Friday, 31 October 2014

13 Natural Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is an epidemic effecting millions of women all over the world. 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer over the course of their lifetime. 1 in 8 mothers, daughters, aunts, grandmothers, sisters, friends, and partners that will have to battle this debilitating disease. But what if there were ways to help reduce the risk of breast cancer that was completely natural and just required some small lifestyle changes? Although there is no way to be be sure of preventing breast cancer, there are many things you can do to naturally lower your risk of developing the disease. It is possible and with more and more discoveries happening every day, researchers are finding more ways to naturally reduce your risks for breast cancer. If you want to reduce your risk of breast cancer, check out these top natural ways to do it:

13 Natural Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Breast Cancer

1 . Alcohol And Breast Cancer Risk

Studies suggest that consuming an average of more than one alcoholic beverage a day increases the risk of breast cancer, with the risk growing with the amount of alcohol consumed. One drink is defined as 10 grams of alcohol, which typically means a 12-ounce beer, a four-ounce glass of wine, or a shot (1.25 ounces) of hard liquor or spirits. With each drink you consume in excess of seven per week, your risk increases by about 9%. Thus, women who are currently exceeding the seven-drinks-a-week threshold can lower their risk by reducing their alcohol intake.

2 . Breastfeeding Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

Breastfeeding for one to two years has been proven to reduce your estrogen levels, which may lower your risk of developing breast cancer (this is especially true if you have a family history of the disease). Breastfeeding also offers many health benefits to babies and may reduce a female baby’s overall risk of developing breast cancer later in life.

3 . Healthy Fats

Healthy fats contain essential fatty acids, called “essential” because your body does not produce them, and they have to be taken in through diet. These fatty acids include omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids and can be found in fish, seeds, nuts and oils. Research suggests that omega fats are particularly important to breast health.

4 . Eat More Beans

Apparently, beans are anti-cancer. Scientists from Colorado State University recently published a study on lab animals who ate beans. Those who were fed a bean based diet had a significantly lower rate of cancer, in general. While studies on how beans affect cancer risk in humans are still ongoing, we can guess that beans will help reduce cancer risk in some fashion for humans, too. Plus, this is such an easy way to drop your risk of breast cancer. Toss some beans in with your salad for lunch, or serve bean burritos instead of beef burritos for dinner!

5 . Eat The Right Foods Every Day

Research continues to produce promising evidence that what you eat can affect your risk. For example, Harvard researchers recently found that women who had the highest carotenoid levels in their blood had a 19% lower risk of breast cancer than those with the lowest levels. Carotenoids are found in fruits and vegetables such as leafy greens, carrots, and red peppers. Women who consumed more carotenoids had an even lower risk of developing estrogen-receptor-negative breast cancer (which is often more aggressive). Other phytonutrients may also protect against breast cancer, including sulforaphane (found in cruciferous vegetables) and lycopene (the chemical that gives tomatoes their red color). The ACS recommends eating five or more servings of fruits and veggies a day, limiting processed and red meats, and choosing whole grains to help reduce risks of all types of cancer.

6 . Watch Your Weight

Being overweight or obese increases breast cancer risk. This is especially true after menopause and for women who gain weight as adults. The major source of estrogen for postmenopausal women is not the ovaries, but fat tissue. The increased risk may be due in part to more estrogen being made in fatty tissue. If you’re already at a healthy weight, stay there. If you’re carrying extra pounds, try to shed some. There’s evidence that losing weight may lower breast cancer risk. One easy goal to get started is to try losing 5% to 10% of your current weight over 6 months. For most women, that means dropping just half a pound per week.

 7 . Broccoli

Eat Some Broccoli or sprouts or cabbage. Although the evidence is not yet conclusive, these vegetables are high in a natural chemical known as sulforophane which is thought to inhibit the growth of tumours by boosting protecting enzymes in breast tissue.

8 . Vitamin A

Researchers have found that this powerful vitamin can actually reduce the risk of developing breast cancer in those who have a family history of the disease. Carrots, sweet potatoes, dried herbs, and leafy greens are all rich in vitamin A.

9 . Vitamin D

Vitamin D is known to help reduce the incidence of breast and ovarian cancer by slowing the growth of cancer cells. The sun is primary source of Vitamin D, but we also know that sun exposure can be dangerous. So the best way to get more vitamin D in your diet is by eating fatty fish (such as salmon), but it can also be found in milk, fortified cereal, orange juice, and eggs. Have your Vitamin D levels checked at your primary care physician’s office – if you are low, you may consider taking supplements.

10 . Vitamin E

This vitamin has been clinically proven to slow the growth of cancer cells in the ovaries by reducing the production of telomerase, a ribonucleoprotein that can increase the risk of developing ovarian cancer. Foods rich in vitamin E include leafy greens such as swiss chard, spinach, and kale, as well as nuts, wheat, and tropical fruits.

11 . Cruciferous Vegetables

These include arugula, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, bok choy and kale. Rich in phytochemicals including sulforaphane, these foods contain protective compounds that help
prevent cancer.

12 . Get Fiber Rich Foods

Some studies suggest that eating fibre filled foods such as lentils, beans and pulses could lower risk.  British women eat about 16 grams of fibre a day but studies suggest if they increased that to 25 grams, it could help lower their breast cancer risk. It’s believed the increased fibre could speed up the removal of ostrogens from the body. Oestrogen is a female sex hormone that  stimulates some breast cancers to grow by triggering particular proteins (receptors) in the cancer cells. Your risk of breast cancer may increase as your exposure to this hormone increases.  This is likely to be higher if you started your periods before the age of 11, had a menopause after 55, take the contraceptive Pill or had your first child after 30.

13 . Regular Breast Check up after Age of 50

Your risk of developing breast cancer increases as you get older. The majority of advanced breast cancer cases are found in women over age 50. Women are 100 times more likely to get breast cancer than men. Women with age over 50 should go for breast check up after every 3 years. Women with family history of breast cancer should go for regular breast check up after age of 40.