As summer approaches and the weather warms, I'm sure you'll be looking to lighten up what you put on your plate.
And whether you choose cool shrimp cocktail or fish grilled on the BBQ, seafood is the perfect summer protein.
The catch of the day is a light (but filling) alternative to meats like beef and pork -- but it’s a HEAVYWEIGHT when it comes to your health.
The omega-3s found in fish have been proven to reduce inflammation throughout your body and beat back everything from heart disease to cancer and Alzheimer's disease.
But as the mercury rises outside… and you eat more fruits of the sea… the mercury levels in your body might start to skyrocket!
Because according to a new study, levels of this toxic heavy metal are on the rise in seafood caught all around the world.
In the study, when University of Montreal researchers analyzed the amount of mercury fished out of the oceans and seas over the past 65 years, they found that it’s higher NOW than at any other point in history.
That's because industrial activities that release vast quantities of mercury into the air have grown by leaps and bounds.
Mercury in the atmosphere eventually settles into the water, where sea creatures absorb it -- and when bigger fish eat littler fish, that mercury accumulates in their tissues even further.
What's more, the type of mercury the study found in fish is a highly toxic form called "methylmercury," which can penetrate your blood-brain barrier.
That's especially dangerous for children -- because this neurotoxin can harm their developing brains.
In fact, the study found that 38 percent of the countries evaluated in the study have levels of mercury in their seafood supply that exceed the maximum amount considered safe for fetal development!
And in adults, taking in too much mercury can cause tremors and seizures... vision and hearing changes... memory loss... even death.
Now, the study found that the highest-risk areas for mercury exposure from seafood were coastal and island nations like Iceland and Japan.
But even here in the continental U.S., you're not in the clear -- because fish from high-risk areas are increasingly imported and sold right at your local grocery store.
In fact, the Northwest Pacific region exports the most fish -- and that patch of ocean just so happens to contain the MOST methylmercury of any body of water around the world!
So, it's important to choose varieties of fish that are the least likely to contain mercury.
In general, larger species like tuna tend to be the riskiest, while smaller wild-caught fish (like anchovies and sardines) are your safest choices.
A doc well-versed in integrative medicine can test the levels of mercury in your bloodstream – and if they’re high, chelation therapy can help flush it and other toxins out of your system.