What Foods to Avoid To Ward Off Early Puberty In Your Child
Nothing strikes fear into a mother’s heart more than the term “early puberty”.
Have I gotten your attention? I hope so because it’s become a big problem. Back in the good ol’ days, kids didn’t hit puberty until around 14. Now more are hitting puberty between the ages of 8-10..YIKES!
If this is a concern in your home, then you must think FOOD FIRST.
It’s one of those things we don’t often consider, but when 70% of your immune system is linked to your gut – which is linked to your endocrine system – it’s important to be mindful of what we’re putting into our bodies and what will have an impact on our hormonal balance.
Endocrine disrupters are chemicals that interfere with our body’s hormone system, causing things like cancer (mainly breast, prostate and thyroid cancer), birth defects, and other developmental disorders, including early puberty. And these endocrine, or hormone disruptors are found in the food we eat.
Our hormone system is a network of chemical messengers that circulate through the body transferring these “messages” to specific organs. This allows our organs to properly develop and function. And hormone disruptors often send the wrong message to our organs.
There is no end to the tricks that endocrine disrupters can play on our bodies: increasing production of certain hormones; decreasing production of others; imitating hormones; turning one hormone into another; interfering with hormone signaling; telling cells to die prematurely; competing with essential nutrients; binding to essential hormones; accumulating in organs that produce hormones. (Environmental Working Group)
Studies have also shown that problems with the hormonal system can be associated with learning disabilities, ADHD, and cognitive problems. So it’s not only an issue of your – or your child’s – physical health, but mental health as well. Not to mention that early puberty has been linked to lower self-esteem, depression, eating disorders, and earlier loss of virginity.
So what foods are considered hormone disruptors?
- Dairy – the hormones the cows are given to produce more milk (bGH) can actually confuse your hormonal system.
- Sugar – after eating too much sugar, it can disrupt your body’s insulin and your body’s blood sugar levels. Insulin itself is a hormone that is closely connected to other hormones, including estrogen and testosterone.
- Soy – soy contains phytoestrogens, which mimic estrogen in the body. This can lead to weight gain, infertility, mood swings and sexual dysfunction.
- Processed foods – these are often high in health-harming sugars, which goes back to the insulin problem. Processed foods also contain many refined carbohydrates, which also greatly affect insulin levels.
- Pesticides – studies have shown that many pesticides act as endocrine disrupting chemicals and they bind to hormone receptors and then mimic the natural hormone’s action. This can affect reproductive and sexual development (ie: early puberty).
Bottom line is that hormone balance plays an important role in health no matter what age you are.
Looking for more ways to get your whole family healthier, ways to use food as medicine, and gain more understanding of our health and food connection?
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