How can raw broccoli, cleaning fluid, and plastic containers negatively impact your metabolism, infertility, and Alzheimer's?
You may not know it, but they all have a negative effect on our endocrine system. Substances in raw broccoli, cleaning supplies and plastics can alter hormone levels in your body, the same hormones that directly affect your metabolism, your reproductive system and even your brain.
The pesticides on your food could be altering your body's hormone levels, affecting your metabolism, immunity and your brain!
Hormones Are Chemical Messengers
Hormones are the chemical messengers in our bodies, delivering messages from one cell to another. These messages contain information about your immune system and your metabolism, prepare your body for a new activity (like fight or flight), indicate a new phase of life (like puberty or menopause), and control your reproductive cycles.
Hormones circulate in the blood and control the actions of certain cells and organs. They also influence our thoughts and behaviors. Healthy hormone levels are absolutely necessary for proper brain functioning, normal metabolism, effective immune response and giving birth to healthy babies.
If our hormone levels remain at a youthful level and are balanced we are happier, healthier and we age slowly. However, there is clear cut evidence all around us that hormone levels are becoming disrupted in all species of animals and this phenomenon is happening all over the world
Skewed hormone levels are behind these grave changes in our health and are ultimately threatening our survival:
- Low sperm count and male infertility. In the past 50 years, men's average sperm count has been cut in half!
- Infrequent ovulation and female infertility are increasingly common, resulting in complex and expensive fertilization treatments, often involving hormones.
- Birth defects. 1 in 28 babies is born with a birth defect, caused by genetic and environmental factors.
Our hormones are not only chemical messengers inside our bodies, but they are also messengers telling us that something is deeply wrong in our environment.
Changing Hormones in Our Changing World
We live in an increasingly complex world with more processed foods, greater pollution, and serious toxins. At the same time, we eat fewer whole foods, live high-stress lives and get less sleep and exercise.
Our environment and our lifestyle poison our bodies and our world, making each successive generation weaker and more at risk for disease.
Body Ecology is system of health and healing that helps protect ourselves and our children from the often inescapable toxins in our modern world. Based on ancient wisdom and modern science, Body Ecology's principles help you create a vibrant internal ecosystem full of beneficial microflora (good bacteria), which keep you healthy and strong.
Body Ecology's natural approach encourages homeostasis in your body, including your hormones. If you are in your child bearing years and plan on becoming the parent of a baby, the time you take to nourish yourself now will benefit future generations.
Cruciferous Vegetables and Thyroid Hormones
The thyroid is a small gland at the base of your throat that is crucial for hormone production. It makes hormones, which regulate metabolism and cell differentiation, and even affects other hormones like adrenaline.
Raw, cruciferous vegetables are natural thyroid depressants because they contain isothiocyanates, which naturally interfere with the hormone production of the thyroid.2
Not long ago we featured an article, Why You Need to Cook These Vegetables for Maximum Nutrition, that encouraged readers to cook cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, collards, cabbage and kale because when eaten raw, these vegetables suppress the thyroid.
If you currently suffer from hypothyroidism (under-active thyroid), these veggies will suppress your thyroid function and slow down your metabolism even further. However, if your thyroid is over active (hyperthyroid), then these raw vegetables could be used as a natural remedy for suppressing your overactive thyroid creating balance in your body. This is a great example of how food can be used as medicine. One man's food is another man's poison.
While it may seem odd that certain vegetables can be unhealthy for some people, keep in mind that everyone is different. This is an example of the Body Ecology Principle of Uniqueness, where you are encouraged to listen to your own body's wisdom. Read more about this principle and all 7 Key Healthy Eating Principles.
Common Substances with Dangerous Consequences
Cruciferous vegetables however, are among the least of our worries. These days, our world exposes us to a host of other hormone-altering substances, which include:
- Xenoestrogens mimic real hormones and are found in sunscreen, food preservatives, weed killer, insecticides, adhesives and paint.
- Heavy Metals like mercury, lead, aluminum and nickel accumulate in your body and come from drinking water, fish, dental fillings and vaccinations. Mercury is one of the most common indoor air pollutants.
- Teflon, found in non-stick pans, cleaning products, cosmetics and in stain-resistant carpet and clothing is a harmful pollutant that never breaks down. PFOA, a component in Teflon, is in 95% of Americans' blood!3
- Bad fats are found in almost every prepared food in your local supermarket. Look for "partially hydrogenated" or "hydrogenated" oils on the label to avoid these artery-clogging, liver-stressing, and hormone-suppressing oils. (Read more about the dangers of processed, refined oils.
All of these toxic substances: xenoestrogens, heavy metals, pollutants like Teflon and bad fats- enter your bloodstream where your liver must then struggle to process them, remove them or store them in your fat cells. The fatter you have in your body the more places you have to store these dangerous toxins.
