Part 1 of John Robbins’ Interview with Dr. William Li

The Food Revolution Summit is an annual online event hosted by the father and son team, John and Ocean Robbins. The eight day summit consists of three interviews each day with renowned physicians and experts in the health, wellness, and sustainability space.

Dr. William Li is a renowned doctor, scientist, and angiogenesis expert, and the New York Times best-selling author of Eat to Beat Disease: The New Science of How Your Body Can Heal Itself. His groundbreaking work has impacted more than 70 diseases including cancer, diabetes, blindness, heart disease, and obesity. Dr.
Li’s wildly popular TED Talk “Can we eat to starve cancer?” has been seen by more than 11 million people. He founded the “Eat to Beat” initiative, which is a community of 50,000 people passionate about using diet to fight cancer, improve immunity, and prevent chronic diseases

Here’s part of John’s interview with Dr. Li.

COVID-19: Not Just a Respiratory Disease


John Robbins: You’ve been very involved in the last year in COVID-19 research. So, it was soon after
the WHO declared the pandemic, which was in March 2020, that we began to see a highly unusual
pattern of disease. COVID-19 patients had problems, not only in their lungs, which was what we would
have expected for a respiratory virus, which was what we then assumed this novel coronavirus to be,
patients were also having serious problems in their brains, their hearts, their livers, their kidneys, even
their toes. They were losing their sense of taste and smell. They had issues with blood clots.
Will, was this one of the first clues that suggested to you that COVID-19 is not just a respiratory disease,
but is also a disease that damages our blood vessels, and that in fact, many of the serious health
problems caused by COVID-19 are due to the damage it causes to our circulatory system?


Doctor William Li: Yeah. Just like everyone else on this planet, I had assumed that it would be a
respiratory infection. So that was my assumption going into this. And so when I locked down along with everyone else I started to observe the same patterns that you just described, that this respiratory infection was causing things that you don’t see normally in a simple respiratory virus, but in following the brain, the heart, the lungs, I mean, lots of different organs. And because my work at the Angiogenesis Foundation has always been about looking at common denominators of disease. And blood vessels being one of them, I began to speculate that maybe blood vessels were involved because that was the thing that linked the brain, the heart, the toes, the kidneys, all the things that we began seeing.


I realized as a medical scientist that the only way we could actually get on top of this pandemic is for
us to really understand it. And the reason that frontline workers were struggling so hard was that there
was almost no knowledge back in the spring of 2020, about how this disease works. So I jumped
in. I was able to, as a researcher, get autopsy tissue of people who died of COVID-19 and helped to
organize a group in Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, and the United States. And we literally dove into
the tissue to understand what was going on.


And we started with the lungs and we did see a lung infection. But the thing that was astounding to
me was we saw for the very first time, the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that causes COVID-19 invading
and infecting blood vessels. And that confirmed my suspicion that COVID-19 is a vascular disease.
And suddenly the things that we didn’t understand, the blood clots, the strokes, the COVID toe, the
kidney damage, all of a sudden started to make some sense. And it was the first layers of the onion
being peeled back. And so we published this as a lead article in the New England Journal of Medicine
in May. And that opened the gateways to beginning to walk down the path to understanding what this
disease was all about.


John Robbins: Well, you mentioned it being a vascular disease. We each have in our bodies a 60,000 mile network of blood vessels that brings oxygen and nutrients to feed every cell and every organ in
our body. And we each have endothelial cells that coat the inside wall of every artery and every vein
and every capillary in the human body. Will, if the novel coronavirus is wrecking a special kind of havoc on the endothelial cells, does this help explain why COVID complications can appear anywhere in the body?


Doctor William Li: Absolutely. And, in fact, after we started looking in the lungs and found vascular
damage in the lungs, which is the first place after you inhale the coronavirus, the damage is going to
take place. What we did is we went to the brain, the heart, the lymph nodes, the kidney, liver, and even
testicles, and we found organ to organ, the same type of vascular damage.

