We live in a world which overexposes us to estrogen. Women who live in the most developed countries have much higher occurrences of breast cancer than women from “second and third” world countries. For example, in the United States, the rate of breast cancer is almost 100 women out of 100,000. In third world countries, the rates are less than 6 women per hundred thousand.
In addition to increasing the risk of breast cancer, estrogen imbalance is linked to gynecological cancers, early puberty, PMS, hot flashes, and many other health issues. By choosing to live off the grid, overexposure to estrogen can be reduced. Hormone balance can be restored.
Learn The Different Types Of Estrogen
Women produce three types of estrogen. They must be balanced to promote health. In addition, we are exposed to xenoestrogens, estrogens which come from sources outside of the body. By living simply, exposure to harmful xenoestrogens can be reduced.
Xenoestrogens are found in commercial meat and dairy products as a result of animals being given hormones to increase milk production and accelerate growth. Meat and dairy from grass-fed, wild and organic sources contain less harmful xenoestrogens.
Synthetic hormonal drugs, such as those administered to control hot flashes and as contraceptives, contain harmful forms of estrogen. Even though pharmaceuticals contain less estrogen than when they were first available, any exposure creates a degree of risk.
Plastics, environmental pollutants, ingredients in personal care products, radiation and electrical current can all disrupt estrogen balance. These are some of the most toxic causes of estrogen disturbance. Minimize your exposure to all of these offenders. Buy natural personal care products, or better yet learn to make your own. Avoid close exposure to power lines. Cook your food on a stove, not in a microwave. Use non-toxic cleansers.
Due to exposure to xenoestrogens, and diets which lead to weight gain in childhood, girls are entering puberty at increasingly early rates. This exposes them to additional years of estrogen exposure. As a result, they are at an increased risk of developing health related issues in the future. Feed your children healthy chemical-free foods. Make sure that they do not consume excessive amounts of calories. Be sure that they get plenty of daily exercise to help detoxify their systems. Limit exposure to computers, plastics toys and gaming devices.
Phytoestrogens, plant-based estrogens, are not true estrogens. They are similar in chemical makeup to estrogen; however they are much weaker. Phytoestrogens are beneficial because they bind to chemical receptor sites in the body that unhealthy estrogens bind to. As a result, unhealthy estrogens are eliminated from the body.
Foods Which Promote Healthy Hormone Balance
In addition to limiting exposure to xenoestrogens, dietary choices have a major impact in reducing estrogen imbalance.
Soy contains phytoestrogens. Experts keep going back and forth as to whether soy foods should be used by women extensively, especially if they have a history of hormonally dependent cancers. What is clear is that moderation is beneficial. The quality of soy food is important. Soy milk, soybeans, miso, tempeh and tofu are healthy foods. Soy meat substitutes and soy “candy bars” are not. The benefits of soy are superior when soy foods are consumed as opposed to soy supplements.
Certain foods are rich in the protective plant chemicals, called isoflavones. Two of the most powerful isoflavones are genistein and diadzen. These compounds offer many healing benefits. They block receptor site so that harmful estrogen compounds cannot lodge and cause health problems.
Great sources of isoflavones include soy and all dried and fresh beans and peas, lentils, and sprouts. Most of these foods are inexpensive and contain a wide array of nutrients. They are excellent sources of healthy plant-based protein. Sprouts may be grown year-round in a sprout growing kit or in a canning jar. Sprouts are an important food to add to the diet as they contain higher concentrations of phytoestrogens than mature vegetables.
Plants in the cabbage family contain chemical compounds called indoles. Indoles reduce production of the type of estrogen which is linked to cancer, hot flashes and other health problems. In addition, cruciferous vegetables enhance liver function, thereby improving the body’s ability to detoxify and eliminate excess and harmful estrogens. Cruciferous vegetables include all type of cabbage, kohlrabi, kale, bok choy, turnips, rutabagas and mustard greens. These simple to grow plants store well for winter use. Mustard greens are often found growing wild.
Flavonoids block estrogen receptor sites, enhancing elimination of excess and toxic estrogens. Most fruits and vegetables are great sources of flavonoids. Eat a wide array of organic or local produce. Consume raw fruits and vegetables several times each day for maximum benefit. Raw foods contain more vitamins than cooked foods. Eating foods raw preserves enzymes which improve digestion, immune health and detoxification of harmful estrogens.
Living off the grid offers many benefits. Implement these simple healthy strategies to improve estrogen balance and prevent illness and you will have one more reason why living off the grid is a healthy choice for you and your family.