A key thing to think about when trying to learn how to balance your hormones and when on a fertility diet is to support your liver! If you haven’t read my first post with Jessica Ferarri-Wells which is all about balancing your hormones then I suggest you read that first and then come back to this one which is all about supporting liver health whilst balancing hormones, addressing excess oestregen and optimising fertility. The key is to reduce the toxic load we are putting on to our liver and eat foods rich in nutrients our liver needs to carry out its detoxifying functions. Please note I’ve directly pulled out key parts of my report from Jessica on how to balance your hormones so I can give you tips straight from the right resource!
When thinking about the first goal which is to reduce our toxic load in terms of how to balance your hormones, we need to think about what we put our liver through to put things into perspective.
We put our liver through a lot. As well as processing old oestrogen, it has to process all of the other toxins it filters out of our blood – including toxins from alcohol, caffeine, pesticides on food, chemicals in our drinking water, chemicals we put on our skin, detergents, cleaning products, fragrances, air fresheners, pesticides… the list goes on and on!
Estimates suggest 60% of these chemicals are absorbed and collected in the body through our skin. Just imagine how an HRT or Nicorette patch work to understand who effectively the skin absorbs chemicals!
Many of these environmental toxins are xeno-oestrogens which, as explained above, mimic oestrogen in the body and worsen conditions associated with excess oestrogen such as painful periods and endometriosis – so it is especially important to avoid these chemicals.
So the first thing to support the liver is try to look for ways to reduce the toxic load we put on it. Some recommendations on this are:
- All drinking water should be filtered to remove the chlorine and xeno-oestrogens – either through a water filter jug or plugged in system – anything is better than nothing.
- Consider the purity of your tampons or towels – using 100% organic cotton sanitary products greatly minimises the vagina’s exposure to hormone disrupting chemicals such as dioxins.
- Consider switching from tampons if you are using these as these are associated with greater toxic exposure. Also, the vagina is meant to be oxygen-free, preventing the growth of harmful bacteria, but tampons can introduce oxygen into this environment (as oxygen gets trapped in the fibres). Where you cannot avoid using tampons, you should change them after a maximum of three hours.
- Minimise your use of products and consumption of foods in plastic packaging – the problem with plastic packaging is its ability to leach harmful chemicals into the material it contains. Currently, the most widespread concern is the manmade chemical, Bisphenol-A (BPA) – a widely recognised xeno-oestrogen.
- Consider the ingredients of the products you use on your face and body if you are looking into how to balance your hormones. Switching to more mineral based make up where you can is a good starting point. The key hormone disrupting chemicals to look out for and avoid are sodium lauryl sulphates, parabens, formaldehyde, fragrance and hydroquinone. Consult the EWG database, called Skin Deep (www.ewg.org/skindeep) for advice on safer cosmetics.
- Parabens – one of the worst xeno-oestrogens and often found in everyday beauty products. Unlike many endocrine-disrupting chemicals, parabens can be found in the product’s ingredient list. Here’s what to look for… Methylparaben, Butylparaben, Propylparaben, Ethylparaben, Isobutylparaben and Benzylparaben.
- Phthalates – unlike parabens and plastics these chemicals do not have hormone-mimicking effects on the body. Instead, studies have shown adverse effects on the male reproductive system, including decreased sperm count, testicular cell destruction and thyroid irregularities – so one to keep our partners away from! One type of phthalate, called DHEP, can block ovulation. Phthalates won’t be spelled out on a cosmetic’s ingredients list but the best way to avoid phthalates is to avoid products with a synthetic fragrance. Also avoid plastic packaging, especially PVC with recycle code recycle code #3.
Eat foods rich in nutrients our liver needs to carry out its detoxifying functions:
Make sure you eat some of these liver loving foods every day…
- Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, rocket, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale and radish.
- Leafy green vegetables
- High quality proteins (so plenty of oily fish, eggs, good quality meat, pulses (includes beans, lentils and peas), nuts and seeds).
These liver loving foods are rich in the nutrients needed to support your natural detox pathways including DIM and sulphur, which assist with the processing of oestrogen. Most of these also have the added benefit of being rich in fibre.
Also, there are some liver loving drinks you could try…
- Dandelion root tea (specifically supports healthy liver detoxification and can make a great replacement drink for people who want to kick coffee as it has a similar taste).
- Green tea
I’ve personally really cut back on alcohol if not eliminated it entirely – 1 glass per month…is that eliminating it enough? Also, I’ve cut out coffee, one of my favourite joys in life. That one was hard, I’m not gonna lie!
If you are interested in Jessica’s services make sure to check out her website!