Low Thiol Recipes: A Diet for Mercury Toxicity
By Jillaine Williams
The Wise Traditions diet is a set of principles; while following these principles, the foods you actually eat will depend on your sensitivities and intolerances (as well as what is available and what you can afford). Every person will need to adjust the diet to their own idiosyncracies.
That is why we like Low Thiol Recipes—it excludes certain foods that cause problems for those suffering from mercury toxicity but still follows the Wise Traditions principles.
Thiols are sulfur-containing compounds that grab onto mercury. It turns out that they are not a good idea for those with a toxic mercury load, because the bond with mercury compounds is not a strong one and “only serves to redistribute mercury around the body, causing symptoms typical of heavy metal poisoning. . . . Free thiols in foods and supplements are like a bus hurtling around inside the body with mercury as the highjacker at the wheel.”
The low-thiol diet is indeed restrictive; it excludes a number of sulfur-containing vegetables (turnips, asparagus, cabbage, bok choy, cilantro, brussels sprouts, onions, cauliflower, broccoli and kale) but also dairy products, whey and eggs. (The diet also excludes chocolate and coffee, which may be one reason people feel better on it!)
Not to worry: the recipes are varied and delicious and all follow Wise Traditions principles. Fermented foods, soaked grains, unrefined salt, kombucha and bone broths form the basis of the diet, along with meat, fish, ghee and coconut products. Although not on a low-thiol diet myself, I am looking forward to trying some of them—chili-lime sweet potato chips, ginger-infused rice, carrots with honey-orange glaze, sauteed pork with lemon caper sauce, coconut poached chicken with lime—they all sound delicious. (And for lots of people, a diet without turnips, kale or cauliflower is no sacrifice at all!)
Many people find that their symptoms improve on the low-thiol diet—better gastrointestinal health, improved concentration, more energy and the clearing of depression—for anyone with mercury fillings and suffering from these conditions, the diet is definitely worth a try. Thumbs up!
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Fall 2020