Wherever we turn, we are exposed to unnatural levels of electromagnetic radiation. Studies abound on the adverse health effects of ionizing, as well as non-ionizing radiation. The good news is there are dietary interventions that can help lessen the negative impact of these fields.
The health effects of ionizing radiation in the form of gamma-rays, X-rays and cosmic rays are well-known. Lesser known is the impact of non-ionizing radiation in the form of Wi-Fi, electronic appliances, power lines and cell towers. (See the 2012 BioInitiative Report to view the 1800 studies implicating non-ionizing radiation.)
The good news is that daily lifestyle decisions go a long way to reducing our exposure to electromagnetic radiation. Best of all, there is a lot we can do at night to help us recover and rejuvenate even if we live or work in a highly exposed environment. (See Sleep, Melatonin and Electronic Devices.)
Altering the way we use our cell phones may also play a pivotal role. See 10 Cell Phone Safety Tips.
Nutrition and diet have also been shown to help neutralize the impact of free radical damage caused by various types of exposures. Many of the studies noted below focus on the effects of ionizing rather than non-ionizing radiation. Hopefully, we will see more research as the impact of non-ionizing radiation becomes more widely known.
7 Anti-Radiation Foods
* This is not a complete list, nor is it intended to give the impression that one food can take the place of awareness and lifestyle choices.*
1. Fermented Papaya
Fermented papaya has been shown to enhance antioxidant protection in humans. Fermented Papaya Preparation has been studied extensively in Japan, the site of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011. (See the article Potential Benefits of Fermented Papaya Preparation in Human Health Following Exposure to Radiation.)
- The Effect of Fermented Papaya Preparation on Radioactive Exposure
- Oxidative-Inflammatory Damage in Cirrhosis: Effect of Vitamin E and a Fermented Papaya Preparation
I created a fermented papaya recipe using fresh papaya, turmeric, cinnamon and culture starter. Find the recipe here.
Foods like kombu, wakame, spirulina, and Irish Moss are among the richest sources of iodine on the planet. Naturally occurring iodine helps protect the thyroid, prostate, and breast tissue, which are highly sensitive to radiation. (This is due to the high amounts of iodine receptors in these tissues and glands. If the receptors are low in iodine they easily grab radioactive iodine.)
- Influence of the Ingestion of the Sea-weeds on the Thyroidal Uptake of I-131 (This study appeared in soon after WW II.)
- Assessment of Japanese Iodine Intake Based on Seaweed Consumption in Japan: A Literature-Based Analysis
- Radioactive Iodine and the Effect of Consuming Seaweed
(*Note: High iodine intake can cause unexpected health problems in a subset of individuals with pre-existing thyroid disorders.)
Spirulina, a different type of seaweed, has been used successfully to help children with chronic low-level exposures following the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Learn more here.
3. Natto and Miso
Fermented soy foods are high in the isoflavone genistein, which has shown radiation protective properties. Natto has a sticky texture and strong flavor. Miso is a paste with a salty, buttery texture.
- Quantification of Genistein and Genistin in Soybeans and Soybean Products
- Genistein Treatment Protects Mice From Ionizing Radiation Injury
- Genistein Can Mitigate the Effect of Radiation on Rat Lung Tissue
Fermented soy is also a goitrogen that potentially inhibits the production of thyroid hormones. Some suggest countering the intake of fermented soy with sea vegetables high in iodine. For more, see Vitamin K2 and Natto. I make my natto using non-GMO soybeans. (Find the natto recipe here.)
4. Milk Kefir
The word kefir (pronounced kəˈfir/ kə-FEER), comes from the Turkish word “Keif” which means “good feeling”. With more than a dozen strains of bacteria and yeast, dairy kefir offers a diverse blend of probiotics, shown to help counter the impact of radiation.
- The Protective Effect of Fermented Milk Kefir on Radiation-Induced Apoptosis in Colonic Crypt Cells of Rates
- Protective Effects of the Fermented Milk Kefir on X-ray Irradiation-Induced Intestinal Damage in B6C3F1 Mice
It’s simple to make dairy kefir. For sources of grains and a step-by-step tutorial see How to Make Dairy Kefir.
Chaga is a type of fungus that grows on birch trees in cold regions such as Siberia, Canada, Alaska, and some northern parts of the continental United States.
Chaga is known for its high content of superoxide dismutase (SOD), an essential enzyme that functions as a potent antioxidant. Chaga has a unique melanin compound that has been found to be protective to our DNA.
In his book Chaga: Kind of the Medicinal Mushrooms, David Wolfe notes that melanin has the propensity to bind radioactive isotopes into less toxic or even non-toxic forms.
(Learn more about the unique radiation protective properties in a video featuring energy medicine specialist Dr. Karl Maret, titled The Science Behind Chaga.)
I make Chaga tea using ground Chaga. I add the tea to my kombucha brew. There are lots of ways to incorporate Chaga into your diet. For sources, recipes and more on the science see Chaga HQ.
Amla, or Emblica Officinalis, is an ancient medicinal berry also known as Indian gooseberry. Amla is known for its superior antioxidant ability, exhibiting a rare combination of gallic acid esters, tannins, and quercetin. Amla has demonstrated anti-radiation properties.
- Protective Effect of an Extract of Emblica Officinalis Against Radiation-Induced Damage in Mice
- Inhibition of UV-induced ROS and Collagen Damage by Phyllanthus Emblica Extract in Normal Human Dermal Fibroblasts
Amla is readily available in powder form. For more on incorporating amla into your diet see How to Take Amla for Better Health.
7. Bentonite Clay
When all else fails why not eat Earth itself? Bentonite clay is derived from weathered volcanic ash and is highly alkaline. Bentonite clay carries primarily a negative charge while toxins carry a positive ionic charge. The clay acts as a magnet, capturing these positive ions and passing them through the skin or digestive tract.
- Thermal stability of the Thermoluminescence Trap Structure of Bentonite
- Behavior of Adenine in Na-montmorillonite Exposed to Gamma Radiation: Implications to Chemical Evolution Studies
Sources of bentonite clay include:
I include bentonite clay in my morning detox drink that contains psyllium, raw apple cider vinegar, and spirulina. See more about my daily regimen in the post My Detox Routine.
(Bentonite clay contains trace amounts of lead and aluminum. Most clay experts agree that the trace amounts of these metals are bound to the clay and cannot be absorbed by the body. Bentonite clay has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes. See more here.)
Now more than ever we must be proactive when it comes to our health. Why not add one or more of these foods to your diet!