This is my tweak on the traditional pesto and my own pesto recipe to create a ‘pesto’ that adds in healing and detoxification supporting ingredients to your usual diet. Tweaking ‘normal’ foods like this to sneak in even more healthy ingredients is a superb way to add to your diet in a consistent and sustainable way.
I am not a fan of the “all-or-nothing” approach as for many when they slip off the healthy eating phase, they fall and then stay fallen! And when you ‘fall’ you feel bad; and this is not what life is about. Eating healthy should be a decision that is made that makes you feel good and feels good to do so. You, me, or any health professional should not approach health in an overly strict or punishing way. This simply leads to self-esteem issues and is a poor example for our children and peers.
So taking what you like and making it better; is definitely a strategy that will be achievable and far less overwhelming. Agreed there will be some changes that may take adjusting to; and these will be worth it. Chose to focus on where you are going and how you will feel. This is very important.
Ingredients to support heavy metal detoxification:
The power ingredients of note in this recipe are Turmeric, Garlic and Coriander; all of which have evidence of benefit for supporting the natural elimination of heavy metal toxins (e.g. mercury, lead, cadmium).
For example the following two papers are available on PubMed and are interesting.
- Chelation: Harnessing and Enhancing Heavy Metal Detoxification—A Review
- Environmental Determinants of Chronic Disease and Medical Approaches: Recognition, Avoidance, Supportive Therapy, and Detoxification
Brazil nuts also deserve a mention as they are a rich source of selenium which is helpful to chelate metals such as mercury, cadmium, and lead and remove them from the body thus reducing total body burden. Furthermore Brazil nuts are rich in magnesium, zinc, omega 3 and antioxidants; more reasons for including them in a diet to reduce or protect you from environmental heavy metal toxins.
If you wish to learn more about the specifics then you will need to search using very specific terms on PubMed to find exactly what you are after. Research in this area is greatly limited by funding; a sad fact and truth is that natural foods do not create sought after revenue unless Big Pharma can take the ingredients and tweak them into a patented drug.
Foods like Turmeric, Garlic, and Coriander contain an abundance of health supporting chemicals with numerous beneficial actions. This is the beauty of real foods used as part of a healing diet; they hit many health targets and taste good! However bear in mind that they are a more gentle approach with cumulative benefits when added to the diet on a consistent basis so don’t expect miracles as these are not drugs. If toxic metals are found to be elevated then I recommend that you book an appointment with me for more specific expert advice on how to deal with the issue more strategically.
If you are interested to assess whether you have elevated levels of toxic metals; such as mercury, lead, copper, arsenic, cadmium, and so on then I recommend a challenged DMSA urine chelation test and we provide this service in the clinic. The test is relatively inexpensive and simple to follow and very helpful to those suffering with chronic health problems or concerned about the impact of smoking, dental amalgams, environmental contamination, high seafood intake (especially large fish high up the food chain such as tuna, swordfish and king salmon), or poor quality water. I use two labs based on the clients specifics; both are highly reputable and accredited labs: Genova Diagnostics, and Micro Trace in Germany.
The information available on the world-wide web can be overwhelming, conflicting and difficult to interpret practically so when it comes to matters such as heavy metal testing, toxicity, and treatment then I highly recommend that you seek expert and specialist advice.
I not only have many years of experience in this area professionally in the clinic; I myself suffered with the effects of environmental mercury in my own system (and more!).
So I truly have both experienced, studied, and treated elevated toxic metals both in myself and my patients.
I often see elevated levels of toxic metals in those suffering with fatigue, blood pressure, cholesterol and cardiovascular problems, tinnitus, chronic gastrointestinal problems, arthritis, fertility problems, chronic pain, chronic auto-immune problems, neuromuscular conditions, cognitive problems, chronic degenerative problems, multiple sclerosis, thyroid issues, kidney problems, sleep problems, white blood cell and red blood cell abnormalities, anxiety and depression.
The list of symptoms is long and diverse and not in any way complete and so the best way to determine whether toxic metals could be a problem for you is a more specific health check when we assess what symptoms of yours may be related to potentially elevated levels of toxic metals and/ or rule out other possible causes of your health symptoms.
There are many questionnaires online that can give a general indication of whether elevated toxic metals could be at the root cause of your symptoms. Here is an example of a good one http://www.lotushealth.com.au/pdf/heavy-metal-toxicity-questionnaire.pdf
The goodness in this healing herb pesto doesn’t stop there!
