It’s October and that means it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. And for many of us, it has personal meaning, especially if you or someone you love is battling or has battled breast cancer. I know in my case, it’s very personal, as I lost my Mom to this horrible disease and not a day goes by that I don’t miss her. I know that all of us women out there are aware and concerned about the risk of developing this disease in our lifetime. And if you’re like me, you might even have felt fearful at times, wondering if it would happen to you. As it turns out, I did have my own battle with cancer (not breast cancer). I went on to fully recover and through my experience, I learned that we have more control than we think over whether or not we get sick. This is why I think we should call October Breast Cancer Prevention Month! Let’s do all that we can in our power to prevent this disease!
Now, of course, there are no guarantees in life, but we can do much to fight this disease with a very powerful weapon we all possess: healthful lifestyle measures. Yup! We all have the power to make our bodies inhospitable to this disease by making positive lifestyle choices.
Here are some actions we women can take to achieve powerful protection against breast cancer:
Eat plenty of greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries and seeds. All of these foods contain anti-cancer compounds. Emphasize cruciferous vegetables, mushrooms, flax, and chia seeds because they contain phytochemicals that have anti-estrogenic activities that can greatly help to fight breast cancer in particular. I truly believe eating this way was extremely instrumental in my recovery. I say, go plantstrong, you can’t go wrong! If you would like to read about what else I did to regain my health, CLICK HERE to check out my book, The Wellness Mindset: 5 Keys to Building Super Health.
Avoid the junk food. Try to stay far away from fast food and high-glycemic refined foods like white flour and sweets. These garbagy foods can cause frequent high insulin levels that are thought to promote growth and division of cancerous cells. They also promote diabetes and research has shown that women with diabetes are 20% more likely to develop breast cancer.
Stay slim. Being obese is a big risk factor for breast cancer. According to The American Institute for Cancer Research, 17% of breast cancers are due to excess weight alone! What’s worse, they report that women who are obese when they are diagnosed are more likely to die from breast cancer. Ugh!
Don’t eat mass factory-farmed meats or dairy and try to greatly minimize your consumption of animal foods overall. These poor animals are very often given antibiotics as well as growth promoting hormones. What’s worse is that environmental pollutants accumulate in the fatty tissues of these animals. And grilled meat is especially not your friend because grilling produces heterocyclic amines. These compounds are produced when meats are cooked at high temperatures and they have been linked to increased risk of breast cancer and other cancers. And did you know that all animal protein elevates blood levels of IGF-1? This is a hormone that, studies have shown, has been associated with increased risk of several cancers, including breast cancer.
Minimize your exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). These are some big baddies because EDCs inhibit or alter the action of the body’s natural hormones and we come into contact with them every day in the form of certain pesticides, plastics, and other chemicals. Research has shown that EDC exposure is linked to risk of hormone-associated cancers. For us ladies, these chemicals can lurk in the personal care products we use every day. CLICK HERE to read about how to avoid these baddies.
As you can see, there is much we can do to protect ourselves from this horrible disease. So, this October, let’s make healthy lifestyle choices and encourage our mothers, sisters and daughters to do the same. Together, we can make a difference. To your good health!