Saturday, July 24, 2010
While a number of factors influence the balance of our hormones, women in many developed nations have an additional man-made force playing havoc on our hormones that our great grandmothers didn't have to contend with--xenoestrogens, compounds that mimic estrogen in our bodies and can alter hormonal activity. They are found in plastics, pesticides and growth hormones given to livestock and poultry, which we consume.
Since men are also inundated with these chemicals, they are also suffering from estrogen dominance when exposed to xenoestrogens, which is thought to contribute to hair loss, atherosclerosis, prostate problems, lowered libido, weight gain and impotency.
Simple steps to minimize your exposure to xenoestrogen, include choosing organic produce whenever possible, especially for the ones sprayed with the most pesticides (click here to see the Environmental Working Group's list of the top 10 most contaminated fruits and veggies). Also, buy hormone-free, organic meats and milk, preferably from grass-fed animals. Use glass food containers and stainless steel water bottles instead of plastics. Paint your home with low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint. Do not microwave your food in plastic containers or covered in plastic wrap. Choose organic, natural body care products and natural cleaning products.
Detoxing the liver will help your body to metabolize xenoestrogens more efficiently. Drink plenty of purified water and eat cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, kale, cauliflower and spinach. In addition to their detoxifying properties, cruciferous vegetables contain an an estrogen-balancing chemical called indole-3-carbinol.
While we live in an imperfect world, it doesn't mean we have to go through life blindly assaulted by the things we cannot see. Since knowledge is power, the more you know about the things that can hurt you, like xenoestrogens, the more control you can take over your health.