NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Kale, coconuts, and avocados could be bad for you.
Experts say there’s something metallic lurking in those foods, in our water, and elsewhere that could be making us feel miserable.
Anxiety, trouble focusing, exhaustion, and an all around mental funk are familiar symptoms for a lot of people.
“People will come in with very non-specific symptoms; they feel moody, have depression, difficulty falling asleep,” Dr. Svetlana Kogan explained.
After some investigation Dr. Kogan — an internist — said she found that copper is increasingly the culprit.
“Copper is an essential element,” she explained.
Like iron, our bodies need copper for normal growth and health, Dr. Kogan said.
Certain foods like shellfish, leafy greens, cashews, and chickpeas are naturally high in copper.
“These are wonderful things to have as part of our diet, but if somebody is consuming excess they could certainly be at risk,” she said.
At risk for a condition known as ‘copper toxicity.’
“If you had six cups of coffee and you’re feeling jittery, that’s the feeling to describe copper toxicity,” she explained.
An increase in vegetable based diets may also be contributing to copper overload, Kogan said.
Environmental exposure to things like copper water pipes may also be a factor.
“We always recommend to have your water tested,” said Rob Zadotti.
Zadotti, co-owner of Gold Medal Service, said if the PH of your water is not within a safe range it will start to deteriorate the lining of your copper pipes.
While you might not be able to taste the copper in your water, there are other telltale signs it’s there.
“Bluish stains or greenish stains on their tubs,” Mike Jackson explained.
Jackson is a technical field supervisor at Gold Medal, he recommended a water filtration system.
As for treating copper toxicity, Kogan prescribed an infrared sauna.
“Patient is literally sweating out the toxins,” she said.
More importantly — as she outlines in her book ‘Diet Slave No More’ — Kogan said it’s important to eat foods that are balanced.
“Full of rainbow colored vegetables and fruits, and avoid focusing on one group,” she said.
Prolonged use of estrogen medications such as birth control pills may also contribute to an increased level of copper in the body.
Several studies have shows that daily exposure to copper can lead to Alzheimer’s Disease and other former of dementia.