Posted on: August 22, 2016 at 3:06 pm
Last updated: September 11, 2017 at 3:07 pm

This amazing post was written by Jenn Ryan, a freelance writer, and editor who’s passionate about natural health, fitness, gluten-free, and animals. You can read more of her work at

Mercury is a heavy metal that’s liquid at room temperature and exists in nature, but different forms of mercury are also used in other applications. The most common you’ve probably heard of are clocks, thermometers, and vaccines.

Mercury is extremely toxic to the human body and can be ingested in the body as well as breathed or absorbed into an opening in the body such as a wound. Since mercury favors fatty tissues, it’s known for harboring itself in major organs such as the brain as well as the liver and kidneys.

You can detox your body from mercury by incorporating selenium into your diet. Selenium is a mineral that can work to remove mercury quickly and has other health benefits as well. Reduce your exposure to mercury and learn how selenium can help!

How Mercury Exposure Happens

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the organic form of mercury called methylmercury is the one people are most exposed to. You can be exposed to mercury through a variety of ways, including:

  • Eating certain types of fish and shellfish, including shark, ahi tuna, swordfish, and king mackerel.
  • Mercury fever thermometers. They can break and you can either breathe in the vapor or directly ingest it in your mouth.
  • Lab equipment such as barometers.
  • Light switches and thermostats.
  • Mercury dental fillings also called silver amalgam fillings.
  • Some vaccines.
  • Pharmaceutical medications.
  • Some cosmetics.

Although breathing in the vapor is generally more dangerous, all types mercury exposure can have health consequences regardless of the levels. The EPA estimates that most people have some traces of mercury in their system, although the majority of these people have levels below those that would cause health problems. In sensitive people, however, even small amounts of mercury could be problematic.

Symptoms of Mercury Exposure


Mercury affects the nervous system and can also affect the immune system as well as the lungs and kidneys. High levels of mercury exposure can be fatal. There have also been documented neurological problems and behavior problems of mercury exposure, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Symptoms may include:

  • Headaches
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Muscle tremors or weakness
  • Vision problems, especially in peripheral vision
  • Speech problems
  • Trouble walking or coordinating movements

If you think you’ve been exposed to mercury, consult your healthcare professional!

Why Selenium Is the Best Mercury-Neutralizing Mineral

Selenium has the ability to bind to methylmercury and thus create a new compound that can’t be held by the body. Antioxidants are crucial to detoxing the body from a heavy metal such as mercury. Selenium acts as an antioxidant that has recently been shown to provide a range of benefits on a variety of diseases, including cancer and heart disease.

Selenium essentially neutralizes mercury by binding to it. After the new compound is made through this attachment, the mercury isn’t able to bond with anything else and is therefore flushed out of the body. Since selenium is able to effectively draw mercury from the body, you can get selenium from a variety of foods and take a quality supplement as directed by your natural healthcare practitioner.

How to Get Selenium

It’s easier than you think to get selenium! The foods that contain the highest amounts of selenium include:

  1. Brazil nuts
  2. Beef liver
  3. Grass-fed beef
  4. Eggs
  5. Spinach
  6. Mushrooms
  7. Lima beans
  8. Chia seeds
  9. Sesame seeds
  10. Broccoli

Pack on these foods to get selenium! Remember also that a diet rich in dark leafy green vegetables and vitamin C can further help your body detox from mercury.


What Else Can You Do?

There are a few other practices you can do while consuming selenium in order to help detox your body from mercury.

Drink Lots of Water

Water helps your body to flush out unnecessary substances.

Take Cilantro

This herb is another great component of detoxing mercury from the body—a tincture is a good form to take.

Red Clover


Red clover can be used as a soak to detox from mercury and is also beneficial for other health problems such as seasonal allergies.

Take Probiotics

Since many probiotics are made from proteins from cow’s milk, choose a kind that doesn’t contain dairy and take to help your gut and immune system heal.

You can find out if you have dangerous levels of mercury in your system by getting testing done at your doctor’s office, but remember that many people have traces of this heavy metal in their systems. You can effectively detox from mercury by using selenium to neutralize the substance and get it out of your body! Grab a handful of brazil nuts and chomp away, friends!

Jenn Ryan
Health Expert
Jenn Ryan is a freelance writer and editor who's passionate about natural health, fitness, gluten-free, and animals. She loves running, reading, and playing with her four rescued rabbits.

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