Do you worry about mercury when you eat salmon or any other large fish? This detox pesto is not only delicious on top of salmon, but you can use it as a veggie dip or even a dressing for your sandwich. The ingredients are deliberate to help counter any trace amounts of mercury contamination. Learn why this detox pesto and your salmon should go hand in hand!
The Mercury Scare
Mercury is at the top of the most poisonous or toxic substances on the planet. It is found in the amalgam fillings in your mouth, in the air of coal burning plants, in almost all vaccines (given to newborns, infants, children, flu shots, etc), farm-raised fish, and also compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. They can enter the human body through food, water, air, or absorption through the skin.
Mercury crosses the blood-brain barrier and can create neurological problems. Heavy metal toxicity may cause headaches, nausea, vomiting, sweating, muscular, neurological and physical degeneration, cancer, and even death.
Salmon and Mercury
There are amazing health benefits to eating wild salmon, which is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, omega-3 fatty acids can lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of developing heart disease and other diseases. However, you should monitor your wild salmon consumption if you are pregnant or nursing.
You are probably well aware of the potential health effects of mercury in salmon or larger fish. Salmon is available as wild or farm raised. When mercury enters into our water sources, the bacteria initiates a chemical reaction, which produces the toxic form of methylmercury.
Farm-Raised vs. Wild Salmon
The EPA and the FDA both recognize salmon as a low-mercury fish, but they do not make a distinction between wild and farm-raised. The source of your salmon is extremely important. A 2004 and 2008 study (among others) found that farmed salmon had significantly higher levels of contaminants and mercury than their wild counterparts.
It is important to know that Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon is not allowed to be farmed and has a very low risk of mercury contamination compared to farm-raised salmon.
Chelation is the removal of heavy metals from the body, whether through chelation therapy or naturally with food. Studies show that chelation is scientifically proven tobond to and rid the body of toxic metals, especially lead and mercury. Traditional chelation therapy uses agents such as EDTA and DMPS, but certain foods have similar chelation qualities.
The Super Chelation Foods
This pesto is deliberately made of these super chelation foods. Not only does it taste fresh and delicious, it is also working to help chelate the heavy metals in your body.
Cilantro helps to rid the body of heavy metals and protects against oxidative stress. It is an excellent source of dietary fiber, vitamins A, C, E, K, calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium. Here is a fun PS – did you know that cilantro and coriander are the same thing? Cilantro actually the Spanish word for coriander leaves. Cilantro is also called Mexican parsley, and refers to the leaves. Coriander usually refers to the seeds.
Cilantro is effective in extracting mercury and other heavy metals from your system. The herb is even believed to cross the blood-brain barrier and remove heavy metals from the brain.
Parsley helps to promote the removal of toxins and heavy metals in your body, and helps to strengthen your immunity. It’s full of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and niacin.
Chlorella is a fresh water algae and is easiest to work with in powder form. It is one of the most nutrient-dense superfoods in the world. It helps to support energy, fat loss, and heavy metal detox for cadmium, mercury, and uranium. It is also an excellent source of chlorophyll, iodine, protein, vitamin A, vitamins B2 &B3, iron, magnesium, and zinc. NOTE: Individuals allergic to iodine and those that have been prescribed Coumadin or Warfarin should consult with their physician prior to using chlorella.
Garlic is another great chelating food. The sulfer in garlic works to eliminate heavy metals.
Lemon (Pectin in Citrus Pith)
The health benefits/uses of lemon include: throat infections, indigestion, rheumatism, high blood pressure, immunity, cleansing, detoxifying, and is even a cancer fighter. Lemons are excellent sources of vitamin C, B6, potassium, folate, flavonoids and the outstanding phytochemical, limonene.
Pith is the inner rind that protects the juicy part of the fruit. Pith contains bioflavonoids, which fight allergies, inflammation and even cancer. The pectin in rinds from all citrus fruits has demonstrated dramatic heavy metal detox capacity and has been found to chelate heavy metals and other contaminants from the blood stream.
And the Other Superstars
Hippie Dust. Nooch. Whatever you want to call it. Nutritional yeast is inactive yeast, often used for its savory, cheesy flavor. It’s vegan and gluten-free and available in most health food stores. It’s also got tons of nutrients, including B-vitamins, zinc and protein.
While Brazil nuts are not a chelation food, Brazil nuts work to restore the good minerals, like selenium and zinc, that may be lost in the chelation process.
I love this pesto because it has all of these detox superstars and it’s easy to throw all of the ingredients in your stand mixer and watch the magic happen.
Click on the recipe card to open a new window for a printable version.
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What about you? What are your thoughts or concerns with mercury and food?
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