If your life is full of foods and other items that cause an imbalance of your hormones it would be very difficult for anyone, even someone on what is considered a relatively “normal” healthy diet to maintain fertility.
Years ago I heard the term Endocrine Disruptors (hormone Disruptors). It was new to me and others in the field at the time but in the last few years it is something I talk about with my clients almost every day especially if they are trying to conceive.
A body needs balance to maintain fertility. Too much or too little of any particular hormone begins a cascade of imbalance with other hormones in the body including the systems that are involved in fertility.
Can we do anything about that, you bet we can but it involves some dietary and lifestyle changes. I like to use the quote from Henry Ford when it comes to changes of this nature “If you always do what you’ve always done then you’ll always get what you always got”.
It’s no coincidence that infertility is on the rise in western civilization. One factor is the rise in stress levels.
There is a hormone that is elevated when we are under pressure or stressed, when we eat foods that are high in refined or processed carbohydrates and sugars or when we take some forms of medicine. Modern living for most people involves varying degrees of stress that raises the levels of the adrenal hormone Cortisol in our bodies. If this particular hormone is imbalanced then it effects many of our other hormones including oestrogen and testosterone.
It’s clear that reducing stress then can help to balance hormones but a reduction in hormone disruptors is important too.
What are the major hormone disruptors,
We eat meat significantly more meat than generations before us did. Animals contain their own natural hormones that we are consuming when we eat them. The more meat we eat the more of the animals hormones can have an effect on our hormones. A small chicken breast size of meat a day is actually enough animal protein for an adult to remain healthy and you can also eat more vegetable protein in your diet with beans and legumes as well as some grains like quinoa. Consider having a few vegetarian meals a week.
Milk is full of the cows own hormones too. Foods like cheese, butter and then a few cups of tea or a bowl or two of cereal containing milk can have a minimal daily effect that can add up to a larger effect long term on our hormonal system. You could mix it up a little by trying almond, hazelnut or oat milk alternately.
Plastics contain a specific ingredient known as BPA (Bisphenol A) as well as other chemicals associated with oestrogen receptor disruption. This chemical can be found in many plastics like water bottles, canned goods (used to line the inside of the can), packaged foods, flame retardant chemicals and more. Drinking from glass bottles and decreasing the amount of canned food you eat may decrease the amount of BPA in your life.
The chemicals used in pesticides have many compounds that are associated with hormone disruption. This doesn’t mean eating only organic food but eating more organically grown vegetables can certainly reduce the effects of the non organic foods you do eat.
There are foods that help detoxify excess hormones from the liver too. Indole-3-Carbinol is an enzyme that helps to break down hormones in the liver so they can easily be transported to the digestive tract and out of the body. Cruciferous vegetables contain significant quantities of this enzyme. Cruciferous foods are broccoli and cauliflower and all green leafy foods including cabbage, spinach and lettuce.
The huge list of chemicals in your average household cleaner can certainly have an effect on your hormones if they are absorbed through the skin or breathed in regularly. There are safer brands available in some health stores and supermarkets and it is worth considering a little research into some natural homemade cleaners.
The list continues but the 5 types of hormone disruptors above are the ones we can have some control over by making some different choices in the supermarket, food market or wholefood store. Doing this and reducing stress or increasing our relaxation periods all work together to make a difference.
There are many other changes that can be made via diet but they are more specific to an individuals current diet and lifestyle in the second part of www.realenergyprogram.com where you can learn more about the hormone system in the body, become a member of The Real Energy Program, book and appointment or contact me directly.