Heavy metal contamination of crops and the impact on diets

When you think about a healthy diet, you probably imagine lots of vegetables and fruits. However, you may not be eating as healthily as you think. In some cases these foods can be contaminated with high levels of heavy metals. Consuming too much of them can lead to all kinds of health problems. They occur because of heavy metal toxicity, where the level of the metals in the body restricts metabolic functions.

Crop quality and productivity

Heavy metal toxicityOne of the biggest global challenges at the moment is ensuring the food supply can keep up with population growth. This can cause a number of issues. For example it can mean people are growing more food on land that is contaminated with heavy metals. Plus, it can mean an increase in the use of fertilisers, pesticides, and other chemicals that may contain the harmful elements. This can contaminate even more land as well as increasing levels in crops.

Heavy metal contamination is actually one of the biggest causes of food production issues. It has a big affect on crop quality. In addition, it can harm the yields. This can occur because of manganese (Mn) heavy metal toxicity in acidic soils and Mn and Lead (Fe) toxicity in flooded or waterlogged soils.

Tackling the issue

This is a very hard issue to tackle. The problem is that heavy metal contamination can happen in many different ways. As we said above, it commonly occurs because of modern agricultural practices such as using fertilisers. However, it also happens because of air and water contamination. These can occur because of industrial activity.

In many locations the land and water can naturally have higher levels of heavy metals because of the geology. When the underlying rocks in these areas weather, they release more of the metallic elements into the soil and water.

A number of studies are looking to tackle the problem. For example, there is research to look into how certain plants can exclude or tolerate heavy metals.

Your diet

Fruits and vegetables will always be a vital part of a healthy diet. However, you need to be careful about where they come from and how they were grown. Ideally you should choose organic produce. It can have a much lower level of heavy metals because the growers don’t use fertilisers and other chemicals.

Talk to us about heavy metal toxicity

Hair Mineral Testing UK works hard to help people improve their health. A test can be a great place to start if you have any symptoms that could be because of exposure to heavy metals. These can vary depending on what element it is and whether it is acute or chronic poisoning.

What we do is offer a test that will look at the levels of all kinds of heavy metals, including mercury, lead, and cadmium. You can use this information to see how healthy your diet and lifestyle is. We can also offer a consultation to look at how the levels could be harming you.

If you want to learn more about heavy metal toxicity, you can contact us. Plus, you can order test kits via our website.