It's Breast Cancer Awareness month, so here are a few simple tips for prevention!
- Exercise: Women who do aerobic exercise 3-5 times per week have a 37-60% less risk of breast cancer. Exercise lowers the amount of estrogen and dangerous estrogen metabolites.
- Stress Reduction: Chronic stress is a huge risk factor not only for heart disease, high blood pressure, ulcers, and depression but also cancer. Breast cancer frequently follows a period of severe, constant stress…a bad marriage, the death of a child, abusive work conditions, and bankruptcy. Cortisol, the stress hormone increases estrogen dominance. Getting rid of stressors, consciously acknowledging them, and altering your response to those stressors is critical in disease prevention. Walk, talk, meditate, laugh, and BREATHE! People who ‘go with the flow' and ‘let it go' rarely get cancer. Release the anger, forgive.
- Low Carbohydrate Diet: Elevated insulin levels from a diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates, increase ‘estrogen dominance' by increasing the amount of free estrogen and stimulating the estrogen receptor directly. Tumor cells over express insulin receptors allowing more glucose in to feed the tumor. Breast, and other cancers are stimulated by sugar and other refined carbohydrates. Women diagnosed with breast cancer, who have high insulin levels, have an increased risk of breast cancer coming back and are more likely to die from breast cancer.
- Whole food, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds: “Let food be your medicine. ” Hippocrates Much of what you need to prevent cancer is a gift from the earth. It's your choice. The more refined the food, the less nutrition, the more chemicals. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds contain Phytonutrients, which naturally balance your hormones. They contain usable minerals, vitamins, and fibers which also lower the estrogen burden and create healthy estrogen metabolites. Eat 5-8 servings a day.
- Avoid Partially Hydrogenated Oils and Tran fats: They are found in almost all processed foods. They not only increase the dangerous estrogen metabolites they stimulate the breast cancer cell directly. Use olive oil or coconut oil instead.
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Essential fatty acids (flaxseed and high quality fish oil capsules) inhibit breast cancer cell proliferation. Flax seed (2 Tbsp. /day) has been shown to reduce the size of breast cancers between the time of diagnosis and surgery. Flaxseed also increases the good estrogen metabolites and binds to the estrogen receptor directly preventing the strong and chemical estrogens from stimulating the cell. I also recommend chia seeds.
- Fiber: Fiber lowers the amount of estrogen and estrogen metabolites which are available to stimulate the breast tissue. It also lowers insulin and glucose levels which feed tumor cells.
- Get the Chemicals out of your home and off of your body: Chemical estrogens are very stimulatory to the breast tissue, acting as very strong estrogen. Lotions contain all types of chemicals which get absorbed into your body through the skin.
- Limit or avoid Alcohol: Limit alcohol if you have breast cancer. Alcohol is not only toxic to the cell but increases the amount of estrogen made in the fatty tissue.
- Avoid obesity: This will lower the amount of estrone, a stimulatory estrogen, made in the fatty tissue. It will help prevent the conversion of testosterone (breast protective) to estrogen.
- Sleep: A low melatonin level has been associated with an increased risk of breast and other cancers. Poor sleep affects the immune system. Hormone imbalance affects sleep.
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