Healthy Living: Keeping an eye on hormone disruptors

Eva Hill Hamilton

Reporter:

Eva Hill Hamilton

Email:

news@limerickleader.ie

Healthy Living: Keeping an eye on hormone disruptors

Xenoestrogens can disrupt normal hormonal functions

Thanks to the industrial and agricultural boom of the past century, our life is wonderfully comfortable now.

Everything is within arm's reach, easily accessible and plentiful, fruits and vegetables are fresh looking, unspoiled - saved from pests and insects and ripened by chemicals... We are exposed to over 25 thousand different environmental toxins every day through our food, water, pollution, and our household objects - of which only 25% is proven safe for our health on their own! We don't even know the result of their combination!

What we do know through extensive studies is that these chemicals ingested or absorbed in minute amounts can accumulated within our tissues - mostly in our adipose tissue (fat). Years of accumulation then leads to amounts that is linked to early menopause and chronic diseases and cancerous mutations.

Not so long ago, the focus had been on baby bottles leaching Bisphenol A into food. Bisphenol is just one of many chemicals (phtalates, epoxy-resins, etc) used in plastics to make them more pliable, workable and lengthen their life. When heated or acidic / fat-containing foods stored in these plastics (think of tetra-pack carton boxes or the ever-popular soft plastic bags), they do leak their chemicals into our foods. These chemicals, along with many pesticides and cosmetic additives are called Xenoestrogens as they mimic Estrogen in our body, disrupting normal hormonal functions, leading to ever-increasing incidents of hormone imbalances, infertility and hormonal cancers.

You might argue that our body is well able to treat and rid itself of all these toxins. Well, we are equipped with a wonderful detox system, but it is unfamiliar with many of the new man-made chemicals and is simply unable to neutralize them (e.g. Teflon and heavy metals). If you don't supply your body with the nutrients necessary for detoxification because you have a refined, processed diet, or your vegetables and fruits have been force-grown and chemically ripened therefore contain much less nutrients, what chance does your body have to ward off these disruptors? If your gut flora is imbalanced – you have more pathogenic microbes than beneficial ones, you recycle a lot of the chemicals that were destined to leave your body. Even worse if you struggle with constipation.

Try to reduce your chemical exposure by using glass and ceramic storing jars, natural cosmetics and cleaning agents in your home, filter your water and buy locally grown organic foods. Eat lots of gentle fiber rich vegetables, wholegrains and beans and drink plenty of non-caffeinated fluids to support regular bowel movements. Take a multi-strain probiotic every day and introduce raw fermented foods into your diet (sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir and home-made yoghurt) to eliminate toxins, absorb more nutrients and reduce inflammation.

To support liver detoxification eat cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Pak choi, mustard greens, turnips, maca), grated organic lemon peel, dill, eggs, Brazil nuts and plenty of antioxidants (green tea, strong coloured fruits and vegetables, herbs and spices). You will need amino acids also from protein rich foods – make sure you chew and digest them well.