30 days of hormone balancing (19) – beware environmental hazards

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 No 19 – Avoid plastics

Our environment is full of chemicals known as Xenoestrogens , which are chemicals which have an oestrogen like effect. They are found in products we use every day such as pesticides and plastics. Over the last 50 years or so the amount of these chemicals finding their way into our environment has increased massively.

avoidplastic

This huge increase in xenoestrogens has coincided with

  • Earlier onset of puberty – at one time this used to be about 15 years of age for girls, now it is more like 11 or even younger.
  • A decrease in sperm counts of 50 % over the last 10 years
  • A large rise in the incidence of infertility
  • Large increase in the incidence of diseases related to hormone imbalance

When these oestrogen mimicking pollutants find their way into our bodies our finely balanced endocrine systems can be easily disrupted. They are also fat soluble and so are often stored in fat cells, especially those around the breast and uterus.

The types of chemicals that affect hormone balance, women’s cycles and hence fertility include:

Bisphenol-A (BPA) – found in packaging such as that for soft drinks, and bottled water, and food containers like babies bottles and plastic tubs. It makes plastics hard and clear. The more these products are washed the more BPA is released.

Phthlates – these are found in water bottles and cling film.

So What To Do

  • Avoid using cling-film, or at least use the PVC free versions that are now available.
  • Avoid food and drink from plastic containers, especially fatty foods
  • Do not heat food in plastic especially in a microwave oven.
  • Store food in stainless steel or glass containers where possible.
  • Use glass bottles for water.
  • Do not use non-stick cookware or utensils. Go for stainless steel pans and cookware. For cooking utensils use wood, bamboo, coconut shell or stainless steel.
ACTION: Do an audit of your kitchen for plastic containers, utensils, cooking equipment and wrappers. What changes could you introduce?

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