As many of you know this is breast cancer awareness month (Can we change the name to prevention month as it is more of an action statement than awareness) I wanted to bring attention to this very important subject.
Today’s Wellness Wednesday article is a little longer than usually but well worth the read as breast cancer affects us all in some way. Please feel free to forward this article to all your friends and family so they too have this very important information.
Do you worry about getting Breast Cancer ?
Do you worry about getting breast cancer? Have you already suffered from the disease and are now afraid of a recurrence? I understand why. The incidence of breast cancer is skyrocketing…
Last year over 200,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer and 60,000 cases of non-invasive breast cancer were diagnosed. A woman’s risk of getting breast cancer has jumped from 1 in 20 in the 1960s to 1 in 8 today. Tragically, more than 40,000 women died from breast cancer alone last year.
Why has there been such a huge escalation in the rates of this frightening disease? Notice that the escalation of this disease parallels the increase in poor life style habits and less that healthy food choices.. These are not the only reasons for breast cancer however there is lot you can do to limit your chances of getting this destructive disease… Cancer can not grow in a healthy environment..
The first step is to overcome insulin resistance.
Insulin is the hormone released from your pancreas after a meal. It sends signals to your cells telling them to absorb sugar from your blood—which is a critically important job.
What most people DON’T realize is that as your insulin levels increase your estrogen levels increase as well. That means your risk of breast cancer goes up every time you eat too much sugar!
However, the havoc that insulin wreaks doesn’t stop there.
Insulin resistance also increases the amount of body fat you have. As your body fat increases, so does an enzyme in your fat called aromatase. Aromatase turns hormones made in other organs in your bodies (such as your adrenal glands) into estrogen.
Another critical part of your body you need to focus on if you want to limit your risk of breast cancer is your digestive system.
What is the connection between your gut health the health of your breasts?
Your flora—or the good bacteria that live in your gut.
These little symbiotic helpers not only strengthen your immune system and help you digest the foods you eat; they also help detoxify the estrogen made in your body after it’s been used.
If your flora isn’t in balance, the estrogen your body needs to eliminate gets reabsorbed. This increases your estrogen level and exposes your body to unhealthy estrogen breakdown products.
It’s interesting to note that many studies link increased use of antibiotics to an increased risk of breast cancer. This may be because excess antibiotic use kills off the good bacteria in your gut.
So let’s review what you can do to balance your estrogen levels, heal from insulin resistance, limit your toxic exposure, and support the flora in your gut.
Doing the following will help you limit your risk of breast cancer:
1. Choose whole foods. This helps increase your insulin sensitivity and prevents insulin resistance.
2. Get 3-5 hours of exercise per week. This also helps increase your insulin sensitivity and allows you to more easily control your percentage of body fat.
3. Increase your fiber intake. Your goal is 35 gm per day. High-fiber foods include vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, and whole grains such as brown rice and ground flax seed.
4. Have protein at every meal or snack of the day. Good protein sources include; fish, lean poultry, beans, nuts, eggs, etc.
5. Maintain a healthy weight. This is the best studied, most agreed upon step a woman can take to decrease her risk of breast cancer.
6. Get a good night sleep. Sleeping well helps with weight control, insulin sensitivity, and supports your immune system. All of this is important for preventing cancer.
7. Choose organic and hormone-free Protein sources, milk, and produce. This reduces your exposure to unwanted pesticides and hormones.
8. Avoid excess toxic exposure. Choose organic products for your lawn and garden, avoid dry cleaning, don’t use plastic bottles, and limit your intake of medications (like Tylenol) that get processed in your liver.
9. Take probiotics. To support healthy gut flora
10. Limit your alcohol intake to no more than 1 drink per day and 5 per week—less is better. Remember 1 drink is 5 ounces of wine, 1.5 ounces of hard alcohol, or 12 ounces of beer, and if you smoke,stop today!
These are just a few simple things you can do everyday to reduce your risk of getting breast cancer. Now I’d like to hear from you.
Have you struggled with breast cancer and if so, what has worked and what hasn’t?
Do you have any additional recommendations that might benefit others who are struggling with breast cancer?
Have a healthy day