Aluminum, a non essential metal which we are regularly exposed to, is particularly poisonous to the nervous system. The symptoms of aluminum poisoning include disturbed sleep, nervousness, emotional instability, memory loss, headaches, and impaired intellect.
It can stop the body's ability to digest and make use of calcium, phosphorus and fluoride. This prevents bone growth and reduces bone density. Aluminum can force calcium out of the bones, causing weakness and deformation in the bone structure.
Toxicity can also result in aching muscles, speech problems, anemia, digestive problems, lowered liver function, colic and impaired kidney function.
Sources of Aluminum:
- Over the counter medications like buffered aspirin, aluminum-containing antacids, meds for diarrhea and hemorrhoids.
- Aluminum can be a component of antiperspirants and douches.
- Food that has been cooked or stored in aluminum pots and aluminum foil. As much as 4 milligrams of aluminum can be transferred to each serving of an acidic food (tomatoes or citrus fruits) that has been heated or stored with aluminum.
- Stainless steel cookware (it is made by bonding the stainless steel with layers of aluminum).
- Sodium aluminum phosphates are added to cake mixes, frozen chappati /pizza/paratha dough, pancake mixes, self-rising flours, processed cheese and cheese foods and beer (in aluminum cans). One slice of processed cheese can contain 50 mg of aluminum. A cheeseburger may contain one of the highest aluminum contents of any food.
- Baked goods have approximately 5-15 mg per serving.
- An average sized pickle contains 5 to 10 mg if it has been treated in an alum solution. Alum is a form of aluminum sulfate that is used in the pickling solution to firm up the cucumbers, gherkins etc.
-The first step in ridding your body of this poison is to avoid aluminum intake as much as possible.
- The next is to provide your body with nutritional support to give it the strength it needs to detoxify this metal. This support can come from juices made from mint, coriander, turmeric and ginger. Also increase your intake of sulphur-rich foods (onions, broccoli, kale and garlic), olive and flax seed oil, fibre-rich foods.
- When aluminum comes out of its stored locations in your body it can act as a muscle irritant. Since the kidneys handle this detoxification, there may be pain in the back, over the kidneys.
- Since aluminum tends to concentrate itself in the brain, the detoxification process can be accompanied by mental confusion.
- It can also cause flu-like symptoms with fever, chills and mucous discharge from the nose. Since nasal discharge will be toxic, spit it out instead of swallowing it.
Reducing Aluminum Exposure:
- Replace aluminum or metal cookware with enamel coated steel cookware.
- Avoid non stick pans…for frying, old-fashioned cast iron works best,
- Do not cook with aluminum foil, and minimize its use for food storage. Never use it to wrap acidic foods (oranges, lemons, tomatoes, etc.) or cooked food that is still hot.
- Use bamboo steamers instead of metal vegetable steamers.
- Check the labels of all food, medicinal and hygienic products you buy, avoiding those that have aluminum content.
- Minimize your intake of cheese, particularly processed cheeses.
- Minimize your intake of any baked goods that are not homemade without aluminum additives.
While your body can tolerate low levels of aluminum, you must be sure that the level stays low and does not build up. This requires care and continued monitoring. There are tests such as hair/urine/blood analysis that can be done to help you monitor the aluminum levels in your system.