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Eating and the Environment

Please note: nothing in this blog replaces the care of your trusted medical advisor. 

 Our modern world can be stressful. Financial, relationship stresses, sleep/waking cycles, electro-magnetic fields, and environmental toxins all play a part. There is good news. We can change our lifestyle philosophy and habits to embrace healthier options.  Our choices on food are one way of doing that. 

Get the lead out: choosing foods that chelate 

When our son was about eight months old, he tested for higher lead levels. Whether the lead came from an old paint chip or crawling on the floor somewhere else, we don’t know. Each month for a few months his blood tests showed lead.  The levels quickly fell within acceptable limits. Our family learned that foods high in vitamin C will help remove lead from the bloodstream: strawberries, cabbage, broccoli, etc…were high on his list of foods. Since that time I’ve been on the lookout for which foods help us release toxins. 

Besides raw, high vitamin C foods, cilantro tends to pull heavy metals out of the body. Parsley is also our friend. Reportedly it is effective at removing mercury from our bodies. This is especially important in areas where coal-produced electricity affects the water supply. 


Pump up the volume: choosing foods that support you

Besides eating foods to detox, our family chooses foods that support health including: 

Sea vegetables. We now prefer those ethically harvested from the Atlantic Ocean and avoid those from the Pacific or the Gulf of Mexico. They are naturally higher in healthy iodine and minerals—which help to protect the thyroid and keep it in balance. Hint: you can throw in a handful with your kimchi. 

Raw, fermented foods. We love homemade kimchi, sauerkraut and gingerbeer. Kombucha, yogurt, kefir and many other foods make a regular appearance in our home. The bacteria used in the fermentation process are beneficial for your digestive system. They start to break down the food making the vitamins and minerals more available to your body. Nothing is as satisfying as dishing out a helping of kimchi made with veggies from your garden! 


 Mushrooms are another of our favorites—but you must cook them! They supposed to be good for everything from ridding yourself of a cold to fighting cancer. Paul Stamets of Fungi Perfecti has shared research that mushrooms exposed to sunlight for two days store many times the Vitamin D of their counterparts. Apparently this practice is so healthy that even squirrels do it! (Permaculture Activist, #86, November 2012)

There are some other things to consider incorporating into your weekly or yearly diet.

  • Consider including detox regimes. 
  • Stress and relaxation programs help with balancing your hormones (especially cortisol and adrenaline).
  • Water is critical for your health. Of course there are many other options. These are a few to get you started. 


Permaculture Activist (now Permaculture Design Magazine) #86, November 2012

Fallon, Sally, Mary G. Enig, PhD. Nourishing Traditions. Washington, DC: New Trends Publishing, Inc., 2001.

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