Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Japan as they recover from the devastating quake that rocked their country a few days ago. As of the time I’m writing this we only face the threat of small amounts of radiation reaching us from Japan due to the current nuclear crisis that country is facing, but the situation is very unstable. Many of you who live on the west coast like me, may be thinking about ways to protect yourself from radiation should it reach us in large or small amounts, here are some easy, natural ways to protect your body from the harmful effects of radiation.
How Radiation Affects the Human Body
Radiation affects the body at the cellular level. Most simply radiation destabilizes the bonds between atoms that make up all the molecules in your body, this is called ionization. Think back to chemistry class here, remember words like covalent, and ionic? (Its okay if you don’t) When these bonds get disrupted electrons get dislodged and are free to cause damage to your cells and tissue. I think of it as microscopic shrapnel wreaking havoc in your cells. If the exposure is small your cells can repair the damage and return to normal function. If not, they either repair as much damage as they can but work abnormally (this is how cancer can start), or they may die from the exposure making you very sick, or even killing you. The crucial factor is the amount of radiation and the part of the cell it affects. Check out this article if you want to read more. Also the body has certain mechanisms it uses minimize damage by radiation. Below we will discuss what they are and how you can increase your own bodies capacity to handle radiation.
You hear about these a lot, they seem to help with everything, well they help with radiation too. Antioxidants are like big scavengers in your body for free floating electrons. If we use the shrapnel image from above, antioxidants are like huge magnets that attract the shrapnel and keep it from damaging your cells. Good news is that these are found in lots and lots of delicious foods. Try adding lots of blueberries, elderberry, red grapes, dark leafy greens, green tea, and especially foods high in carotene like carrots, sweet potatoes, and orange squash to your diet.
The broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower family of foods also contains powerful agents that help prevent any cancers associated with radiation.
The main thing with seaweed is that it protects your Thyroid. Nuclear fallout is high in Iodine 131, which is radioactive. The two tissues in your body that take up large amounts of Iodine are your Thyroid, and if you are a woman, your breast tissue. The best way to keep these tissues from being radioactive sponges is to supply them with enough healthy iodine. Potassium Iodine is usually supplied in areas that have been exposed to high levels of radiation, and if we do face a meltdown in Japan, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have some on hand. But you can also get plenty of iodine from Seaweed. Kombu, Wakame, Kelp, and Bladderwrack are all good sources of iodine. (If you already have a Thyrioid condition, especially Hyper-thyroid or Graves disease please consult your health care provider before you take iodine in any form.) Also be sure to choose ethically harvested seaweeds that are from clean areas of the ocean. I like the Medocino Sea Vegetable Company.
Miso and Fermented Foods
The effects of fermented foods in helping people survive radiation fallout has been noted in both post-Hiroshima Japan, and post-Chernobyl Ukraine. Miso makes a great soup when paired with seaweed. Other fermented foods to try include raw saurkraut, kombucha, kvass, and keifer. Make sure you are using naturally lacto-fermented food that is live and raw. Sandor Katz has written a great book entitled Wild Fermentation all about this subject it has lots of great recipes.
Susun Weed recommends Burdock either in tea form or eaten as a veggie. Ginseng, Red Clover and Reishi are also good allies for strengthening your bodies defenses. It is also important to keep the lymph moving and draining in your body, especially around your thyroid. Calendula, Red Root, and Cleavers are all good herbs for this. Take in a tea form or tincture. Check out the link above for Susun Weed’s full article on this subject.
A Final Word:
I offer this as practical advice for what could be a very scary situation. Lets all remember the power of our thoughts and words as we pray, meditate, visualize, light candles, or do what ever we feel called to do to manifest a better outcome in Japan. So far we are not facing a radiation crisis on par with events like Chernobyl and Three Mile Island. Let’s be prepared, but not feed the fear, and continue to be thankful for our homes, our community, and our planet as we send our aid, thoughts and prayers of compassion to the people of Japan.