There’s no doubt that the environment we live in is toying with our hormonal system. From cosmetics to household items, to the air we breathe, all are composed of chemicals that influence our hormonal pathways. The result is an increase in diabetes, stress, early menopause and extreme perimenopause, weight gain, cancers and other disease states.
It is our job as healthy citizens to minimize our exposure whenever possible. Since you can’t always control the factors present in the environment, a great starting point is to eat foods that boost your hormonal health. Here are the 5 most common hormonal busters to try and avoid:
From a hormonal perspective, sugar will directly influence insulin. Each time sugar enters the blood, insulin is called upon to assist the sugars metabolism into energy. Insulin has many jobs, and each time it has to support the sugar overload, it’s other jobs pay the price. One major job is fat burning, not to mention your potential increased risk of type 2 diabetes! All sugars, including honey, brown sugar, white sugar, and maple syrup, will need the support of insulin to be metabolized.
Artificial sugars may not use as much insulin, but they are linked to so many disease states. One sugar that poses the biggest threat to your insulin is fructose, especially high fructose corn syrup. Consumption of fructose will lead to a fatty liver and ultimately to insulin resistance. Read labels and stay away from Fructose, commonly found in dressings, sodas, baked goods and fruit products.
Try going meatless or clean and lean. An average conventional slab of beef will be injected with 6 different hormones by the time it enters your mouth. These hormones will make their way into, and disrupt, your system. If you are not willing to purchase organic meats, then go meatless. If however, you are willing to go clean, don’t forget lean; keep in mind that toxins reside in fat, so the fattier the meat, the more toxins you are ingesting. Artificial hormones will offset your natural hormones and can lead to estrogen dominance and symptoms associated with hormonal imbalances
When a woman craves alcohol, it is at a time when her hormones start to fluctuate. If you are over 40 you have been there: it’s the end of the night, you need to settle down, kids are in bed, and a glass of wine would be the perfect nightcap. Alcohol is a sugar, and a greedy one at that, where it will instantly disrupt your blood sugar, calling on insulin to take charge. Researchers have found that alcohol consumption also increases the body’s production of cortisol. Cortisol is a nasty hormone when it is chronically elevated. It turns away from managing stress and instead causes stress, reduces muscle mass, increases body visceral fat, and increases water retention.
The list for additives is very long, so I am going to keep this simple. Foods from a box, a can, a plastic bottle, vegetable oils, conventional meats – these all have additives. Additives are considered endocrine disruptors, which means they will single handedly influence the function of the glands and hormones of the endocrine system.
A little healthy soy can be a good thing, including organic tofu, edamame beans and fermented sources such as Miso. However, the majority of soy consumed in North America is genetically modified – soybean oil, vegetarian soy products, and sugar-filled soy milk – and these pose a risk to your health. The confusion about whether soy is good or bad for cancer risk stems from the fact that soy isoflavones can mimic estrogen in the body and can bind to estrogen receptors. Evidence also suggests that soy can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb a synthetic thyroid hormone often used to treat hypothyroidism – so those with an unhealthy thyroid need to make this precaution and consume soy at least 4 hours from medication. Because the evidence flip flops so often, it is suggested to proceed with caution; choose healthy soy products and consume in moderation.
This article is written by Patsy Commisso, owner of MCC Weight Solutions which offers a variety of solutions for optimal health including for weight loss, disease support, athletic performance, stress management, healthy kids and female hormone support.
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