And that’s what we saw happening after COVID infection in the brain and the heart and the lungs,
everywhere we looked. And we’re seeing this vascular damage is not just in acute COVID, we’ve
also now confirmed that this is also happening in people who have recovered from their disease. So
they’re COVID survivors. But, some of these people wind up having some significant long-term effects
of COVID symptoms that we’re now beginning to explain by having this persistent damage at the
circulation level, what I call the long tail of COVID.


John Robbins: When you mention the long tail of COVID I’m thinking about how very early in the
pandemic, when we were first encountering a virus that no human body had ever experienced before,
and we knew almost nothing about it, you were one of the people, one of the few scientists then
who were raising questions about what happens to people after the virus is cleared, or almost totally
cleared from their body, after they have apparently recovered. And you said something then that I find
today to be remarkably prescient, you said, and this is a quote, “We don’t know yet what the long-term
damages that may occur and may persist in the vascular endothelium. If it turns out that there was
widespread systemic damage to endothelial cells, then that could persist much longer than the actual
infectious component of the virus.”


Will, now a year later, facilities are opening all over the country to care for the growing number of
Americans who suffer from COVID-19 symptoms many months after their diagnosis. And for the people
whose COVID-19 symptoms linger for months, the effects can be devastating. In some cases, there is
a relentless, self amplifying cycle of inflammation throughout the entire body. This is obviously a very
serious problem. But I just want to say that what you said more than a year ago now seems remarkably
prophetic. And what I want to ask you is, is there anything we can do to protect and to repair our
vascular systems? I mean, are there ways we could use food, for example, to help protect endothelial
cells, to prevent blood vessels from breaking down in the first place?

How to Use Food to Protect Your Blood Vessels


Doctor William Li: Such a great question. And, you know, what I would tell you as a vascular biologist,
so my area of research specialty focus is on blood vessels, but I’m also an internal medicine doctor,
and I’m trained to look at young and old men and women healthy and sick. And I’ve always been
focusing on how to make sure we maintain vascular health.


Before we talk about COVID and long-term COVID, let’s talk a little bit about heart health, right?
Because essentially, the number one killer around the world is cardiovascular disease. And what
happens there is you have the damage to the endothelium that doesn’t occur in short order, like with
COVID, but occurs over many years. And we’ve always thought about it as cholesterol buildup, but
what’s really happening, John, is that the lining, the endothelial lining has been compromised. And so
blood doesn’t quite flow quite so easily. And you get blood clots.


And whether you’re talking about a heart attack or stroke, or some of the other organ complications
we’re seeing in COVID, this idea of vascular protection has been paramount long before this pandemic
took place. So what are some of the things that we can do not just to lower cholesterol like that is a
worthy goal, lowering your lipids. I mean, so many people take statins, but, you know, I think there’s a
dietary approach to lowering cholesterol. But what we’re really trying to do is not just lower the bad
guys who want to protect the good guys and get those into fuel yourselves, a lining to be healthy.
So here’s what we can do with food. And this is really remarkable. Plant-based diets comprised of fruits
and vegetables, but especially vegetables of various sorts that contain fiber, contain phytonutrients are
well-known to protect the vascular endothelium. And so when you talk about sulforaphane being found
in broccoli or in kale, those sulforaphanes actually help to boost the activity, boost the strength of the
blood vessels and protect those blood vessels and make your cells healthier.


When you’re talking about fruits like apples, which contain quercetin, but not just the flesh of the apple,
but the peel of the apple as well, which contains another bioactive, natural chemical called ursolic
acid. These are mother nature’s kind of farmacy with an F that actually helps to keep our vascular
endothelial cells healthy.


Another one that does this, by the way, is a substance called hydroxytyrosol.8 Hydroxytyrosol is actually
found in the flesh of the olive. And although olive oil is indeed a healthier oil than many other choices,
it turns out that the hydroxytyrosol is soluble in water, not oil. So it’s mostly found in the fruit of the olive
and when you press olive oil, most of the hydroxytyrosol is thrown away in the flesh of the olive.
So all these things kind of converge into thinking about plant-based foods, Mediterranean cuisine
comes to mind as a vascular healthy cuisine, but also Asian diets. It’s really about the patterns of eating
that would actually help protect our blood vessels.


