What is an Autumn Cleanse? Find out how detoxifying your environment can improve fertility
It is now meteorological Autumn and it got me thinking about how popular it is to do a Spring Clean, when here in the UK the sun starts to emerge for longer and flowers show early signs of life. Whilst in the Autumn, the opposite begins, we lose the warm summer sunshine (did we even have any this summer!) and leaves start to turn a beautiful orange, red and yellow. We start to feel the need for warmer clothes and darker evenings can lead to us spending more time at home. I’m putting it out there that an ‘Autumn Cleanse’ can be just as fulfilling and important for your fertile health as a Spring clean.
My challenge to you is this, how about making the focus of the autumn clean a cleanse of chemicals and unwanted toxins from the home? The removal of products that either emit toxic fumes that we inhale or those that we apply to our skin, body and hair which enter our bloodstream through the skin’s permeable barrier.
How do toxins impact Male & Female fertility?
So why is it important to remove toxins from our environment when trying to conceive. First of all it’s important to remember that it isn’t that these products are individually highly dangerous but it’s the accumulation of multiple products being used daily that leads to a build-up of toxins in the body and this build up can start to disrupt our normal hormone balance. Let me explain further, the biggest culprits are called Endocrine Disruptors. Not only can chemicals in certain products bind to our bodies hormone receptors, but they also affect the glands that produce hormones, interfering with the production or the breakdown of the hormone which can seriously imbalance the endocrine system. Men have an endocrine system as much as Women do, so this applies to improving sperm health and male hormone balance in men as much as it applies to egg health and balance female hormones.
Think of it this way, you wake up and shower using products containing parabens, you go downstairs for breakfast and have a drink from a plastic bottle containing BPA, you cook an omelette in a non-stick pan (PFCs). You apply make up with a high toxic load, some eye lines and mascaras could contain heavy metals, you spray on some perfume (fragrance). Before you’ve even started you’re day properly, you’ve exposed your hormonal system to toxins and chemicals that are known disruptors. The beauty of having knowledge in this area now is that there are loads of reputable brands producing safe products that do not contain these harmful chemicals and we can help our hormonal system restore to its natural function.
DO NOT feel guilty on the products you have used or continue to use. It is not always possible to replace everything straight away, I am not asking you to do that. Slowly replace things that you can see yourself making a sustained change, one that you can keep forever.
Dietary Tips to help eliminate Toxins
Believe or not, our bodies have inbuilt mechanisms to help remove these unwanted toxins but we have to give it a helping hand by removing how often we come into contact with these toxins in the first place.
Here are a few tips:
• Daily Vitamin C – Real foods containing this powerful antioxidant that helps prevent damage from chemicals include; Berries, Peppers, Broccoli, Citrus Fruit, Kale and a daily Vitamin C supplement 1g per day
• Eat loads of Green Veggies – Containing a double-whammy of fibre and vitamin C, these superfoods enhance the body's ability to excrete chemicals through and boost the livers ability to detoxify. For example; Broccoli, Courgettes, Kale, Green Beans, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Spinach
• Fibre from Veg and NOT FLOUR – Fibre doesn’t have to come from wholegrains or flour based products. In fact, fibre from seeds, nuts, vegetables and berries provide more nutrition without disrupting your blood sugar. Fibre helps alleviate harmful effects of toxins by binding to toxins so they are excreted in stools & fibre feeds beneficial gut bacteria that help detoxify harmful chemicals. Choose; Chia Seeds, Green Veg, Berries, Nuts and Seeds
• Drink plenty of water – sweat, urine & bowel movements naturally eliminate chemicals
• Exercise/Movement – improves blood flow, stimulates your lymphatic system – remove toxins & waster products. The more you move, the more effectively your body can detoxify
I wish I had found this information when I was trying to conceive and if like me, you want to know more about how you can tailor your diet to maximise your chances of a healthy pregnancy – download my FREE Fertile Friendly Food Shopping Guide.