Hey everyone! My name’s Andrea and I’m currently taking a one year course in Holistic Nutrition. Dr. Shea asked me to share some of what I’m learning in my program and I’m super excited to share with you some topics that have come up a lot in my course (so far anyways!).
If you’ve worked with Dr. Shea on your hormone health you know that she’s passionate about helping you feel you’re very best! (FYI, I’m anxiously awaiting my results for my hormone test so I can start my treatment plan to get back to normal). It’s through testing, nutrition and supplements that we can regain energy, stable moods and have no PMS symptoms. But did you know that there are things that you can do everyday to help keep your hormones balanced?
A topic that’s come up (and keeps coming up) throughout my course is environmental pollutants also known as endocrine disrupting chemicals or EDCs. EDCs are everywhere and today, we are more exposed to these EDCs than ever before! From the foods we eat, the clothes we wear, common household cleaning supplies and the use of everyday products. Did you know that the products we put on our skin are absorbed into the bloodstream in 26 seconds?!! I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “you are what you eat” but ultimately, you are what your body can absorb and your biggest detoxifier is your skin! So not only what we put into our bodies matter but also what we put on our bodies!
These EDCs that are in the environment can affect your hormones. The two main offenders for EDCs (that are also the most common) are bisphenol-A (BPA) and phthalates. BPA is one of the most commonly produced chemicals in the world and it’s used to manufacture plastic (the hard clear plastic) that you can find all over your home from water bottles, drinking glasses, baby bottles, medical supplies and even on your laptop and phone screens!
Phthalates are also compounds used in soft plastics but these are the true imposters in your body! Phthalates are xenoestrogens. Xenoestrogens are like the uninvited guests at a costume party because they actually mimic estrogen in the body. Estrogen is the hormone that is most related to femininity. However, an excess of estrogen in the body can lead to water retention, painful periods, brain fog, fatigue, headaches, difficulty losing weight, interrupted sleep and mood irritability. Xenoestrogens act like all the other guests at a party, drinking and chatting but they are the party crashers that will disrupt the whole event when they take their masks off! And the worst part is that our body can’t process these xenoestrogens like normal hormones.
I’m sure your wondering, then where do they go? Unfortunately, they are stored in our fat tissue, for a very long time. But don’t worry, I’m here to give you a list of some recommendations on how to limit our exposure to these havoc-wreaking chemicals!
1. Choosing organic produce whenever possible – conventional produce will contain herbicides and pesticides (and unfortunately cleaning these fruits and vegetables won’t eliminate these toxins!) Be sure to check out https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty-dozen.php Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce
2. Eat from glass, stainless steel and ceramic containers – most cans are lined with BPA so if choosing to purchase canned foods be sure to check the labels for BPA-free cans
Limit using the microwave – however, if you have to please don’t reheat anything in a plastic container! When heating food in a plastic container, plastic can actually leach into your food so use glass or microwave-safe ceramic for microwaving
3. Ditch conventional cosmetics and toiletries and switch to natural products – check out https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ just to see how toxic some of your everyday products are! Here are some of my favourite natural products: Native Deodorant https://www.nativecos.com/, Skin Essence Organics for my skin care https://www.skinessence.ca/ , Dr Bronner’s Fluoride Free Toothpaste https://well.ca/products/dr-bronners-magic-soap-peppermint Be sure to always check your labels and stay away from sodium lauryl sulfates, phthalates, parabens, fragrances and formaldehyde
4. When you walk into your home, remove your shoes – after walking outside, through grass, parks or public gardens, there will most likely be traces of pesticides that can be carried into your home
5. Maintain a healthy weight – as previously mentioned, xenoestrogens are stored in fat tissue by maintaining a healthy weight by exercising regularly can decrease estrogen levels and helps to make more of the good estrogens
6. Stay hydrated – start your day with drinking hot water and a slice of lemon on an empty stomach in the morning to flush out toxins and excess estrogens in the body