Many of the chemicals commonly used in processed foods, smell-good body care products, air fresheners and plastics are now recognized as “hormone disruptors.” This means that chemicals in our food and environment mimic estrogen to the point that they bind to our body’s estrogen receptors when we eat them, breathe them or absorb them through our skin. This is one reason many women (and men) can experience “estrogen dominance” where the level of estrogen in your system is higher than it should be and starts causing health issues. These can include:
- Male factor fertility issues
- Female reproductive health issues
- Estrogen dependent cancers such as breast and ovarian
- Uterine fibroids and polyps
- Ovarian cysts
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Severe menstrual cramping
- Fibrocystic breasts
- Menopausal and perimenopausal symptoms
So what are 3 easy ways you can detoxify from estrogen overload? Let’s look at Food, Plastics and Body Care Products to find out. Part 1 is about lessening estrogen exposure in our Food.
When you eat animal products you will ingest a certain amount of estrogen and hormones from these animals. If you are sufferring from one of the hormonal issues above, it may be in your best interest to consume less dairy and meat products altogether. Because estrogen supplementation is given to cattle, pork and chickens grown in large-scale factory farms to increase their milk and egg production and to promote faster growth, you consume even more estrogen than you should normally when eating these products. (We've all seen the giant chicken breasts now available in grocery stores.) Organic meat and dairy products are not allowed to contain these added estrogens and are a good choice both because you will not consume extra estrogen and because it will help reduce the overall demand for these products. The same is true for the synthetic pesticides utilized by most major fruit and vegetable farmers. Whenever you can buy organic fruits and vegetables, you will reduce your exposure to the hormone disrupting effect of chemical pesticides.
1. The number one thing you can do is buy organic milk, meat, eggs and other dairy products and to purchase vegetables and fruits grown without synthetic pesticides. The cheapest and easiest way to do this is to shop at our many farmers markets and talk to the growers. Local, small farms don’t have to resort to the same practices as the mega-factory farmers do. When you don’t buy organic fruits and veggies, wash them with cold water and dish soap, or rinse them in a water-vinegar solution.
2. Avoid consuming heavily processed foods. Many of the convenience foods that are so simple to whip up, contain lots of added preservatives, coloring and additives that equate to you consuming lots of synthetic chemicals. Keep it simple – food doesn’t have to be fancy – basic organic fruits and veggies with some protein and whole grains should be your mainstay. Not processed foods.
3. Visit www.ewg.org for the Shopper’s Guide on which foods should be bought organic and which are less of a priority.