There are many lifestyle and natural changes women can make each day to protect themselves from breast cancer.
1. CONSUME PLANT-BASED DIET
Plant foods which are rich sources of Fiber, Phytochemicals and Antioxidants have been shown to decrease the possibility of cancer and protect the body from other risky chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
Eat whole grains and legumes as well as add at least 5-8 servings of bright colored fruits and vegetables daily to your diet.
2. MAINTAIN HEALTHY WEIGHT
Being obese is a very strong risk factor for breast cancer and any weight gain after the age of 18, even a 15% weight put on can highly increase the risk of breast cancer as well as any cancer recurrence.
It is recommended to lose weight or maintain an appropriate healhthy weight by exercising daily and consuming a low fat plant-based diet with limited dietary fats.
The National Cancer Institute has recommended to exercise for four or more hours in a week which can help decrease hormone levels and also reduce breast cancer risk.
3. LIMIT SUGAR CONSUMPTION
Avoid eating lot of concentrated sweets, sugar added from processed foods, and sugary sodas (beverages) as they increase calories, and hardly any nutrients. A high sugar intake can increase insulin levels and encourage weight gain as well. Both increase the risk of cancer.
Natural sugars contained in fruit, vegetables, dairy, beans, soymilk, and whole grains, are the best sources of Carbohydrates your body needs as fuel, and should not be restricted unless it is recommended specifically by your nutritionist.
Soy is a rich source of protein, fiber, calcium, iron, B Vitamins, and isoflavones which can easily help bind estrogen and might lower the risk of hormonal cancers such as breast and prostate. It also protects bones.
5. VITAMIN D FOR BONE HEALTH
It is essential for women of all ages to consume enough amounts of Calcium and Vitamin D to maintain strong bone health. This can be even more crucial for postmenopausal women because of their increased risk of osteoporosis. Vitamin D has promising health benefits.
Deficiency of Vitamin D is common and may increase the risk of cancer. You should ask your doctor to check your blood level where 35-40 ng/mL is considered as an optimal (normal) level.
6. GREEN TEA
Green tea has strong anticancer properties such as flavonoids and catechins. Aim to consume atleast 2 cups of Green tea daily.
7. GOOD FAT
Fat may seem unlikely to consume for breast cancer prevention, but monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats have been called as the "good fats." Good fats are found in olive oil, seeds, avocados and nuts.
Additionally, omega-3 fatty acids, are found in cold water fish such as salmon and herring, and have been helpful in reducing the risk of breast cancer. Many experts have recommend a diet in which around 20 to 30 percent of daily calories must be from fat, and with not more than 8 percent of total calories from saturated fat.
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