So I was super excited that I was able to wrestle Leonard into doing a blog for me…. Now if you know me… I’m way to honest sometimes in what I say…. But it always comes with a ‘HUG’… I meet up with Leonard a few months ago and I was just knocked over by his knowledge and experience. And its completely his fault that I now have such a massive appreciation for the importance of food. Before I meet Leonard I was like, ah sure, once you eat 80% goodness and 20% badness, you will be grand….. But I was wrong……. So let me introduce you to the AMAZING ‘Leonard Murphy’ of Leonard Murphy Nutrition. The stage is yours Leonard………..
If your life is full of foods and other items that cause an imbalance of your hormones it would be very difficult for anyone, even someone on what is considered a relatively “normal” healthy diet to maintain fertility.
Years ago I heard the term Endocrine Disruptors (hormone Disruptors). It was new to me and others in the field at the time but in the last few years it is something I talk about with my clients almost every day.
A body needs balance to maintain fertility. Too much or too little of any particular hormone begins a cascade of imbalance with other hormones in the body so that the system of balance that is involved in fertilisation is pushed completely out of balance.
Can we do anything about that, you bet we can but it involves some dietary and lifestyle changes. I like to use the quote from Henry Ford when it comes to this “If you always do what you’ve always done then you’ll always get what you’ve always got”.
It’s no coincidence that infertility is on the rise in western civilization. There is a hormone that is elevated when we are under pressure or stressed, when we eat foods that are high in refined or processed carbohydrates and sugars or when we take some forms of medicine. Modern living for most people involves varying degrees of stress that raises the levels of the adrenal hormone Cortisol in our bodies. If this particular hormone is imbalanced then it effects many of our other hormones including, adrenaline and through the other glands in the body like the pituitary gland just below the brain levels of the hormones from the ovaries and testes involved in fertility in men and women.
So this is enough imbalances for a body to deal with but if you add in hormone disruptors from certain foods and materials then the opportunity for balance in a body decreases significantly.
It’s clear that reducing stress then can help tho balance hormones but that a reduction in hormone disruptors is important too.
What are the major hormone disruptors,
We eat meat significantly more than generation before us did. Animals contain their own natural hormones that we are consuming when we eat them. The more meat we eat the more of the animals hormones can have an effect on our hormones. A small chicken breast size of meat a day is actually enough animal protein for an adult to remain healthy and you can also eat more vegetable protein in your diet with beans and legumes as well as some grains like quinoa.
Milk is full of the cows own hormones too. Foods like cheese, butter and then a few cups of tea or a bowl or two of cereal containing milk can have a minimal daily effect that can add up to a larger effect long term on our hormonal system. You could mix it up a little by trying almond, hazelnut or oat milk alternately.
Plastics contain a specific ingredient known as BPA (Bisphenol A) as well as other chemicals associated with oestrogen receptor disruption. This chemical can be found in many plastics like water bottles, canned goods (used to line the inside of the can), packaged foods, flame retardant chemicals and more. Drinking from glass bottles, and decreasing the amount of canned food you eat may decrease the amount of BPA in your life.
The chemicals used in pesticides have many compounds that are associated with hormone disruption. This doesn’t mean eating only organic food but eating more organically grown vegetables can certainly reduce the effects of the non organic foods you do eat.
There are foods that help detoxify excess hormones from the liver too. Indole-3-Carbinol is an enzyme that helps to break down hormones in the liver so they can easily be transported to the digestive tract and out of the body. Cruciferous vegetables contain significant quantities of this enzyme. Cruciferous foods are broccoli and cauliflower and all green leafy foods including cabbage, spinach and lettuce.
The list continues but the 4 types of hormone disruptors above are the ones we can have some control over by making some different choices in the supermarket, food market or wholefood store. Doing this and reducing stress or increasing our relaxation periods all work together to make a difference.
There are many other changes that can be made via diet but they are more specific to an individuals current diet and lifestyle.