The modern environment is steeped in hormone-disrupting chemicals. While it is impossible to avoid them altogether, we can take steps to lessen their presence in our lives and protect our systems to some extent from their nefarious effects.
The following techniques, foods and supplements may help lighten our hormone-disrupting load.
- Bin bad fats (trans fats, damaged omega-6 fats, questionable fats, etc.), as these damaged lipids can build up and metabolise into unwanted oestrogens
- Eat healthy fats from whole foods like avocado, nuts and seeds instead, as these may help lower oestrogen dominance in men and restore natural oestrogen balance in women
- Eating lots of sulphur-containing vegetables - the brassicas (broccoli, broccoli sprouts, kale, cauliflower, bok choy, etc.), onions, garlic, asparagus and mushrooms - may aid detoxification; brassicas are rich in indole-3-carbinol, which converts into a compound that helps the liver break down excess oestrogens
- The sulphoraphane in broccoli sprouts has been shown to detoxify benzene, a major molecular building-block of hormone-disrupting chemicals such as bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates.
- A diet rich in plant oestrogens called lignans may serve to block the action of potentially harmful xenoestrogens. Beans, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dark leafy greens and seeds are sources of lignans, flaxseed being a particularly rich source.
- Mushroom supplements such as reishi from Four Sigma Foods may help support hormonal balance
- It's always a good idea to consult with a qualified, experienced nutritional advisor when trying to restore hormone balance using supplements. We are more than happy to chat with you in The Hopsack to see what might be best for you and your body
- Herbs can be helpful but it is important to consult a qualified, experienced herbalist when trying to restore hormone balance using herbs
There's only so much we can do. I used to worry about BPA in my juicer, forgetting that it also lurked in my kettle and that heated plastics are worse than unheated. While it is important to avoid sources of endocrine disruption and protect ourselves wherever possible, it is also vital not to fret about every potential source of hormone disruption. We simply cannot control it all and that kind of picky stress can be very harmful indeed.