October means a lot of things: the beginning of fall, Halloween, the gateway month to the holidays, and breast cancer awareness month. About 240,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, and some 42,000 die every year. While genetics and other factors play a role, there are certain diet, supplement, and lifestyle changes you can make to support a healthier journey and haven an impact on the factors you do have control over. In this blog post, we’ll explore some practical tips to help you reduce your risk of breast cancer.
1. Embrace Regular Exercise:
Exercise is not only beneficial for maintaining a healthy weight, but also plays a significant role in reducing the risk of breast cancer. Studies who that women who get regular exercise have a 10%-20% lower risk of breast cancer risk than women who are more sedentary, most prominently in postmenopausal women. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity per week. Engaging in activities like brisk walking, jogging, cycling, or swimming can have a positive impact on your overall health and well-being.
2. Soak Up Some Sun:
Vitamin D, often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin,” has been linked to a lower risk of breast cancer. Spending time outdoors during the non-peak hours (before 10 am and after 3 pm) and getting adequate sunlight exposure can help your body produce vitamin D naturally. However, remember to protect your skin by applying natural sunscreen after a short period of sun exposure (longer than about 15 minutes).
3. Hormone Testing and Maintenance:
Knowing your hormone levels can provide valuable insights into your breast health. We do a full panel that includes three different types of estrogen, progesterone, DHEA, testosterone, and more. Then you’ll review your results with our nutritionist, who will guide you on an appropriate protocol to help correct any imbalances, and get you feeling stronger and on the road to reducing your risk of breast cancer.
4. Limit Exposure to Hormone Disruptors:
Certain chemicals found in personal care and cleaning products, known as hormone disruptors, can interfere with the body’s hormonal balance. Called xenoestrogens, many of them mimic estrogen, binding to estrogen receptor sites and leading to weight gain and estrogen dominance and other imbalances. Opt for natural and organic alternatives whenever possible, reducing your exposure to these potentially harmful substances. It’s also why we recommend limiting interacting with plastic, BPA and other chemicals as much as possible. Check out EWG.org for ratings on your current products and cleaner alternatives–it’s one of our favorite resources for clean living!
5. Cut Back on Alcohol Consumption:
Studies have shown that alcohol consumption is linked to an increased risk of breast cancer, likely partially due to its detrimental effects on DNA when in large amounts. It’s important to moderate your alcohol intake or consider eliminating it altogether to reduce your risk. Compared to women who abstain from drinking, women who drink three or more alcoholic beverages per week increase their breast cancer risk by 15%.
6. Maintain a Healthy Weight:
Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for reducing breast cancer risk. Excess body fat can increase estrogen levels, which are associated with a higher risk of breast cancer.
Focus on a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Incorporate portion control and regular physical activity to help manage your weight effectively.
7. Tweak Your Diet:
Eating an anti-inflammatory, nutrient-rich diet supports optimal health and supports disease prevention. Focusing on certain types of fruit and veggie superstars, like cruciferous vegetables (think broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy, and kale), the onion/garlic family, and leafy green vegetables, will boost your hormone and immune health. Colorful foods like berries and sweet potatoes, healthy fats like hemp and chia seeds, and fiber are also winners.
8. Explore Beneficial Supplements:
Certain supplements have been studied for their potential benefits in breast health. Consider adding the following to your daily routine after consulting with a healthcare professional:
- Curcumin: This compound found in turmeric has potent anti-inflammatory properties and may support breast health.
- Vitamin D: Supplementing with vitamin D can be beneficial, especially if you have low levels or limited sun exposure.
- DIM (Diindolylmethane): Derived from cruciferous vegetables, DIM promotes a healthy balance of hormones in the body.
- Calcium-D-Glucarate: This supplement aids detoxification by supporting the elimination of excess estrogen.
- Broccoli Extract: Packed with powerful antioxidants, broccoli extract can contribute to breast health.
Remember, supplements should complement a healthy lifestyle and are not a substitute for proper medical care.
By implementing these simple changes into your daily routine, you can take proactive steps to lower your risk of breast cancer. Prioritize your health, make informed choices, and consult with healthcare professionals for personalized guidance.
For more information or to learn how Cambiati Wellness Programs can support you in reaching your health goals, call or text us at 925-280-4442.