It's been just over a year since the Nuclear meltdown in Japan. We had a lot of concerns about radiation for a month or two, and then things sort of simmered down. However, I recently had a patient ask me what she could do to protect her young children from the effects of increased radiation in our atmosphere. There's a lot out there on the web. Weeding through all of it to determine an effective set of guidelines for families with little ones (or pregnant ones!) has been my pet project for the past few weeks.
Without further ado, I present "Dr. Roe's Radiation Protection Plan"
1. An apple a day. Pectins (found in apples) are probably the most well-studied food source for radiation protection, even after exposure has occurred. People in the Chernobyl radiation zone have been advised for years and years now to consume apples on a regular basis to help the body absorb and eliminate excess radiation.
2. Eat iodine-containing foods, and keep a source of iodine on hand for your family in the medicine cabinet. There is no need to supplement Iodine on a regular basis, and this can, in fact, put people over the age of 40 at risk for thyroid cancer.
3. Add Spirulina to Smoothies or, even better, applesauce a few times per week. Spirulina also shows the ability to bind radioactive isotopes so that the body can more readily eliminate them.
4. Find a reputable source for Kombucha tea, and drink it 3-6 times per week (8oz serving). Besides, the hot-link there, I was able to easily find lots of evidence to show the anti-oxidant, free radical scavenging, radiation-busting effects of this ancient beverage.
5. Most of all, be healthy. Eat whole foods. Drink water. Take a daily multivitamin (a good one!!!!) Avoid sugar and processed foods to keep all of your organ systems intact and functioning properly. Your body's ability to combat radiation exposure is only as strong as it is healthy.
So there you have it, the naturopathic doctor-approved, weeded-out version of Radiation Protection, 101.