John Robbins: You know, when you mentioned broccoli sprouts and sulforaphane, we grow broccoli
sprouts in our kitchen and we eat them everyday, primarily because of their stunningly high levels of
sulforaphane.

Will, is there research now showing that eating broccoli sprouts strengthens the immune system’s
ability to fight viruses, including COVID-19?

Broccoli Sprouts and COVID-19


Doctor William Li: So what’s amazing is the work that’s been done specifically with broccoli and
broccoli sprouts, there was a study out of the University of Florida, in Gainesville, where they were
looking at young people during flu season.9 So this is before the pandemic and they wanted to ask,
whether or not food could enhance the body’s natural response, immune system’s natural response to
a vaccine, right?


So one of the things that we do know is that vaccines don’t work evenly in every single person.
Some people respond really well. Some people don’t respond so well. So this research study I was
mentioning, took young and healthy people and gave everybody a flu vaccine, but they gave half of
people a flu vaccine plus a shake made with broccoli sprouts. How many, how much broccoli sprouts?
About two handfuls worth. A couple of cups of broccoli sprouts, you put it into a blender, it turns into a
smoothie, not very easy to drink. The other side, they give a placebo, so no broccoli sprouts at all.
And what they found later, and they gave everybody the flu vaccine, what they found later is that the
young people who received the vaccine plus broccoli sprouts had a 22-fold amplification of their
immune system’s response to the vaccine, 22 times, and with natural killer cells, other immune cells,
which is really remarkable to me, as sort of being able to raise your shields in an absolutely stunning
way.


And when they actually looked for the virus in the patients themselves, they swabbed their nose. They
found zero, no evidence of virus in the people who drank broccoli sprouts and had a shake. And they
found some virus still present in the nose of people who got the vaccine, but no broccoli sprouts.
So this just goes to show that foods can actually combine well with medicines. And it’s really clear to
me that food has a real potential. And sulforaphane is found in broccoli and broccoli sprouts of which
the sprouts have 100 times more than the grown-up adult broccoli, are one of these areas that almost
certainly are going to help.

Mushrooms and COVID-19


John Robbins: You mentioned the people in China who seem to be less likely to get COVID-19 were
people who, it turned out, were drinking more tea, green or black. You have included green tea in a list
that you wrote titled, 10 Things to Eat Right Now to Fight Back Against COVID-19. I’d like to talk to you
about that list. First on the list is mushrooms. Well, what is it about mushrooms that make them helpful
in the fight against COVID-19?


Doctor William Li: So, first of all, mushrooms are one of my personal favorite foods. I love them. I call
them treasures from the forest. I love all kinds of mushrooms, white button mushrooms, chanterelles,
porcinis, shiitake, enoki. I mean, you name it. There isn’t a mushroom that I’ve met that I haven’t loved.
Easy to cook, delicious. They are packed with other good sources of fiber. The soluble fiber is called
beta-D-glucan, and it feeds our microbiome, activates our immune system, and mushrooms contain
another thing that activates our immune system, which is vitamin D.


All the good stuff in the mushroom is found not only in the cap, which is what we all eat, but also in the
stem. And so this is one ingredient that I wanted everybody to know about, fresher, dried, lowly, white
button mushroom, or fancy mushroom, it doesn’t really matter.


John Robbins: You mentioned the stem. I remember in an earlier conversation that you and I had. I
remember you saying that the stem actually has more of some of the beneficial compounds than the
cap, and yet the stems are of course fibrous and not as palatable. What we do with the stems is we boil
them and make stock out of them. Is it, do you see that being a reasonable approach, Will?
Doctor William Li: Absolutely brilliant way of actually using the stems. I mean, many cultures and many
recipes will call for mushrooms and you just cut up the stems and throw them in and saute them or
whatever you’re going to do with them. Making stock is a brilliant way of actually using mushroom
stems. And you can also put the stems into a blender and make a mushroom soup out of it as well. So
if you want to consume a stock or actually a mushroom soup and there’s so many ways to actually use
mushroom stems, I highly encourage it.


