Estrogen has received a bad rap in recent years, with estrogen detox products now selling like hot cakes. So why are more and more people feeling the need to ‘detox’ from these naturally occurring hormones, and could they be making you fat and sick?
Firstly, it’s important to understand that estrogen occurs naturally in both males and females, and is a vital hormone (hormones are messengers in our blood that signal areas in our body to perform certain actions).
The interesting thing about estrogen when compared to some other hormones, is that estrogen has receptors almost all throughout our body (from our lungs, to our muscles, to our skin!). Managing estrogen levels is something we educate in our Performance Nutrition Coach certification, if our estrogen levels are out of order, there is an endless list of symptoms we may experience, from weight gain around your thighs or chest, decreased libido, fatigue, and even more sinister conditions such as infertility or cancer.
So if estrogen is a natural hormone, why is it suddenly causing so many issues?
This boils down to two prime causes.
Xenoestrogens are intruders which mimic estrogen within our body, and can either be natural or synthetic. Unfortunately these are found in the most unlikely of places, from cosmetics and hygiene products, to our drinking water, and we’ll dive deep into these guys and how to avoid them in a future post.
Food supply. In the same way that our fat cells secrete and store hormones, the fat cells in the animals and fish we eat also secrete and store hormones. Unfortunately the piece of meat on our dinner plate goes through a vastly different experience than the meat our grandparents ate.
Through injections of estrogenic growth hormones, commercially raised chickens are now forced to grow 65 times faster than they would normally. And these hormones aren’t just injected; animal feed is sprayed with estrogenic compounds (pesticides), and estrogenic birth control compounds have even been found in our waterways and our fish.
3 tips to minimise estrogen & reclaim a healthy hormonal balance!
1) Choose leaner cuts of meat: Hormones are largely stored in fat, so if you are eating commercial and factory farmed meat that is raised on growth hormones, opt for leaner cuts, or cut off that strip of fat to avoid an estrogenic goldmine!
2) Buy meat that is not grown with hormones or antibiotics: With a slightly more premium price tag, these products are readily available at most supermarkets and are clearly labelled as hormone and antibiotic free this makes a massive difference on our total estrogenic load.
3) Avoid fatty foods that are stored in plastic or cans: This may sound like a strange one, but most cans are lined with BPA, and many plastics still contain estrogenic compounds. When meat or fats (like oil, salmon, or dairy), are stored in these plastics, they begin to absorb these estrogenic compounds. So always opt for meats, fish, and dairy that are packaged in paper or glass, and avoid microwaving these foods in plastic containers!
By sticking to these 3 tips, you can decrease the estrogenic load that you consume, leading to more balanced hormones, greater health and longevity, and optimised body composition! Learn more on hormonal balance in depth in our Performance Nutrition Coach Certifications taught across the world.
Yours in health,
Jake Doleschal / Clean Health Personal Trainer
Clean Health Fitness Institute
Editor’s note: If you are a personal trainer wanting to learn how to maximize results with every day clientele, check out our CALENDAR OF EVENTS to find out when we are teaching our world leading courses on business, nutrition and training for fitness professionals in a city and country near you!