Allowed to stay in your body, these substances wreak havoc on your hormones and your health- setting you (and further generations) up for disease. Your immune system strains to act against these toxic invaders, but without proper hormone levels, even your immune system cannot function properly. You age rapidly, feel depressed, and lose energy.
Your brain, memory, and focus all suffer. Researchers have even linked imbalances within your reproductive hormones (especially DHEA) to Alzheimer's in both men and women.4
And of course, we've seen the rampant infertility that is affecting so many couples trying to have children. Just a few generations ago, fertility problems were rare. Since the 1950's however, time-saving processed foods and life-saving pharmaceutical drugs became a bigger part of our daily habits than our bodies were created to handle. Added to this are increased environmental toxins -- and higher stress levels, creating emotional toxins that could be just as harmful.
Without knowing it, Baby Boomers passed these toxins on to their children, who are facing widespread infertility and it's not just happening in America. Experts in Europe estimate that infertility, affecting 1 in 7 couples now, is expected to double in the next decade.5
Researchers in the UK have reported that couples with fertility problems are three times more likely to have a child with serious conditions like autism.7 While many of us many not realize how toxic we are, it's clear that our children are in trouble, unless we take action.
I created the Body Ecology program as a natural prescription for our toxic modern world. My goal in creating and researching this unique system of health and healing is to reestablish strong immunity so that we and our children can live happy, productive lives. For more information, read What Every Girl and Woman Needs to Know NOW if They Ever Want to Have a Baby for more on how diet and lifestyle can positively impact the health of our next generation.
Help Your Hormones
Detox your body and you'll help ensure the health of future generations. The Body Ecology system for wellness can help you regain your vitality.
Here are some easy ways to avoid toxic buildup in your body, regulate your hormone levels naturally, and enjoy renewed vitality and health:
- Support Your Thyroid
- Avoid raw cruciferous vegetables, unless you first ferment them. Try our recipe forcultured vegetables.
- Use Ocean Plant Extract. This unique formula contains Laminaria Japonica, a sea vegetable with amazing cleansing and healing properties strong enough to counteract severe radiation and heavy metal toxicity. Read more about Ocean Plant Extract and its ingredients.
- Cleanse Out Poisons
- Try Far Infrared Saunas. Far Infrared saunas and other forms of heat therapy have been shown to detoxify the body. Far Infrared saunas are best because through ionization, they allow toxins to leave the body through sweat.8.
- Colon Therapy. Go to I-ACT.org to find a certified colon therapist in your area. 50 years ago most homes had an enema bag. Today in the US we've lost the understanding of how important it is to cleanse out the colon with water and add implants of minerals and herbs.
- Fight xenoestrogens with Body Ecology grains. I advocate eating millet, amaranth, quinoa and buckwheat over all others because these grains are actually seed-like and nutrient-dense. Gluten free and high in fiber, they digest easily and contain phytoestrogens, plant-based hormones that can protect your body from the damaging effects of xenoestrogens. For more information on the benefits of these delicious grains, read: The Risks of Consuming Typical Grains & the Healthy Grains to Choose Instead.
- Follow the Body Ecology diet- the premier program for wellness that helps you establish a vibrant inner ecosystem of good bacteria to keep you healthy and strong, help you detoxify, and promote immunity. A cornerstone of the Body Ecology program our fermented foods and drinks, like cultured vegetables, Dong Quai and Young Coconut Kefir.
Here at Body Ecology, we are devoted to helping you and yours live your best life. Follow these guidelines and the Body Ecology diet to regulate your hormones and to improve your health.
You can help others do the same by forwarding this article to them.
1Semen Analysis. BabyHopes.com http://www.babyhopes.com/articles/semenanalysis.html
2Sisk, Jennifer, Thyroid Disease in Women, ForTheRecord.com, 4 July 2005.http://www.fortherecordmag.com/archives/ftr_070405p34.shtml
3 Smith, Dr. Leonard, Toxins and How to Avoid Them.
4Shumaker, et al., Hormone Replacement Therapy May Double the Risk, Journal of the American Medical Association, May 28, 2003
5 Johnson, Mona, Hormones, Alzheimer's and the Fountain of Youth, TheTangledNeuron.info,
6Roberts, Michelle, 'Infertility time bomb' warning, BBC News Online, June 20, 2005. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4112450.stm
7 Infertility link to autism risk, BBC News Online. October 26, 2006. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6086824.stm
8 Wright, Dr. Jonathan V., Infrared Sauna Health Benefits, Physiotherm.net. http://www.physiotherm.net/medicalStudies/47/wright_INFRARED.html