Hormone function is manifested in your mood, metabolic function, energy levels and overall ability to manage life's daily challenges.
Our system of hormones can be likened to an orchestra— if one key is off, everything is off.
In today’s world, we are exposed to many different chemicals and foods that affect our overall hormone balance. For today I am going to focus on Estrogen--
More than ever before, our bodies are exposed to key environmental pollutants that mimic estrogen in the body. We are constantly being bombarded by estrogens that contaminate our physiological functions.
Signs of Estrogen Dominance:
Fat isolated to the belly and chest
PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome)
Early breast development
Irregular menstrual cycles
Each time you eat, there is a chemical reaction that takes place between your hormones and the food consumed. Hormones are an active player in the digestive system--they control cravings and appetite-- and likewise, the digestive system produces hormones. When there is an imbalance between estrogen and other hormones in the body, any of the substances listed below can tip the scale and create a toxic amount of estrogen.
Foods that mimic hormones in the body and trigger dis-regulation:
Conventional meat and dairy
Conventional produce-- the pesticides on crops are highly estrogenic
Energy bars or products that use isolate soy products
Canned foods with BPA
What can you do?
Our hormones work together. An imbalance with one hormone will disregulate the whole system. The steps below target different hormones in the body, which will in turn produce harmony throughout the system.
Filter your water.
Unfiltered water has been found to have pesticides such at Atrazine and arsenic, which negatively impact the thyroid and can cause insulin resistance and weight gain. 94% of water tested by the USDA has Atrazine in it-- be safe and filter your water.
Get to bed by 10pm.
The liver does its main job of detoxing between the hours of 10pm and 2am so you'll want to get to bed in time to support your liver during its optimal functioning. Cortisol starts to kick in at 11pm which gives you another wind to get things done, making it harder for you to calm down and get to sleep.
Be careful with soy.
Isoflavones are the most common phytoestrogens found in plant foods like grains, soybeans, veggies and legumes. Research has indicated that isoflavones negatively impact hormone balance and disease and cancer prevention. Be thoughtful about the amount of soy you consume. Consider ditching the soy latte but enjoy tamari and miso once in awhile.
Ged rid of estrogen dominant foods.
Conventional meats and dairy, non-organic fruits and vegetables, processed foods, chemically enhanced foods, packaged foods with omega-6 oils like corn, safflower, soy and canola. Start looking at the ingredient list if you don’t already. You may be surprised at how many foods contain these types of oils—even if they are organic.
Limit beer consumption.
Hops has been found to be extremely estrogenic and also binds to other estrogens coming into the system, making it harder for the body to excrete. Beer is high in sugar, which is stored in fat cells, and typically displayed around the belly or chest—these are the hardest places to lose fat from.
Watch out for canned foods.
BPA is a chemical found in the lining of foods cans. It was used at one point as a hormone replacement. It is associated with weight weight gain, obesity and insulin resistance. Look for BPA-free canned foods: Native Forest and Vital Choice, are among companies that use BPA-free cans.