What do toxins and hormonal balance have to do with each other? There are all kinds of toxins, but some of them interfere with your body’s ability to maintain hormonal balance. There are two broad categories of toxins. The toxins that are in the air, water, and ground is one kind and are known as environmental toxins. Then there are the toxins created in manufacturing all kinds of products, like perfume, plastic, nail polish, and household cleaners of all types – just to name a few. Most of us can’t live on an island and are exposed to toxins daily. Yet there are some simple things you can do to minimize the impact on your body and maintain hormonal balance.
Minimize Exposure to Plastics
Most plastics contain endocrine disrupting chemicals like BPA (bisphenol A), BPS (bispehnol S), and phthalates. BPA and BPS leach into food and water. Even though they are water soluable, and don’t get stored in fat, they can cause health problems due to repeat exposures over time. So look for plastics that are free of these chemicals or buy items that are stored in lead free glass over items packaged in plastic.
Minimize Exposure to Preservatives
Parabens are synthetic preservatives used in foods, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and personal care products such as deodorants, moisturizers and shampoos. Studies have shown that some parabens can mimic the activity of the hormone estrogen in the body’s cells and disrupt hormonal balance. Estrogenic activity is associated with certain forms of breast cancer and dparabens have been found present in breast tumors. While the most common parabens also have “paraben” in their name—butylparaben, methylparaben, and propylparaben—they can also be listed as Alkyl parahydroxy benzoates. Look for products labeled paraben free or read the labels.
Choose Natural Earth Based Products
Perflourinated compounds (PFCs) are a known endocrine disrupting chemical. They are a class of chemicals used to repel oil and water from clothing, carpeting, furniture, food packaging, and are commonly used on non-stick surfaces on cookware. So look for products that are labeled stain resistant, non-stick, or water repellent by use of a chemical. Opt for untreated wool, cotton, and bamboo textile products. Look for ceramic or natural stone cookware. Watch out for grease repellent packaging like french fry boxes and microwave food products like popcorn. And Steer clear of personal care products made with Teflon™ or containing ingredients that include the words “fluoro” or “perfluoro.”
Go Natural in the Garden
The commercail pesticides and herbicides category of products contain hundreds of chemicals that are toxic and can disrupt hormone balance. The most frequently used are organophosphates and organochlorines. Common home sources include Roundup® and other weed killers, rat poisons, flea and tick sprays, pet collars, mosquito repellent, and many household cleansers. So look for natural products. There are more and more of them that are as effective or even more effective than their toxic counterparts. Debra Lynn Dadd has a website (http://debralynndadd.com) with a comprehensive list of safe and recommended products. Or consider making your own chemical free products.
Choose Your Food Wisely
Food is the largest source of non-work related exposure to pesticides, so eat organic whenever possible, and keep track of your animal fat and fish consumption. The sex steroids found naturally in animal products likely exceed the hormonal impacts of endocrine-disrupting chemical pollutants discussed above. Look for animal products that are free-range, organic and raised on small, local farms that avoid the use of such chemicals. As for fruits and vegetables, certain crops are more heavily sprayed than others. If you can’t buy all organic, use the Environmental Working Groups (www.ewg.org) lists of the dirty dozen and clean fifteen to help you spend your money wisely.
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