In a recent column for the New York Times, Nicolas Kristof asked, shockingly, “Are you a toxic waste disposal site?” In this article he writes, “Even if you’re not in Flint, Mich., there are toxic chemicals in your home. For that matter, in you. Scientists have identified more than 200 industrial chemicals — from pesticides, flame retardants, jet fuel — as well as neurotoxins like lead in the blood or breast milk of Americans.”
Kristof goes on to talk about the “pre-pollution” of babies in the womb and the “toxic stress” in our bodies from being exposed to dangerous chemicals each and every day of our lives.
Then, just last week, the Food and Drug Administration announced they would be testing our food for the presence of a herbicide called glyphosate, which is the main component of the most commonly used weed killer or pesticide worldwide. Consumer groups have claimed that glyphosate residue can be found in both breast milk and commonly eaten foods. Independent research suggests glyphosate can have serious health implications.
A recent meta-analysis study revealed that organic meat and dairy products are actually more nutritious, with 50% more omega 3 fatty acids. Essential fatty acids are important for women’s hormonal health- whether from meat or from vegetarian sources like flax seed. Although I avoid dairy products (aside from eggs), I do eat meat and this research has bolstered my long established decision to buy organic, grass-fed meat only.
For many years I have advocated buying organic food and using organic beauty products and cosmetics, as well as avoiding toxin-laden cleaning products for your home. I have followed the growing body of research and known that being vigilant in these areas is vitally important for our health. Many hormonal health issues are worsened by the introduction of outside endocrine-disrupting chemicals like pesticides.
Here’s how pesticides impact your hormonal balance. Pesticides…
- add synthetic hormones to your body (like xenoestrogens)
- congest your liver, making it harder for your body to process and eliminate excess hormones
- confuse the hormonal conversation your body needs to have to create balance and avoid symptoms and diseases
- can increase infertility
- can make the growth of fibroids worse
- can impair ovulation
- can damage thyroid function
- just to name a few…..
Studies show that eliminating the pesticides found on food from your diet by going all-organic for just two weeks has a hugely positive impact on your body.
There are certain foods you must only and always buy as organic – such as celery, peppers and tomatoes, all greens, berries, melons, pears and peaches (see my book WomanCode for the full rundown). Other produce you can be a little more relaxed about, but personally as a hormonally-sensitive person, I prefer to make my whole grocery list organic-only.
I encourage all women to follow an organic protocol in every area of their life at least 80% of the time. If you do this, the other 20% of the time your body will be much better prepared and primed to cope with the additional disruption. If you’re not doing this now, but otherwise eating healthily and exercising regularly, you may still be suffering with PMS, cramps, PCOS, fibroids, endometriosis or other hormonal imbalance symptoms. If you needed more convincing, the fact that this growing body of research has now got the New York Times and the FDA sitting up and taking notice should be enough of a push for you to make the change your body needs.
It is my view that buying organic produce, although certainly more expensive than buying non-organic, pesticide-laden produce, is an investment in your health long term and will save you money on medical expenses down the line. Local farmers markets can be a way to pick up organic fruits and vegetables at more affordable prices, as well as signing up for a local CSA delivery from a farm in your area. If you’re looking to heal hormonal health issues or get pregnant in the near future, going organic is a decision that will reward you for years to come.
Always remember, that once you have the right information about how your body really works, you can start making health choices that finally start to work for you! You can do this – the science of your body is on your side!
to your FLO,
Good things come in threes:
I want to hear from you!
First, do you eat organic only?
Second, do you have symptoms of estrogen overload?
Third, everyone you know is hormonal – spread a little good ovary karma and share this article on social 😉
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Thank you. I like your 80/20 rule about organic as it’s hard to be 100%. It’s good to know our bodies can cope with a bit of bad if it’s mostly getting (organic) good.
You mention that “Essential fatty acids are important for women’s hormonal health- whether from meat or from vegetarian sources like flax seed”, but I’ve read that flax is highly estrogenic?
It is very hard to find all kinds of organic food where I live so I’m wondering if I can’t find something organic is it best to stay away from it altogether?
For example there’s no organic turkey in Australia except around Christmas time, And there’s only limited organic greens. should I just avoid turkey and those greens even in the phase where those foods are recommended or be sure to only eat them during that phase if non organic?