One of the things that we can do for our planet by the way is not to waste food. And this example of
we’re giving about mushrooms and stems is that is just another example where when mother nature
gifts us with a food, like a mushroom that is beneficial to our health, usually it’s not just one part that’s
good for us, usually there’s multiple parts, and we’re finding this with broccoli florets, the tree tops, and
the stems, the stems also are rich with good stuff, carrots, the taproot, the orange part is really great for
us, but the greens, for carrots are also packed with vascular health promoting materials as well.
I think that there’s also an opportunity for us, not only to save ourselves, but to save our planet, do
something good for yourself and do something good for the earth as well.

This is part of an excerpt of an interview John had with Dr. Li.

Please share with family and friends who may benefit from this info.

Namaste

Sources

10 Things to Eat Right Now to Fight Back Against COVID-19 – Dr William Li

Sulforaphane reduces advanced glycation end products (AGEs)-induced inflammation in endothelial cells and rat aorta – PubMed (nih.gov)

Sulforaphane protected the injury of human vascular endothelial cell induced by LPC through up-regulating endogenous antioxidants and phase II enzymes – PubMed (nih.gov)

Quercetin attenuates vascular calcification by inhibiting oxidative stress and mitochondrial fission – PubMed (nih.gov)

Quercetin reduces blood pressure in hypertensive subjects – PubMed (nih.gov)

Ursolic acid in health and disease – PubMed (nih.gov)


Effects of mushroom-derived beta-glucan-rich polysaccharide extracts on nitric oxide production by bone marrow-derived macrophages and nuclear factor-kappaB transactivation in Caco-2 reporter cells: can effects be explained by structure? – PubMed (nih.gov)


A Review of Mushrooms as a Potential Source of Dietary Vitamin D – PubMed (nih.gov)

Anxiety and the Endocannabinoid System

Anxiety is a normal coping mechanism; however, in excess, it can be detrimental. More than just a situational response, anxiety disorders are characterized by a persistent and oftentimes irrational dread of everyday situations which can interfere with daily activities.

Forty million U.S. adults are affected by an anxiety-related disorder; however, the prevalence of these disorders should not diminish their impact.

Excessive anxiety is a central symptom of several neuropsychiatric disorders including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder (PD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Anxiety is a complex disorder that can develop through various factors including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events.

Anxiety and Emotional Response

Anxiety is our body’s response to an emotional situation. Biologically, anxiety activates our “fight or flight” response to warn us of potential threats.

During such time, norepinephrine and cortisol flood our system to boost to perception, reflexes, and speed. These chemicals increase the heart rate, blood flow to the muscles, and air flow. With chronic anxiety, the response is never deactivated, and the physical and emotional effects of anxiety remain.

 

anxiety-endocannabinoid-system_1

 

Anxiety and the Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays an integral role in regulating emotional response.

Specifically, the ECS supports nerve activity that determines our response to emotional or aversive events.

An Introduction to the ECS

As discussed in a previous blog, the endocannabinoid system is a biological system responsible for maintaining homeostasis. The ECS is composed of endocannabinoids, degradative enzymes, and cannabinoid receptors. Endocannabinoids such as anandamide (“the bliss molecule”) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2AG) are synthesized, or created, by our body on demand in response to an imbalance. They interact with the cannabinoid receptors to direct the body back to proper functioning.

CB1 Receptors and Anxiety

CB1 receptors, which are primarily located on nerve endings, are one of the two major cannabinoid receptors.

Studies have found the activation of the CB1 receptor produces anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects.

When discussing conditioned fear, the effect of CB1 receptor activation is complex; however, CB1 receptor activation can reduce fear and prevent the activation of existing memories from the past. Additionally, CB1 receptor activation protects against the adverse effects of chronic stress, which can lead to anxiety. For this reason, CB1 receptor activation has been studied for anxiolytic drug development.

