With October being Breast Cancer awareness month, it is important to recognize and support all women in your community, including yourself! The campaign not only raises awareness for the disease, which affects 1 in 8 women in the United States, but also helps all women get access to the care they need.
During this month it is important to help others and to help yourself by adopting easy preventative measures into your daily life. A healthy diet and exercise are not only great for your overall health, they also can make a huge impact on preventing breast cancer.
Here are a few tips to support breast health:
Take vitamin D: Low levels of Vitamin D have been shown to correlate with a greater risk of developing breast cancer as well as a greater risk of relapse. Similarly, it has been shown that adding increased vitamin D through diet and activity are linked to better breast cancer survival rates. Natural sunlight is the best source of vitamin D, however it is incredibly important to wear sunscreen while outdoors to lower your risk of skin cancer. For those who don’t get sun exposure frequently, incorporating vitamin D3 supplements into your diet may be a good option. As always, talk to your doctor about which vitamin D3 supplement is right for you.
Drink lots of water: Experts recommend drinking 8 8oz. glasses of water each day. This is generally referred to as the 8x8 rule. Keep a reusable water bottle with you and set reminders for every 30-minutes. Replace other drinks like juice and soda with water. Before you know it, this will become a most healthy habit. Staying hydrated not only keeps your digestive tract in balance, but will positively impact your overall health and wellness.
Eat a balanced diet: While everyone has specific foods or diets that they adhere to, a general rule of thumb is to try and include at least 5-8 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Specifically, try to incorporate cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, etc.) and whole grains into your meals as they are known for their cancer-fighting attributes (they all contain phytochemicals). Also look to incorporate more omega-3 fatty acids which can be found in foods like walnuts, pumpkin seeds, fish, and soybeans.
Maintain some form of physical activity: It has been shown that women who are physically active are 25% less likely to develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Staying active can increase your body’s immune support and can help ward off obesity, which commonly leads to increased insulin and estrogen levels. Elevated estrogen levels in fat tissue can stimulate the growth and progression of breast cancer. Once again, starting small is the key to success. Even 30 minutes a day, whether it be household cleaning, walking, or running, for 3-5 days a week can help you get started in forming healthy and active habits.
The material provided is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the diagnosis or treatment by a qualified healthcare professional. You should always seek medical advice before consuming any new medicines or supplements.