- Women's Health
Six Easy Ways to Help Prevent Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is the cancer most feared by women. Recent research has determined there are some steps you can take to help prevent breast cancer. Now there are simple ways you can help reduce your risk, in addition to regular self exams and mammograms. Experts say that if you make the following six steps a part of your regular routine, you can increase your chances of healthy breasts! These steps should not however, replace regular medical check ups with your doctor regarding your breast health.
Eat Your Green Veggies
Natural health researcher, Thom Lobe, M.D., director of Beneveda Medical Group in Beverly Hills California, says the green vegetables are great for promoting healthy breasts. Green veggies such as spinach, lettuce, kale, broccoli, and green peppers are excellent choices and the darker green, the better. A recent study of women proved that those who ate one cup daily of dark greens were 40% less likely to develop breast cancer. Green vegetables are rich in powerful antioxidants that stop carcinogens from grabbing hold in breasts by attaching themselves to receptor sites within the breast tissue. Eating one cup a day is easy to do and you get incredible benefits with minimal effort.
Eat Good Fats
Plant based fats have been proven to be powerful cancer fighters by helping your body absorb nutrients from fruits and vegetables. On the other hand, consuming the trans fats commonly found in processed foods can double your risk of getting breast cancer. Fats to steer clear of are hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils and shortening. These Trans fats block the enzymes that break down carcinogens as well as weaken your immune system. Opt for the much healthier, cancer fighting plant based oils such as olive oil, flaxseed oil and fats that come from nuts, seeds, avocados and coconuts.
Take the Stairs
New research at the University of Northern Colorado found that one hour of vigorous exercise weekly could lower the risk of breast cancer by 20%. Participating in physical activity reduces levels of cell damaging estrogen. These studies found that taking the stairs is better because you are working against gravity as opposed to walking on a flat surface. Another tip is to make sure you get plenty of rest. Not only will getting enough rest make it more likely that you will get in your regular exercise, studies found 32% fewer breast cancer cases in well rested women! It makes sense that this would be true since your body makes the cancer fighting hormone melatonin while you are sleeping.
Ease up on the Alcohol
Medical director of the Pink Lotus Breasat Center in Beverly Hills, California, Kristi Funk, M.D., says that if you like your wine, not to worry because "One glass a day is safe for breasts and even provides additional health benefits. But women who consume two or more servings of alcohol daily are 30% more likely to develop breast cancer than those who abstain from alcohol. Those who drink more than two a day increase their risk of getting breast cancer by 51%. The reason is because alcohol increases the bodies production of estrogen, which can damage breast cells.
Take these Daily Supplements
Calcium and Vitamin D are not only good for bone health, they are also good for breast health! They work together within the breast tissue to prevent abnormal cell changes from taking place. A study at Harvard University suggests that taking these two supplements daily can decrease your risk of breast cancer by 33% and lessen the chances of getting invasive breast cancer (rapid spreading breast cancer) by up to 69%. The study dosage recommends 1200 mg. of calcium and 800 IU of Vitamin D every day. As always, seek medical advice before starting any supplements.
Snack on Walnuts
Walnuts are rich in disease fighting antioxidants called phytosterols as well as a special fat called alpha-lino-lenic acid (ALA), both of which help block the development of tumors. This research was founded by a study done by UCLA researchers. Snacking on just two handfuls (about 2oz.) daily of these super nuts can cut your risk of breast cancer in half! How can such a little nut do something so amazing? Preliminary animal research has shown that eating walnuts will slow the growth of abnormal cells.
Studies have also shown that coffee can help protect you against breast cancer. Coffee contains antioxidants that reduce inflammation and insulin levels which is important in stopping the growth of tumors.
For a long time there has been a myth that being over weight prior to menopause would increase your risk for breast cancer. Recent research has proven this is only a myth. Leslie Bernstein, Ph.D., a cancer researcher at the City of Hope National Medical Center in California states that "After menopause, your risk goes up only if your body mass index (BMI) is over 28." You can ask your doctor to calculate your BMI, or you can easily locate free BMI calculators by searching the web.