Endocannabinoids activate the CB1 receptor; therefore, a higher level of endocannabinoids can be beneficial for those with anxiety-related disorders. Additionally, chemicals that inhibit the FAAH enzyme from breaking down anandamide increase endocannabinoid availability and are also being studied for their anxiolytic effects.

Living with Anxiety

There are many ways to manage anxiety; however, less than 40% of those with an anxiety disorder seek treatment. Still today, there is a stigma surrounding mental illness that discourages those struggling from seeking help. We can help end the stigma of mental illness by having open conversations about mental health, encouraging mental health education, and showing compassion to those with a mental illness.

If you or a loved one is struggling with an anxiety disorder, we encourage you to learn more about the disorder and the options for treatment.

 

This article originally appeared on MadeByHemp.com

 

Top 10 Endocrine Disruptors to Avoid

We are exposed to endocrine disruptors everyday. Endocrine disruptors like BPA and phthalates lurk in everything from cleaning products to fragrances.So, what are the top endocrine disruptors to avoid? Here is a list of the ones you should completely avoid.

1. Organophosphate Pesticides

These pesticides are sprayed on food to kill common pests. Pesticide residue on vegetables and fruits are one of the most common ways we consume these dangerous chemicals. Organophosphate pesticides have been shown to cause infertility in men, slow brain development in children, and have even been shown to affect thyroid function. Try to choose organic when purchasing food to avoid these pesticides.

2. 17α-Ethynylestradiol

17α-Ethynylestradiol is a synthetic form of estrogen and the only one that remains active when taken orally. Currently, this synthetic hormone can be found in all forms of oral birth control. Studies have shown that it promotes breast cancer complications and cell proliferation. Even the US government has acknowledged its dangerous effects.

3. Fire Retardants (PBDEs)

PBDEs, or polybrominated diethyl ethers, disrupt thyroid function by blocking the uptake of iodine, eventually taking its place in the thyroid. Because of this action, they also mimic and disrupt thyroid hormones. PBDEs have been linked to lower IQ and are proven to negatively affect neural and physical development in children and developing infants.

4. Phthalates

Phthalates are added to plastics to aid durability and flexibility. Their negative health effects have been constantly reported in various studies all across the world. Phthalates can easily leach into water and bottled water is subject to contamination. Research has confirmed that phthalates inhibit sperm cell development. They’re also linked to obesity, diabetes, and thyroid conditions. Always store foods and liquids in glass whenever possible.

plastic containers

5. BPA

BPA is everywhere: Food cans, plastic bottles, cell phone protectors, and even water pipes may contain BPA. BPA has even been found on store receipts and can be absorbed through the skin on contact. According to government research, ninety-three percent of Americans have detectable levels of BPA in their bodies. BPA has been tied to obesity, breast cancer, early-onset puberty, cardiovascular disease, and reproductive problems. Choose BPA-free storage containers and, again, use glass whenever possible. The science varies on how much of a risk these combined exposures pose in everyday life, but recent research shows even very low-dose exposures can be significant.

6. Perchlorate

Perchlorate can be found in rocket fuel, explosives, fireworks, and fertilizers. This common environmental chemical noticeably disrupts thyroid function. Similarly to PBDEs, perchlorate replaces iodine in the thyroid and leads to decreased thyroid activity. Symptoms of decreased thyroid activity include weight gain, poor energy, and depression. Water contains the highest concentrations of perchlorate. The best solution to prevent damage from this endocrine disruptor is to ensure you are getting enough iodine. A high-quality water filter may also help filter out perchlorate.

