The focus of this weeks issue is on reproductive health and what you can do to promote optimal hormonal balance in your home. By reducing your exposure to some very common household chemicals you can reduce your risk for infertility, birth defects, cancer, and other chronic diseases. If you’re planning on having children in the future follow these suggestions to create a more reproductive friendly environment, in your body and your home. If you’ve already had children follow these suggestions to create a healthier environment for them, because research shows that chemical exposure at a young age can lead to physical changes that last a life time (and beyond in some cases!).
Hormones In The Kitchen…
As a society we are becoming much more conscientious of chemicals in our environment. This awareness has been fueled by an understanding that chemicals often have cancer causing effects. What gets much less attention is how these chemicals can interfere with hormonal balance by acting like estrogens or by blocking testosterone once they enter our bodies. It takes an infinitesimal amount of chemical exposure sometimes to create a physical change within the body. Read on for the top 3 ways to combat these chemicals in your kitchen.
- Avoid Canned Foods: BPA, a well researched xeno-estrogen (chemical that mimics estrogen in the body) is common in the lining of canned goods. Several studies have exposed animals to environmentally relevant levels of BPA and found that exposure at any time during the life cycle of an animal can have profound effects, including birth defects and detrimental changes to both male and female reproductive organs. Whether exposed in utero, during puberty or as adults, these animals experience changes that last not only their life time but are passed on to their offspring, and their offspring’s children as well.
- Eat Organic: While it can be costly to eat entirely organic it certainly is best to avoid pesticides and herbicides on a daily basis. If you need to prioritize while shopping we suggest making sure that at the very least your meat and dairy products are organic. Pesticide chemicals are a danger to the body and so, just like humans, animals will store these chemicals in their fat in order to get them out of circulation. Eating animals or products containing their fat (butter, milk, etc) is asking for a concentration of their pesticide exposure if you’re not choosing organic.
Hormone Balance In The Bathroom…
what’s in your make up?
Think about all the products you keep in your bathroom: shampoos and conditioners, lotions, soaps, make up, perfumes. Have you ever flipped over that bottle of shampoo or lotion and read the ingredients? Can you pronounce even 1/4th of what’s in there? How are we to make health conscious decisions about what we rub, lather, dust, and spritz onto our bodies every day when we don’t even know what it is?
Thanks to the Environmental Working Group much of the difficult work has already been done! Check out their Skin Deep Database where they have rated hundreds of products and brands as to their safety. Type in your shampoo or your favorite lip balm and see if they contain chemicals shown to cause endocrine disruption or cancer. Pull up entire lists of safe beauty products and make your next shopping trip that much easier!
We have chosen Silent Spring by Rachel Carson as a reading recommendation to accompany this blog post because it is a phenomenal explanation of how chemicals effect our environment and our physiology. This read will make you think twice about the chemicals you come into contact with on a regular basis.
By Rachel Carson
With Essays by Edward O.Wilson and Linda Lear
Mariner Books/Houghton Mifflin Company. (1962)
378 pp., $14.00 paperback