Other ingredients in this pesto such as extra virgin olive oil, Brazil nuts or walnuts, and parsley all have their own unique health strengths and for this reason I suggest that you add this healing herb pesto into the diet as often as you can! This ‘pesto’ is also dairy and gluten-free.
I made this in my NutriBullet. I have spoken about this in my previous Herb Blitz recipe and the Handy Herb-Style Pesto. If you do not have a NutriBullet with a little bit of effort this should blitz with a hand-held blender or in a food processor or blender.
Healing Herb Pesto for Detoxification
- Fresh coriander – lots – approximately ½ large container or bag.
- Fresh parsley – anywhere from about 50:50 with coriander to 75: 25 with coriander dominating; approximately ½ container or small bag.
- Garlic – 1 clove (add more or less depending on your love of garlic).
- Brazil nuts or if you don’t have these then walnuts – decent amount toasted under the grill or in a dry frying or sauce pan.
- Extra Virgin olive oil – sufficient to allow the blender to blitz all the herbs and not too much so start low and add more as needed.
- 1 to 2 tablespoons ground turmeric.
- Generous seasoning from Celtic, Atlantic or Himalayan salt.
- If you wished to try, then I am sure that a small amount of wheatgrass or rehydrated seaweed will add to this mix; within reason before taste is compromised.
- If you wished to add some heat then paprika, smoked paprika, chipotle, sambal oelek or chili powder will work to add a twist.
- Go Raw sprouted and salted pumpkinseeds taste amazing or salted roasted cashew nuts work superbly also.
- To help the mixture blitz while limiting oil I often add a dash of balsamic vinegar.
- If you wish to add further flavour and healing benefits then try fresh or dried chilli
- Wash the coriander and parsley well and dry in a salad spinner or dab dry with a paper towel to remove excess water.
- Place your herbs, garlic, toasted Brazil nuts, ground turmeric, seasoning, and a decent glug of olive oil in the Nutri-Bullet and blitz (or with a hand-held blender or in a blender/ food processor). Add your optional ingredients if using.
- Blend until mixed through; but not too much as you want to keep the mixture a little on the coarse side.
- You may need to add more olive oil if the mixture doesn’t move well. Avoid using too much oil as this dressing is more nutritious, more pungent in flavour and less high in calories when kept dense in consistency.
This mixture can take patience to blitz and a lot of starting and stopping to shake the mixture around; bear with it as it will be worth it.
- How long you blitz this all depends on how smooth you wish to make it.
- I stored this in a glass jam-jar and kept it in the fridge for use when needed.
- This herb blitz should keep well as I would assume that the olive oil will keep it preserved for at least a week or two but trust me you will use this up rather quickly!
Here are some of my own ingredients:
Ready to store in the fridge for later use.
How to use your Healing Herb Pesto:
I am sure that you can come up with more ideas than the following but here are a few suggestions for using your herb blitz:
- Use as straight forward herb dressing or dip.
- Add to home-made salad dressing (e.g. add a few teaspoons into an oil vinaigrette)
- Use on toast, bread, wraps, sushi or cabbage wraps as a spread or mayonnaise alternative.
- Stir through hummus or guacamole for depth of flavour.
- Add to canned beans to make a fast dip.
- Toss through roasted vegetables before or after roasting.
- Toss through steamed vegetables before serving.
- Serve with fish or poultry.
- Serve on top of steak.
- Scrape on your crackers or toast instead of oil or butter.
- Use to make herb bread by adding to your home-made bread mixture before baking.
- Use to smother a baked potato, baked sweet potato, or home-made fries.
- Stir through yogurt, cottage cheese, or coconut milk to make a dip or dressing.
- Use as an alternative to mayonnaise.
The list is endless and this healing herb pesto packs also packs a powerful punch of nutrients for example plant-based phytonutrients (antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, immune supporting, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, hormone detoxifying), magnesium, zinc, beta carotene, vitamin K and Vitamin E for starters, so get adding this to your meals for nutrition clout and wonderful colour.
“Smile today… You might be the only sunshine in someone’s day.”
I have recently made an awesome variation on this using the following ingredients:
- Coriander – lots
- Parsley – lots
- Basil – only a few leaves
- Raw sprouted pumpkin seeds; I buy these from I-herb but I will in the near future make my own.
- Garlic – half clove to 1-2 cloves depending on your love of garlic
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Dash of water
- I try to limit the oil used and have been trialling the addition of water and yes cutting back on some oil and using water just enough to allow the blades to spin well in the bullet does work. The pesto however may not last as long but still tastes awesome.
- Dash of salt and pepper
Blitz as instructed above to make an awesome pesto.