The One Thing a Hormone Specialist Wants You to Stop Eating

"Sorry—I'm hormonal." It's a default excuse for moodiness and misbehavior—usually for women and usually when we're PMS-ing or pregnant, right?

Well, what if we told you that it's your favourite cosmetics that are actually throwing you out of whack? Or your spinning obsession? The truth is that we're surrounded by hormonal disruptors—something that has only worsened with our modern industrial world.

"Weight gain, infertility, chronic stress—all of these can be driven by environmental exposures," says Sara Gottfried, MD, New York Times best-selling author of The Hormone Reset Diet (£12). These can range from the more obvious (like lack of exercise) to the seemingly innocuous (your sofa—seriously) and, when working in tandem, can really make a mess of your hormones.

"They may be wreaking havoc on your body without you even realising it," says Gottfried. "So even if you're doing all the right things for your health, exposure to environmental toxins, as well as hormones in our food supply, can damage the body's inherent weight-control mechanisms. Like a computer that's been corrupted, it may still function, but its ability to function optimally has been compromised."

So what do we do short of locking ourselves in a room and never emerging? (This, incidentally, would mess with your hormones as well.) "We can't avoid these environmental toxins entirely—they permeate our world," says Gottfried. "But we can minimise exposure to them." The first step is getting to know those random culprits.

Next, learn about the foods that can help keep your hormones in balance.

This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.