“Fallout Foods” Are Your Best Defense
The safest, smartest way to protect yourself in our current situation is to boost your consumption of foods that are rich in natural iodine.
I call these “fallout foods” because they pump up your body’s iodine supply, making you less vulnerable to any radioactive iodine in the air.
Even without an iodine supplement, you can protect yourself and family from the increased radiation overhead by getting more of these fallout foods into your diet.
The best of these iodine-rich foods come from the oceans far from Japan, Pacific ring of fire, — and topping the list is seaweed and other sea vegetables, the leading food source of iodine on the planet.
Seaweed and sea veggies are a mainstay in the Japanese diet (they consume more of it than any population on Earth), so they’re getting as much protection as these foods can provide.
But if you’re like most Americans, chances are the only seaweed you’ve ever swallowed was wrapped around a sushi roll. And you probably couldn’t tell kombu from kelp if you’re life depended on it. But that’s about to change.
Beefing-Up Your Seaweed Savvy
Here's a rundown of the most popular types of seaweed available…
Kelp has an amazing 12 mg of iodine per teaspoon of granules. Sprinkle it onto any meal—salads, soups, and whole grains.
Kombu is a type of kelp that comes in strips. Add one 5″ strip to every pot of soup, grains and beans you cook (iodine is not affected by heat). It’s painless and flavorless, and you can remove it after cooking so squeamish family member won’t have to see it.
Dulse and wakame are other good sources of iodine — but, alas, nori is the iodine-poor member of the seaweed family. You can still get plenty of iodine in your sushi by adding kelp granules to the sushi’s rice, and/or cooking the rice with kombu .
Sea Veggies Remove Radiation from Your Body
In addition to protecting you from radiation, sea vegetables also pull radiation out of your body. According to a 1964 McGill University study published by the Canadian Medical Association Journal, kelp reduces the intestinal absorption of radioactive strontium-90 by up to 80% (thus it passes through the body instead of sticking around where it can do damage).
Indeed , there are so many health benefits associated with seaweed that adding it to your current diet just makes good sense – whether fallout from Japan becomes a major health concern or not.
Curious to see how we could make “seaweed snacking” more appealing to Western taste buds, we’ve been experimenting with new recipe ideas in our My Healing Kitchen Test Kitchen. Here are the winning favorites as voted by our Taste Panel…
Nori-Wrapped Crab Rolls with Wasabi and Roasted Red Pepper
Seaweed Cucumber Salad
Seaweed is definitely catching on in the health-conscious sectors of America. Seaweed snacks now populate entire sections of shelf space at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. One of my favorites is Annie Chuns Seaweed Snacks which is available in sesame or sinus-opening wasabi flavors. Both are big favorites around the My Healing Kitchen offices.
Other Radiation-Blocking Foods
No way, you say, that you’ll ever, ever eat seaweed?
Okay. So you’ll be happy to know there are several other foods that pack a big iodine wallop, including asparagus, garlic, Lima beans, mushrooms, sesame seeds, soybeans organic, spinach, summer squash, Swiss chard and turnip greens. (Just realize that these veggies are nowhere near as potent as the sea-faring sisters.)
And forget that urban rumor about getting your iodine from iodized salt. You’d have to swallow a half a cup of salt to get a scant 13 mg — and your blood pressure wouldn’t appreciate that one bit.
Put More Cancer-Blocking Foods on the Table
Radiation causes cancer by creating free radical molecules that damage DNA. So it makes sense to eat more foods and supplements that are rich in antioxidants these days — and research backs this up.
Choose foods loaded with the antioxidants vitamin C (papaya, kale, red bell peppers, broccoli, strawberries organic and kiwis), vitamin E (sunflower seeds, almonds, olives and spinach) and selenium (Brazil nuts, salmon Alaska wild, shrimp and turkey, and brown rice) .
All of these are cancer-blocking heavyweights. And it’s easy to identify them. Just let your eyes guide you: Fresh, brightly-colored foods tend to be antioxidant treasures.
You also should consume more whole grains, especially brown rice. Whole grains are rich in fiber, phosphorus, antioxidants and selenium, all of which help escort toxins from the body.
And don’t forget rosemary. Spanish researchers published research in the British Journal of Radiology demonstrating that nothing fights the free radicals created by radiation like this aromatic herb. Since rosemary’s essential antioxidants are fat-soluble, they provide critical protection in areas water-based antioxidants can’t reach.
Other supplements that may be protective against radiation damage are vitamin D and vitamin K. Both support cell apoptosis, which is the programmed death of cells that accumulate various DNA errors (due to radiation and other causes). Vitamin D also supports DNA repair.