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Lifestyle Tips to Support Breast Health

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BREAST HEALTH TIP #1:

Supplement Your Diet with Omega-3 Fatty Acids(link to norways purest fish oil)Eating proper amounts of healthy fats called omega-3 fatty acids can reduce your risk of breast cancer, and are also beneficial for those already diagnosed with breast cancer. Omega-3’s decrease the strength of estrogen in the breast tissue, decrease inflammation, and shrink the size of breast tumors while preventing them from metastasizing or spreading. Women with the highest amount of omega-3 fatty acids in their bodies, have a 500% lower incidence of metastasis compared to women with the lowest levels of omega-3.

Cold-water fish such as salmon, cod, and halibut are great choices. These fish contain omega-3 fatty acids which support cell health and boost immunity. Eating fresh fish should be a healthy part of your diet but for therapeutic purposes supplementation with quality fish oil becomes a necessity.

BREAST HEALTH TIP #2:

Eat plenty of Dark green leafy vegetables.The Cruciferous vegetable family is named for their cross-shaped flower petals. Research of this family of vegetables indicates that they may provide protection against certain cancers. Cruciferous vegetables contain antioxidants (particularly beta carotene and the compound sulforaphane), and they are high in fiber, vitamins and minerals. Cruciferous vegetables also contain a kind of phytochemical known as isothiocyanates, which stimulates our body to break down carcinogens (cancer causing agents).

Raw cruciferous vegetables contain thyroid inhibitors known as goitrogens, therefore people who have low thyroid function should steam all cruciferous vegetables.

LIST OF CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES

Arugula Bok choy Broccoli
Brussels sprouts Cabbage Cauliflower
Chard Chinese cabbage Collard greens
Daikon Kale Kohlrabi
Mustard greens Radishes Rutabagas
Turnips Watercress

BREAST HEALTH TIP #3

Supplement with DIM.(link to estroBalance) DIM ( diindolylmethane) is the ingredient in cruciferous vegetables responsible for protection against hormonal imbalances that frequently precede breast cancer. DIM helps your body breakdown estrogen in a healthy way. Supplementing 150-300mg per day will ensure that your body breaks down estrogen into its health promoting antioxidant metabolites. Poor breakdown of estrogen is associated with weight gain, breast cancer, and uterine cancer.

BREAST HEALTH TIP #4

Drink plenty of Organic Green Tea-Green tea contains compounds called catechins and polyphenols that inhibit cancer growth. There have been many studies on the anti-carcinogenic qualities of green tea. Studies of people in Asia who drink large amounts of green tea daily show much lower rates of a variety of cancers including breast cancer. Organic green tea is your best choice.

BREAST HEALTH TIP #5

Consume Extra Virgin Olive oil-Olive oil contains health promoting antioxidants and is associated with a lower incidence of breast cancer in Mediterranean populations. Olive oil can be used to sauté, as a salad dressing, drizzled over vegetables, or as a tasty butter substitute.

BREAST HEALTH TIP #6

Move your body!-Exercise improves sleep, appetite, mood and releases stress. In a variety of research studies, both aerobic exercise and weight training have been shown to be beneficial in reducing symptoms in women of all ages including sleep disturbances, depression, fibrocystic breast disease, and breast cancer.

BREAST HEALTH TIP #7

Eat Organic , Toss your Plastic!- Many scientists speculate that the increasing number of cancer cases worldwide are due to the toxins in our environment. These toxins act like estrogen hormones in the body and are termed “xeno-estrogens”. We know that many breast cancers are estrogen dependent. Xenoestrogens like pesticides, herbicides, chemicals, heavy metals and other toxins in our food, water, and produce accumulate in our fat tissue over time. Their estrogen like properties can be the trigger that starts the cancer cascade. Store your food in glass containers instead of plastic to avoid phthalates, which are hormone disrupting chemicals linked to an increased risk for breast cancer. Stop drinking from plastic bottles and get a stainless steel drinking container.

BREAST HEALTH TIP #8

Drink alcohol in moderation- Keep alcohol consumption to a minimum. Many studies have shown that alcohol consumption does increase breast cancer rates by a small percentage. However, a small amount of red wine on a regular basis is also known to lower the risk of heart disease which still kills many more women than breast cancer does.

BREAST HEALTH TIP #9

Relax!-According to Chinese medicine, stress, frustration, and unresolved anger can play an important part in the development of all types of breast disease, both benign and malignant. Chinese medical theories suggest that one of the best things a woman can do for her breast (and overall) health is to find a way to relax and release stress on a daily basis. Such methods may include yoga, meditation, biofeedback, simple relaxation therapy, or whatever method you use to release the stress and pressures of modern life. Maintain present time consciousness and express your emotions in the moment. Don’t swallow your emotions!

BREAST HEALTH TIP #10

Take Antioxidants-Studies confirm that low antioxidant levels were linked to an increased risk for breast cancer. Antioxidants are the body’s first line of defense against the damaging effects of oxidative stress. Women with higher markers of oxidative stress in their bodies have a higher risk for breast cancer. Women with low vitamin A had double the risk for breast cancer. Women with low vitamin E had nearly tripled the risk. Vitamin D is one of the most important antioxidants to maintain breast health. A study conducted by Cedric Garland and other prominent vitamin D researchers determined that women with vitamin D levels above 52 ng/ml have half the risk of developing breast cancer as those with 13 ng/ml. If these figures are true then upwards of 58,000 cases of breast cancer per year could be prevented. Studies show it is better to supplement Vitamin D in a large bolus once or twice a week instead of once a day. A dose of 3000iu per day would be better given as 10,000iu 2x per week.

We can never prevent any disease 100%. Breast cancer does have a strong hereditary link, but by choosing a healthy lifestyle you can dramatically improve your odds of staying cancer free.

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About the Author

Dr. Ingrid Maes

Dr. Ingrid Maes specializes in gentle chiropractic care and creating a lifestyle that promotes your best health. As a doctor of chiropractic and certified acupuncturist, Ingrid is skilled at identifying the root cause of imbalance and creating physical, nutritional and emotional balance in all systems of your body.

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