heavy Metals Anyway?

If you’ve read some of my other articles, you should already know. However, I will assume this is the first time you being exposed to all of this. The definition changes a bit from source to source since atomic weight and density compared to water affect the definition. For the purpose of this article, the definition of a heavy metal is any metallic element that occurs within the earth’s crust and is denser than water. Since many heavy metals reside within the earth’s crust, they can easily leech into water sources and topsoil.

Heavy metals are not all bad. In fact, we need some of them in small doses to stay alive. Metals such as iron, copper, and zinc are particularly necessary for proper body function. However, there are other metals such as lead and mercury that are of no use to our bodies. In fact, these metals accumulate and cause trouble rapidly.


Where Do Heavy Metals Come From?

While they naturally occur in the ground, they are everywhere thanks to man-made industries. Examples of common places heavy metals reside in the environment include:


  • Air Pollution (vehicle exhaust, mining ores, steel factories, chemical plants)
  • Diet (GMO fruits/veggies treated with pesticides and/or grown in contaminated soil)
  • Water (contaminated water sources due to industrial waste, poorly kept irrigation infrastructure)
  • Daily Life (vaccine ingredients, dental procedures, tobacco products, deodorant, cookware, teas, coffees)

As you can see, avoiding ANY contamination is impossible. So the next best thing is minimizing exposure and learning how to detox from heavy metals safely.


When Do We Need To Detox From Heavy Metals?

Your body has a built-in filtration and detoxing system that flushes out heavy metal toxins. Your liver, kidneys, lymphatic system, and GI tract all work together to detox your body from heavy metals. There are numerous studies that show heavy metal toxicity is a driver behind many diseases. They may not be the only cause of a disease, but they certainly contribute to the development of many modern health problems.


Symptoms To Be Aware Of:

Signs that are common for acute heavy metal poisoning include:


  • muscle cramps
  • stomach pain
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • dizziness
  • difficulty breathing
  • impaired movement
  • impaired concentration

However, there are other signs that can be easily mistaken for something else. Other less common signs of heavy metal toxicity include:


  • chronic fatigue
  • low energy
  • frequent headaches
  • bloating
  • acne
  • heavy sweating
  • insomnia
  • frequent mood swings

And yes, the list is longer than this. If not dealt with, heavy metal toxicity can level up and cause diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. If you already live ahealthy lifestyle but suffer from several of these symptoms listed above, it might be time to detox from heavy metals built up in your body. With that being said, how do you know for sure if you have heavy metal accumulation issues?


Getting Tested For Heavy Metal Accumulation

The only way to truly know if heavy metal toxicity is to blame for your symptoms, you have to get tested. If you go to a doctor and request testing, the most common methods are hair mineral testing, bloodwork analysis, and saliva analysis. Once you have a definitive answer about heavy metal buildup, then you can look into detoxing from heavy metals.


Is There Any Danger Involved?

As with anything in life, there is always some risk involved; a heavy metal detox is no different. Yes, there is a little danger in detoxing from heavy metals, but there are ways to make it safe. Ideally, your detoxing method would include natural remedies that detox your body by supporitng the organs that naturally detox your body. Essentially, you want to do two things to detox from heavy metals: get the heavy metals moving and bind the molecules to something your body can flush out via sweat, urine, and feces. Let’s look more at that.


Step 1: Get The Metals Moving

Heavy metals like to accumulate in organs and other areas of the body and buildup over time. Heavy metals do have a natural half-life in your body, but most of us expose ourselves to these metals faster than we can get rid of them so a buildup occurs. Through the use of several naturl supplements and remedies, we can break up the heavy metals and get them moving through the bloodstream. Once they are moving, we can move on to the next step.


Step 2: Bind Them To Flush Them

Once they are moving in the bloodstream, it is time to get them bound to soemthing so they can be flushed. This is usually done via antioxidants and chelating agents. uckily for us, nature provides plenty of natural options for chelation we can do at home that are safe. Let’s look at a few options now for safely detoxing from heavy metals at home.


Natural Methods For Detoxing From Heavy Metals

While methods like chelation therapy mostly require a doctor present, nature provides us with several methods of detoxing from heavy metals you can perform safely from the comfort of your home. Below is a list of natural and safe methods for detoxing from heavy metals.


  1. Drinking filtered water.
  2. Exercise regularly.
  3. Use a natural chelating supplement. 
  4. Eat foods that promote liver health
  5. Keep your nitric oxide production high to promote strong blood flow.
  6. Sauna therapy to promote sweating


Another Safe Method For Detoxing From Heavy Metals

The method listed above are the most effective, but food is another area to look at. Even if your diet is good, you can add some foods that will help your body detox from heavy metals. Below are a list of common foods used to detox from heavy metals.


1. Cilantro

Cilantro is well known for having chelating properties, meaning it helps pull heavy metals out of the blood and flushes them out of the body. Since cilantro is a popula flavor enghancer for hispanic and mediterranean dishes, it is versatile and easily added to most meals. Cilantro can also be added to soups, stews, and various spreads.


2. Blueberries

This food is a great choice because blueberries are packed full of antioxidants. Furthermore, blueberries help reduce inflammation created from oxidative stress and free radicals. So blueberries act as a clean-up crew, cleaning up the mess heavy metals make in your body. Make sure you get the wild/organic blueberries though. You want to avoid the GMO blueberries, as they could have lingering presticides that are contaminated with heavy metals.


3. Garlic & Onion

I’ve lumped these two together becuase they help the body detox from heavy metals using the same mechanism: sulfur compounds. Not only that, both of these often go together in most recipes and flavorings. So add some garlic and onion to your next meal. The sulfur compounds in these vegetables will help reduce inflammation and flush the body of toxins.


Honorable Mentions

Other foods that are helpful to the body for detoxing from heavy metals include:


  • Citrus Fruits
  • Green Tea
  • Leafy Greens
  • Beetroot Juice
  • Responsibly-sourced Salmon

There are many others, but these are the most common foods that detox the body from heavy metals via organ support, primarily the liver.


The Takeaway

While the dangers of heavy metals are very real, you should also remember that exposure is unavoidable. Therefore, spending all your time hyper-fixated on avoiding them for the sake of health is futile. Instead, remember that health is a marathon, not a sprint. Educating yourself on where heavy metals come from, how expsore occurs, and what the symptoms look like should be your first step. Once you have educated yourself on what to look for, then you can take the necesary measure to avoid long-term damage.

If you have never been tested for heavy metal accumulation, it could be worthwhile to go get tested. If you do not want to visit a doctor, there are some hair tests that can be ordered online, but it is still recommended to go visit a doctor and order testing.

Even if you do not believe you are suffering from heavy metal accumulation, these natural steps can be done at home and are safe, even if you are not suffering from heavy metal toxicity. Use these steps above, add these foods to your diet. Lastly.  To learn more about detoxing from heavy metals and general health, check out the rest of our blog here.