You’ve no doubt seen products that use BPA free plastic, beauty products assuring you that they’re free of things like parabens, and of course organic foods that are grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides.
Very often we don’t think twice about what beauty products we buy or about heating our food in a plastic container in the microwave and how these things may be affecting our health.
Xenoestrogens are found in many household items that we use every single day. From make-up to weed killer and everything inbetween.
Xenoestrogens are a sub-category of endocrine disruptors that can mimic our natural hormones and block or bind to hormone receptors. Xenoestrogens specifically have oestrogen-like effects.
Our bodies usually regulate the amount of oestrogen we need, but when xenoestrogens enter the body, via many products over a long period of time, they increase the total amount of oestrogen that is circulating through the body resulting in something called oestrogen dominance.
These xenoestrogens are then stored in the fat cells and over time can contribute to conditions like obesity, early onset puberty, menstrual irregularities, breast and prostate cancer, infertility and diabetes.
It is impossible to completely avoid these chemicals but there are many things you can do to limit your exposure.
- Choose organic foods where possible and peel non-organic fruit and vegetables.
- Avoid exposure to pesticides, fungicides and herbicides in gardening products.
- Reduce your use of plastics and don’t heat your food in plastic or leave your plastic water bottles in the sun.
- Use natural cleaning products like vinegar and essential oils in water or buy chemical free versions, including laundry products.
- Buy natural beauty products, makeup, toothpaste, creams and nail polish. There’s a lot of great natural alternatives to these products available these days and in every price range. Your skin is your largest organ and will absorb the chemicals contained in these products.
- Choose chlorine free and unbleached products like organic tampons and menstrual pads, toilet paper and paper towel.
I’m not suggesting that you need to throw out all of your products immediately, but next time you run out of a product, replace it with a natural alternative and you will start to reduce your exposure to these harmful chemicals.
- Belinda Byrnes is a qualified nutritionist and naturopath. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.belindabyrnesnutrition.com