Breast Cancer awareness month is October and while this is an important topic all year round, we’d like to play our part in helping to support and raise awareness about breast health.
In Ireland alone, 1 in 10 women will develop breast cancer during their lifetime, it’s a scary statistic. The chances are you’ve either witnessed or been affected directly by the impact of breast cancer. It is one of the most common forms of cancer diagnosed among women.
So it’s critical that women are breast health conscious and aware of some preventative measures that can be embraced.
First, let’s look at some factors that are considered to increase the risk of developing breast cancer and how you can take steps to eliminate them.
Factors that increase the risk of Breast Cancer
There are lifestyle factors associated with the increased risk of developing Breast cancer such as stress and sleep deprivation. Environmental toxins and the level of exposure to chemical products in the home or from personal hygiene products, deodorants and makeup products are another consideration.
One of the biggest factors, which is within our control to make immediate changes is our DIET. When it comes to our Diet, we know excess body fat increases your risk for breast cancer.
High insulin levels have also been linked to cancer cell growth and every time you eat foods high in sugar you increase insulin levels. High insulin levels also increase your estrogen levels which have also been linked to increased breast cancer risk.
The other downside to having increased insulin levels is your body stores more fat, which again goes back to the original point that excess fat increases your breast cancer risk … it’s a vicious cycle!
Another fact to consider when it comes to increased insulin levels is the link to ‘inflammation’ in the body, which is considered to be at the root of a lot of diseases.
Inflammation can also occur as a result of long-term exposure to foods you may be sensitive to. Food intolerances can go undetected for long periods of time as food intolerance symptoms can vary in severity. Read more about our Food Intolerance Testing here. [we can screen you for reactions to over 300 items].
Dietary changes to reduce Breast Cancer risk
Well, the first thing you can do is to reduce or preferably completely remove all processed or high sugar foods from your diet. I know this can be difficult and you can expect to see ‘withdrawal’ symptoms particularly if you have been eating a diet high in sugar.
Sugar Detox Symptoms – such as headaches, nausea, fatigue and even flu-like symptoms have been experienced by people going cold turkey from sugar but doing it in this manner is probably the quickest and most effective way to detox from the ‘white powder’!
You are also likely to experience sugar cravings while you detox and for a while afterwards! Adding natural spices such as ‘Cinnamon’ to your food can help.
Taking a supplement such as ‘CINNACHROME’ can really help in times when you want to reach for the cookie jar! This supplement contains, cinnamon, a mineral called Chromium and the B vitamin Niacin which all contribute to regulating blood sugar levels and fighting off those sugar cravings and associated bad moods!
[Dosage: One capsule taken twice daily with food – contact us for more details].
Another thing you can easily do to improve your overall health is to add more fibre to your diet. This is essential for good ‘gut health’ and will also help to eliminate toxins from your system.
Getting extra fibre in your diet can be easily done by adding more fresh vegetables, fruits, beans or nuts. Simple changes like swapping white rice for brown rice will increase your fibre intake and adding Flax Seeds to your breakfast cereal is a great way to start your day properly.
Exercise to Decrease Breast Cancer Risk
We all know we feel better after we exercise, so finding a type of exercise you enjoy will help you develop a long lasting exercise habit.
Regular exercise improves the way your body manages insulin, helps to balance the hormone estrogen [read more on estrogen & how it’s linked to Breast Cancer here] and will help you maintain a healthy body weight as well as the other mental health benefits. It also helps to reduce stress so it’s a win-win!
Get Adequate Rest
Prioritising time for sleep and reducing ‘scene time’ a few hours before bed is also something you should consider. Getting a good 7 hours regularly is essential for your overall health, recovery and mental wellbeing.
Putting some steps in place to improve your overall breast health as well as regular breast checks will help you make positive changes and support optimal breast health.