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Eat Fruit, Absorb 80% Less Mercury


Want to enjoy the health benefits of fish but worried about mercury contamination? Then eat more pineapple, bananas, mango, papaya and guava! Researchers looked at dietary habits in the Brazilian Amazon, whose inhabitants eat fish up to 700 times a year, and found that those who ate tropical fruit at least once a day had 80% less mercury buildup in their system.Previous research has linked mercury levels with high fish consumption, particularly larger varieties that feast on other fish (e.g., swordfish, shark, mackerel). But something in tropical fruit — nutrients, enzymes or fiber — acts to dramatically block mercury absorption.

This is great news given the myriad health perks of eating fish — and of tropical fruit.In addition to boosting your brainpower, fish consumption may protect the heart by reducing inflammation, lower colorectal cancer risk and halve the incidence of depression. Fish may also help fight obesity by helping you feel full longer and even prevent fat cell development.In addition to minimizing mercury, tropical fruit like colpineapple may also counter ulcerative colitis, thus reducing colon cancer risk.

From preliminary studies, possible banana benefits include increased fat burning,lower blood pressure, reduced asthma symptoms and increased stroke protection.Mangoes may help protect against prostate cancer. Guava’s high lycopene levels enhance skin health and sun protection.

Bonus: See beyond seafood myths by separating fish fact from fiction.Is wild salmon really better than farmed? Should you skimp on shrimp to lower cholesterol? Get the truth by visiting

Published March 1, 2009

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