7. Arsenic

This element naturally occurs deep within the earth’s crust, but can also be released through mining and industrial activities and find its way to water sources.  Exposure to arsenic can result in insulin resistance, immune system suppression, slowed cognitive development, cardiovascular damage, and weight gain/loss. The best way to protect against arsenic is to install a water filter that specifically removes arsenic. Arsenic is found in foods like brown rice. It’s best to buy basmatic brown rice. It has less arsenic.

non stick pan

8. Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs)

It’s estimated that 99% of Americans have PFC accumulation in their bodies. PFCs are commonly used to make non-stick pans. During cooking, some of these chemicals escape into your food and accumulate in your body. PFCs disrupt hormone function and have been tied to infertility, ineffective sperm, heart disease, thyroid disease, high cholesterol, and low birth-weight in babies. One study confirmed PFCs, especially PFOA and PFHxS, negatively affect thyroid hormone levels. Avoid non-stick cookware.

9. Mercury

Mercury is toxic and dangerous to pregnant women and their babies. It’s will bind with a hormone essential to menstruation and ovulation. Mercury also attacks the pancreas to affect insulin production. Suffice to say – avoid mercury! Reducing seafood consumption may be one of the best solutions to reduce mercury intake; unfortunately, fish is no longer the only concern. The new compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) light bulbs contain dangerous levels of mercury. In fact, if one of these light bulbs break, evacuation is recommended.

10. Dioxin

The US government recognizes dioxin as an endocrine disruptor. Dioxin, a byproduct of industrial processes, can create issues such as heart disease, diabetes, reduced fertility, poor sperm activity and low sperm counts, embryo development interference, and spontaneous miscarriage. Meats and other food products which contain animal products provide the majority of exposure to Americans. It accumulates in fat and can remain for years.

Other endocrine disruptors

Other chemicals that are known endocrine disruptors include diethylstilbestrol (the synthetic estrogen DES), dioxin-like compounds, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), DDT, and some other pesticides.

 

What Can You Do?

Although it may be difficult, it is possible to take steps to avoid endocrine disruptors. If you eat meat or fish, choose organic, free-range, or wild sources. Buy fresh, organic produce as much as possible, and choose glass for food storage. Ask your physician or nutritionist, if you need to take an iodine supplement to protect your thyroid. It is suggested that regular cleansing helps remove toxin accumulation.

You may remember learning in your biology class that your body is run by a network of hormones and glands that regulate everything you do. When thinking about the endocrine system, in the context of puberty, but it actually plays a major role in all phases of development, metabolism, and behavior.

Synthetic chemicals in products like plastics and fragrances can mimic hormones and interfere with or disrupt your delicate endocrine system. We’re exposed to these chemicals daily, and we’re especially vulnerable to them during phases of accelerated development…before and during childhood. “We have very tight windows of when, say, our brain and liver are made,” explains Kristi Pullen Fedinick, an NRDC staff scientist. “When a hormone-disrupting chemical gets in the way during these windows, it can change the ways these processes happen. The change is often irreversible.”

So, is there any good news? Yes, while NRDC works to get better safeguards in place, there are ways you can try to steer clear of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). Here’s how.

mother chlld washing hands

1. Wash your hands

If you follow just one piece of advice from this list, make it this small, easy thing: Wash your hands frequently (avoiding fragranced and antibacterial soaps), and always before eating. You’ll rinse a substantial amount of chemical residue down the drain.

vacuum-cleaner-carpet-cleaner-housework

2. Dust and vacuum often

Even though they’re linked to hormone disruption (and cancer, too), flame retardant chemicals are used in many common household products. Research shows that these chemicals escape from electronics, couches, and baby products and collect in your household dust. Most families don’t have the budget to replace all these items with flame-retardant-free versions; however, we all can afford to keep our house clean by dusting with a damp cloth and using a vacuum with a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter, which traps small particles of dust instead of blowing them around the house. You’ll also reduce your exposure to other chemicals that can accumulate in your home, like lead (in older buildings), phthalates, and fluorinated chemicals.

dry brush epsom salt

3. Turn up your nose at fragrances

The word fragrance on a label signifies a mix of potentially hundreds of ingredients, and the exact formulas of most companies claim are trade secrets. And we do know that phthalates is one class of chemicals typically found in fragrance and can disrupt hormones. Fortunately, fragrance isn’t necessary for a product to function well or be effective. Choose fragrance-free creams, cleaning products, and laundry detergents. And check ingredient labels to find out where else fragrance lurks; it can show up in unexpected places, such as diapers or garbage bags. And check so-called essential oils that actually have fragrance oils.

