According to the American Cancer Society, about 1 in 8 U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime. In fact, breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women and is considered one of the deadliest types of cancer.
Breast cancer is linked to excess estrogen levels, also called estrogen dominance. Conditions such as uterine fibroids, breast cysts, PMS, infertility, migraines, and even prostate cancer in men might also be connected with high estrogen levels.
Breast cancer can be provoked by many factors including lifestyle, habits, and even diet.
Actually, food is considered the best medicine and at the same time, it can also be the biggest poison. Elimination of physical and emotional toxins that build up and may cause DNA damage can help prevent any cancer including this dangerous breast cancer. Let’s take a look at eight things that can help prevent breast cancer:
1. Change your dietary habits
Foods that are high in antioxidants like organic fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and healthy fats like avocado and fatty fish are essential for overall health. Make it a point to eat 8-10 servings of vegetables and fruits every day to get the most benefits of phytonutrients. The most healthy vegetables are broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, and bok choy.
They will provide you with indole-3-carbinol (I3C). This is a phytonutrient that helps your body metabolize estrogen. Also, keep in mind that a high intake of refined sugars will activate cancer genes and promote the growth of cancer cells. Therefore it’s worth eliminating sugar from your diet in every form.
2. Keep a healthy weight
Obesity is always accompanied by an accumulation of fat around abdominal organs (visceral fat). These two things are extremely inflammatory. Look for a Functional Medicine practitioner who can plan a special program specifically focused on reducing visceral fat and promoting healthy weight loss.
3. Reduce chronic inflammation
Chronic inflammation can also be triggered by food intolerances and food sensitivities. Consult your gastroenterologist and get tested for food sensitivities. Timely treatment and proper diet that involves avoiding inflammatory foods can help you get rid of chronic inflammation. It will traduce your risk of breast cancer. It’s also important to get checked for chronic infections in the gut, mouth, and sinuses. Reducing inflammation is crucial as inflammatory processes weaken your immune system leading to the progression of cancer cells.
4. Reduce animal-based food consumption
Since animal-based foods are very inflammatory and contain high doses of arachidonic acid (polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid) - an inflammatory mediator, it’s extremely important to reduce animal-based food intake.
5. Give up smoking
A study published in early 2013 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute showed that smokers have a 24% higher risk and former smokers have a 13% higher risk of invasive breast cancer than non-smokers.
6. Be physically active
Any physical activity will reduce the risk of breast cancer. Workouts change the metabolism of estrogen in our body and increase the levels of “good” estrogens. You can try yoga, which regulates the levels of hormones and strengthens the immune system. Yoga also improves lymph flow. Lymph flow is essential for removing toxins from the breast.
7. Reduce your toxin exposure
As mentioned above, toxins can be a part of the mechanism of cancer development. Here is a list of toxic things to avoid:
- Pesticides and insecticides
- Inflammation-causing foods that are rich in trans fats, artificial sweeteners, and preservatives
- Personal care products and perfumes which contain phthalates and parabens
- BPA-containing plastics
8. Sleep well
According to a study published in August 2012, there is a connection between poor sleep and the development of aggressive breast cancer in women. If you have chronic insomnia, talk to your physician to find the underlying cause of this issue and get rid of it.
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