Despite there being better diagnostics and improved treatment options, breast cancer still remains the number one cancer in women, all around the world. While there is no direct evidence that natural remedies can prevent or heal breast cancer, they can, most certainly, strengthen the body from the inside. The odds of developing breast cancer increase due to risk factors like inherited genetic mutation, taking hormone medications or exposure to certain chemicals. With proper diet and precautions, one can reduce these risks significantly.
1. Review your risk factors
If your mother, aunt or sibling has had cancer, then your risk factors increase significantly. You can talk to your doctor to review your options and take full advantage of her/his recommendations. Consider how your choices affect your risk. Make healthy changes so that you consider the products your buy and the food you eat.
2. Establish a healthy body by eating healthy
The best foods to eat for avoiding any kind of cancer, and especially breast cancer, are the ones containing antioxidants .Antioxidants fight free radical damage caused by environmental toxins to stop the growth of breast cancer cells. Fruits and vegetables contain plenty of antioxidants. Do make sure to eat only organic varieties. Try to eat different colored fruits and veggies. Some people cut off phytoestrogen based foods like Soya from their diet since they mimic estrogen. However, preliminary research is now proving that these foods, when eaten in moderation, are quite safe and do not lead to proliferation of cancer cells. Here are 17 foods that prevent breast cancer:
- Green tea- 2 to 3 cups every day
- Olives and olive oil-1/2 to 1 tbsp per day
- Berries-blueberries, strawberries, blackberries etc
- Turmeric- Quarter teaspoon taken in milk, on salads etc
- Flaxseeds- Take at least quarter cup daily
- Ginger-Grated in tea daily
- Onions, leeks, shallots-They contain antioxidant quercetin which fights cancer.
- Pineapple-Contains Bromelain which is a known cancer-fighting enzyme.
- Lemons and most citrus fruits
- Garlic- Astringent and anti-inflammatory
- Apple cider vinegar- Anti-inflammatory
- Nuts-handful of peanuts, walnuts and almonds per day can prevent breast cancer.
3. Avoid taking extra hormones
This is the easiest way to prevent breast cancer naturally. Avoid using any product, cosmetic, oral contraceptives, or medicines to counter vaginal dryness etc that contain hormones. If you want to prevent unwanted pregnancy, talk to your partner or doctor about other methods like IUD or condoms. You can counter vaginal dryness by using oils that are safe and won’t cause adverse side effects. Hot flashes and other post menopausal issues can be countered by meditation, acupuncture etc.
Here are some Natural Alternatives To Hormone Therapy.
4. Establish a healthy weight
Reducing excess weight and preventing obesity is a proven natural way to avoid cancer. Ask your doctor about healthy weight range for your body. Recalculate after pregnancy and menopause. Get into the habit of daily exercise: walk, jog or swim for 30 minutes at least, 4-5 times a week. Also cut back on calories.
5. Stick to regular exercise
Exercise is mandatory part of reducing risk of breast cancer naturally. 5-7 hours of exercise per week is best; if not, at least get in 3-4 hours. You can try new things like dancing, swimming etc. Walk with a friend or join a gym- any activity that works best for you can give lasting results.
6. Cut back on alcohol and quit smoking
Both alcohol and nicotine increase your risk of breast cancer. Drinking less will help you weigh less and also help you function at your best. Also stay away from second hand smoke.
7. Avoid exposure to toxins
Toxins are present in our environment-at work and home. You can reduce exposure to these by buying greener, organic products. Also, fresh air is much better than the trapped air indoors; so try and spend more time outdoors in the fresh air and soak in the early morning sunshine from time to time. Avoid smokers as well as areas or clothing that smells of smoke.
8. Avoid unnecessary radiation
If your doctor has ordered radiation therapy or other diagnostic tests, then you can talk to him/her about the risk of therapy. Most procedures are safe and will not expose you to unnecessary radiation. You will also be given lead shields to prevent exposure to other body parts. Wear them as directed during treatment. Avoid areas with known radiation sources. Microwave ovens do not cause cancer and can be used safely.
9. Get enough vitamin D and Iodine
Both these nutrients are necessary for cancer prevention. Test your levels and talk to your doctor about supplementing if needed.
10. Eat organic
Following is a list of fruits and vegetables you should ideally buy only organic:
- Bell peppers
- Kale and collard greens
- Blue berries
11. Select cosmetics with care
Many personal care products like deodorants, soaps, shampoos and perfumes are full of synthetic and artificial ingredients even though they have been labeled as organic, pure or natural. Learn to read labels and avoid ingredients like petrolatum, sulfates, parabens, formaldehyde, Chlorphenesin, triclosan, PEGs, Siloxanes.
Here is an article on ingredients to look for and ones to avoid in skincare products.
12. Eat small frequent meals
Instead of overloading with calories in one meal, eat 4-6 smaller meals. This will prevent calorie overload and over stimulation of breast cells. This is also a great way of weight management and a healthy way to meet the body’s energy needs.
13. Avoid empty calories
Make wise food choices- choose an apple instead of ‘low fat granola’ bar. Avoid high calorie foods and select nutritionally dense snack items where possible. Stay away from red meat, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners and refined grains.
14. Manage stress
Stress is linked to cancer activity in the body. Fear of getting cancer can lead you to depression and also cause negativity and emotional burden. Avoid judging yourself and set realistic expectations. Take care of yourself first and love yourself. Be happy always. Mind-body practices like Yoga and Meditation can also help.
15. Have kids at an early age
This can be difficult for many women but research has shown that the risk of breast cancer can be dramatically reduced by having kids sooner and breastfeeding longer.
These 15 natural ways to prevent breast cancer involve several lifestyle changes. By making them a part of your life you can make a lot of difference in your overall health and minimize the risk of several cancers.