My 4-Step Guide to Hormone Balance – Step 3
Step 3. Cleanse
Today we are focusing on Step 3 of my Guide to Hormone Balance – CLEANSE. We encounter environmental toxins on a daily basis, from the food we eat, the cosmetic and household products we use and the air that we breathe, and they can be hugely disruptive to hormone balance.
These toxins are called endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and there are literally hundreds of them. Their molecular pattern is similar to our own hormones and it’s hard for our bodies to differentiate between the two, which explains why they can have such a damaging effect.
For us ladies, the effects of EDCs will impact all our key hormones including our sex hormones (oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone), cortisol, thyroid and insulin. They may even contribute to the risk of oestrogen-driven breast cancers.
Our ability to detoxify these nasties varies, some people will be very efficient while others will struggle, and this can depend on our individual genetic make-up.
Step 3 is designed to help our bodies cope in two ways, by:
1. Cleaning up the way we live so we can limit toxic exposure.
2. Supporting our detoxification pathways, especially the in liver and gut.
Here are my top tips on how to limit your toxic exposure:
- Switch to organic or chemical-free brands of cosmetics and personal products like REN, Sukin, Green People, Neal’s Yard, Weleda (to name a few).
- Avoid Bisphenol A (BPA) in plastics – choose BPA free food storage and drinks containers, such as glass or stainless steel. Never heat plastics in the microwave as they can leach into your food.
- Switch to organic produce (if your budget allows) to limit pesticide, insecticide and other chemical exposure. Check out the ‘Dirty 12 Clean 15’ list put together by the Pesticide Action Network UK. Sign up to a weekly box from Abel and Cole, Riverford or find a local supplier.
- Use greaseproof paper instead of clingfilm or foil to wrap your food
- Filter your tap water – you can add one to your home’s main water supply, kitchen tap or use a counter-top filter.
Support your body to detoxify by eating the following foods:
- A good supply of antioxidants from brightly coloured fruit and vegetables, dark chocolate, herbs and spices.
- High-quality protein (lean, organic or wild meat, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, beans and pulses).
- B vitamins – from the protein sources above but also wholegrains and leafy greens.
- Probiotic foods (kimchi, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, live yoghurt) and prebiotic foods (banana, asparagus, leeks, onions, garlic, chicory, artichoke) for good gut health.
If all this seems a little overwhelming, there are some excellent resources that can help. Check out ‘Low Tox Life’ by Alex Stuart, a fantastic book packed with info and tips. There’s also a useful App called ‘Think Dirty’ which can scan product barcodes and assess the safety of the ingredients.
Remember, a few simple changes can make a big difference so take it slowly, change one thing at a time and feel good for the progress you make.
If you’d like my help to cleanse and detox your life, I’d love to support you. To find out more get in touch.