As with all things in wellness, balance is key in your diet, exercise plan, and even your hormones. From your fertility to your metabolism, mood, appetite and even heart rate, hormones regulate everything. Our pleasant (and not-so-healthy) activities and healthy diet tend to keep them in check as well.
Without keeping tabs on what we daily plant in our body can prove to be a major contributor to hormone imbalance. In this article, we will see what actually triggers these imbalances and what one must do to keep everything in place.
Avoiding Plastic in the form of recyclable products, straws, reusable goods can leave a bigger impact on our hormones that we would have thought. Bisphenol A and bisphenol S (you've probably seen them referred to as BPA and BPS), found in plastic bottles and in the lining of cans, are endocrine disruptors.
There are also phthalates in plastic wrap and food storage containers. Studies have shown that they can cause premature breast development and block thyroid hormone function, which regulates metabolism as well as heart and digestive functions. To avoid health related concerns, doctors have recommended switching to glass food storage containers, avoiding plastic wrapped food and using a stainless steel water bottle.
Just because a food is considered "healthy" doesn't indicate you're shielded from hormone disruptors. For instance, the oils from whole grains used in cereals, breads, and crackers can go rancid, so preservatives are often added.
Preservatives disturb the endocrine system by mimicking estrogen and interfering with naturally occurring estrogen, which can cause weight gain, low thyroid function, and lower sperm count. The worrying fact is - Preservatives such as butylated hydroxytoluene (a compound widely referred to as BHT that dissolves in fats and oils) do not have to be identified on the labels of nutrition. Since they are usually considered safe by the FDA, they do not mandate them to be revealed in food packaging.
Your best bet: In general, it's best to eat as many whole, unprocessed foods as possible. Consider buying bread from bakeries, or eat fresh foods with a shorter shelf life to avoid added preservatives.
Phytoestrogens are available in many foods, including fruits, vegetables, and some animal products, as natural compounds found in plants. The number varies, but there are larger concentrations of phytoestrogens in corn, some citrus fruit, wheat, celery, and fennel. When consumed, phytoestrogens may affect your body in the same way as naturally produced estrogen, but there's a lot of controversy around phytoestrogens and the positive or negative health effects.
Some research shows that dietary phytoestrogen consumption may be linked to a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, menopausal symptoms, and hormone receptor-positive breast cancer.
For both the female and male reproductive systems, alcohol may have a profound effect. Chronic alcohol consumption disrupts communication between the structures of your body, including the neurological, endocrine, and immune systems. This can lead to a reaction to physiological stress that can include fertility issues, thyroid problems, improvements in the immune system, and more. Both short- and long-term alcohol consumption can affect sex drive and testosterone and estrogen levels, which could lower fertility and interfere with menstrual cycles.
The best route is to drink in moderation or at least drink less when you are trying to conceive.