In all my years as a holistic nutritionist and eco expert I never imagined I’d write an article about nuclear radiation, but since the disasters at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in Japan I’ve been requested to share some empowering information with you. Before diving into my recommendation though, please take a deep breath and extend your HEART TO JAPAN and all the people there, visualizing efficient rescue relief and repair post earthquakes and tsunami. Continually, focus on the love and healing as much as possible.
Now, whether radiation is an immediate threat to your health or you simply want to be prepared for a worse-case scenario there are simple and affordable items you can keep stocked in your kitchen or add to an emergency kit. Rather than rushing to your local drugstore for potassium iodide (which is quickly selling out), let’s look at 5 healthy tips that are more holistic and effective beyond the initial 24hrs of potential exposure.
Considering that many experts estimate that 90% of Americans are deficient in iodine and that radioactive iodine will latch onto deficient iodine receptor sites in the body, it’s important to address this topic first. Supplementing with potassium iodide (also chemically known as KI) will fill receptor sites, but unfortunately a typical dose will only be effective for a day and can pose toxic threats to thyroid function. In other words, it’s best used for emergencies where people are in close proximity to nuclear exposure.
So, let’s look at a solution found in nature, along with four other helpful tips.
- Kelp powder or tablets. This sea vegetable is loaded with iodine, but contains very little sodium. In fact Nature’s Life Atlantic Kelp delivers 225mcg (150% of the Daily Value) in 1/16 of a teaspoon. It can be added to soups, sautéed vegetables, smoothies, and other dishes. Just make sure you only use a sprinkle for culinary and therapeutic purposes because of the strong flavor (it smells and tastes somewhat like fish on its own). Explore a range of other sea vegetables such as wakame, dulse, and nori. Also, be sure that you don’t use kelp powder or supplement forms on a daily basis without a professional’s guidance and understanding of your current thyroid health. For emergency kits and situations, Country Lifeoffers a vegetarian, gluten-free tablet called Norwegian Kelp. It’s online for under $5 (300 capsules) and provides 225mcg of iodine. It can also be found at natural food stores.
- Miso. Historically, it was effectively used by some of the Japanese hospitals during WWII after the horrendous atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Most commonly consumed as miso soup, this fermented rice, barley and/or soy paste can be added to a range of meals. For maximum potency and benefits, stir it in after you’re done cooking. I strongly recommend buying only organic, non-gmo brands such as Miso Master.
- Chlorella. This amazing form of algae is known to repair DNA and reduce symptoms associated with chemotherapy and radiation cancer treatments. My top choice is by New Chapter since it’s hydroponically grown and free of common bacterial and chemical contaminants. Spirulina is another option. Both were utilized after the catastrophic Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster in 1986.
- Foods that help the body produce glutathione. Often touted as the body’s most powerful antioxidant, glutathione is capable of protecting the thyroid from more long-term radiation. However, it is not easy to supplement with. A better approach is seeking out a range of organic fruits and vegetables that promote the body’s ability to make glutathione. Examples include: avocados, asparagus, broccoli, garlic, spinach, and tomatoes. Plant-based digestive enzymes can help your body make the most of these food choices as well as the other options already mentioned. Curcumin, better known as turmeric, is also a good source, plus it helps the liver detoxify and it can reduce inflammation. Supplement forms of many of these foods and herbs can be stored in emergency kits.
- Baking soda. It’s cheap, accessible, and it works rapidly to alkalize the body when stress, chemicals, and other factors result in an acidic overload. It’s so effective actually that the U.S. military has reportedly used it for decades to protect military personnel, and their kidneys, from uranium exposure. Drinking a small amount of water (approximately ¼ – ½ of a cup) with ½-1 ½ teaspoons of baking soda (depending on body size) is common as a proactive measure. It’s best taken on an empty stomach to avoid digestive interference. Temporary belching and gas may be experienced. Drinking water with baking soda should not be done on a regular basis and is best done under the supervision of a health professional. Larger amounts can also be used in baths for detoxing the body. Natural bath salts that are rich in magnesium, including Epsom salts or dead sea salts, can be substituted for soaks as well.