Wireless technology makes our lives a breeze! We all live smarter with our smart phones, laptops, tablets, wireless headphones, smart TVs and smart appliances. But these devices, plus many others, emit electromagnetic fields. So what do these fields do to our bodies? And which foods can help us combat any ill effects?
All day long, I am surrounded by electromagnetic fields. I wake up to the alarm on my phone. When I get to work, I fire up my laptop and connect to the internet. For lunch, I reheat leftovers in the microwave from the night before. As I drive home from work, I turn on the radio or chat on the phone with loved ones. After dinner, I use the remote to turn on my Apple TV and watch my favorite shows. And there are probably dozens of additional points of contact with electromagnetic fields that I’m completely unaware of.
All devices with radio waves or a Wi-Fi connection emit electric and magnetic fields, often referred to as EMFs. Recent research on rats have shown a correlation, depending on levels and frequencies of exposure, of low-frequency electromagnetic fields and the growth of cancer cells.
These EMFs can cause cellular damage similar to other health hazards, like pollution, smoking and a poor diet. But there’s no need to throw away all your wireless electronics – you can combat any possible negative effects with specific foods and nutrition.
This chart illustrates the low-level, or non-ionizing radiation fields on the left, opposed to ionizing radiation on the right (to which we have significantly less exposure). Adverse health effects from long-term exposure to these low-level fields is currently a matter of debate.
What do EMFs do to our bodies?
All living creatures generate electric and magnetic currents within our bodies. These waves help to stimulate nerves, muscle movements and other biological functions. Likewise, we also experience a natural magnetic force from the Earth, which is why a compass points its way north and birds know to fly south in the wintertime. The forces of these fields are charged particles of matter comprised of electrons and protons.
As a helpful visual, have you ever seen a rusty old car deteriorating in a farm field? Or tossed out an apple or banana too brown and overripe to eat? This is a chemical process called oxidation. EMFs can have a similar effect on your cells. When radiation penetrates the cells in our bodies, it activates a negative cellular stress response. In the human body, when some of our atoms lose electrons, they produce free radicals, which can trigger oxidative stress in your cells.
This deteriorates our cells similar to the rusty old car due to an overabundance of free radicals that destroy the cell membranes. Ultimately, the cells weaken and die. In addition, these free radicals damage DNA, fatty tissue, proteins, and the mitochondria, which can lead to serious health problems. But we can combat these stresses. Antioxidants are the white knights that destroy those radical-floating electrons.
When EMFs penetrate a cell’s nucleus, it bypasses the cell’s defense mechanisms completely by generating what are called reactive oxygen species (ROS). EMFs can cause an overproduction of ROS. And while ROS are not always bad, they can become toxic when unregulated due to excess amounts of free radical production that occurs. This causes oxidative stress, which can lead to a myriad of chronic illnesses.
“Research has shown that EMF exposure does elicit change at a cellular level. New technological stressors, like advancements to 5G technology, are increasing exponentially. We cannot change that. What we can do is make sure our bodies are fully fortified with all the vitamins and minerals it needs to fights the effects of EMFs.”
– Jeffery Palmer, Director, Brain Health & Energy Medicine at Third Space
Even with all this information, it is important to note that the literature and studies are limited when detailing health problems associated with EMF exposures. Most of the evidence is derived from animal studies at a cellular level. The World Health Organization has done some research via monographs as to varying electromagnetic levels and have found there’s no need for concern at this time. However, they continue to assess the effects of EMFs using other methodologies, as isolating variables as it relates to human health is very hard to capture.
Foods that fight!
Diet can play a key role in strengthening your antioxidant capacity by increasing our intake of foods that have protectant capabilities against EMFs. For example, cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale and cabbage, contain nutrients that inhibit certain types of cancers, are high in antioxidant compounds and have anti-radiation properties.
Furthermore, focusing on fermented foods like yogurt, buttermilk and unprocessed cheeses can promote friendly bacteria that help to evict byproducts of radiation exposure. Foods containing omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C, zinc, vitamin E, selenium, melatonin, cysteine and other phytonutrient-rich foods all help to protect the body from cancer-causing cell growth from exposure to EMFs. Think spinach, almonds, eggs, oranges, salmon, walnuts and cherries. The chart below is helpful for identifying foods rich in EMF-protectant nutrients.
What else can we do to protect ourselves?
To combat the growing challenge of EMF exposure, the doctors we spoke with recommend a holistic approach to whole body health. To rid cells of free radicals and battle oxidative stress, our bodies needs to be in peak performance shape. This means you are getting enough sleep, feel emotionally fulfilled, and debatably the most important component—fortifying your body with the right nutrients. This will not only help protect your body from EMFs, but other external stressors.
By strengthening your cells, you allow your body to remove oxidative stress, toxins, and free radicals. It gives your cells a fighting chance—the ability to sustain its defenses against outside interferences. On the flip side, if our cells are not fully fortified, it takes away from the body’s ability to thrive. It weakens your immune system and increases your likelihood of chronic illness because more energy is being used to fight off free radicals and disease, rather than function at its highest capabilities.
The Bottom Line:
Electromagnetic fields are unavoidable in today’s wireless society. And while research into the health hazards to low-frequency, non-iodizing radiation are on-going, there are simple steps you can take in altering your diet to protect you from the potential effects. By fortifying your diet with colorful, antioxidant-rich foods, you help your cells to work at peak performance and protect your body from EMFs.