For safer ways of freshening your indoor air, open windows, use fans, and empty smelly trash cans and litter boxes instead of trying to cover them up. You can also turn to natural odor-busters like fresh flowers on the kitchen counter, citrus peels in the garbage disposal, or an open box of baking soda in the fridge.

4. Think twice about plastics

You can’t eliminate all plastic, but you can take some easy steps to reduce your plastic use. Swap plastic food storage containers with glass or stainless steel; if you do keep plastic ones, don’t use them to store fatty foods, and never microwave them. Replace plastic baggies with reusable lunch bags, and plastic cling wrap with beeswax-coated cloth. Choose hard wood blocks and cotton baby dolls over plastic ones. In short, anytime you’re in the market for something plastic, research whether safer alternatives exist.

5. Say “no can do” to cans

Canned foods can make meal prep a breeze, but those cans are likely lined with BPA to keep them from corroding. Even though cans labeled as “BPA-free” may use a similar chemical that hasn’t been proved any safer, according to a study in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

Choosing fresh, frozen, or dried foods (like beans) that aren’t packaged in cans is a smart preventive measure. Aseptic “brick” cartons or glass packaging are both better than cans.

salmon-dish-food-meal

6. Watch what you eat

Certain pesticides have been linked to hormone disruption. Eat organic food as much as you can afford to. If your food budget is tight, choose conventionally grown foods known to have the least amount of pesticide residue. As a general rule of thumb, try to eat food that is as close to whole as possible, i.e. a whole roasted chicken instead of processed chicken nuggets. When you can, avoid food packaging. And consider how you prepare food, as well. EDCs can hide in nonstick pots and pans, so cook in stainless steel or cast iron instead.

7. Filter your tap water

Drinking tap water out of a glass will reduce your exposure to BPA and other chemicals in cans and plastic bottles. But tap water can contain a slew of its own potential hormone disruptors, including residue from birth control pills, according to NRDC’s Drinking Water Project. Running water from the tap through an NSF-certified water filter can, when properly installed and maintained, decrease the level of some endocrine-disrupting chemicals.

8. Rethink kids’ cosmetics

Even though children don’t need cosmetics, there’s a whole slew of kid-related lotions, potions, bubbles, polishes, glosses, and glitters on the market. These can contain a number of EDCs (not to mention chemicals linked to cancer, asthma, and skin irritation) that make them smell good, glide on smoothly, and be otherwise irresistible to kids. Just say no, and leave that perfect baby skin alone!

Check the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. A rule of thumb, the fewer products you use with the least amount of ingredients, the better.

9. Clean smarter

While “cleaning,” many of us actually introduce indoor air pollutants into our homes in the form of harsh chemical products. It’s difficult (and often impossible) to know what chemicals any given cleaning product contains because companies aren’t required to list the ingredients on the label. To encourage transparency and safer products, buy from companies that voluntarily disclose their ingredients and look for the Safer Choice label. You can also easily make your own cleaners from safe household staples like vinegar, borax, and baking soda.

10. Speak out

Tell companies, agencies, and policy makers that we need systems in place to make sure that toxic chemicals like EDCs, phthalates, and fluorinated chemicals stay out of our food, water, or homes in the first place.

 

Healthy Alternatives

Good news! There are more companies that offer eco-friendly products. Some of these companies are:

Skin Care, Bath, and Cosmetics: Beautycounter

Essential Oils/Household Cleaning Products: Young Living, doTERRA

Cookware: Saladmaster

 

Sources

Global Healing Center

NRDC

 

 

About the Author

Shaline Miller is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach specializing in Women’s Hormone Health. Shaline has on-going issues with her gut, thyroid, and liver and incorporates whole foods, yoga, to keep these issues in check.