Ten Really Simple Things You Can Do Today
Stop eating red meat? Remove all plastic from your life? C’mon, how about some tips to protect your breasts that you can live with! Here are 10 things you may not know you can do to help protect your breasts and improve your overall immunity.
- Increase Your Vitamin D Intake. Yup, you need to spend your lunch hour languishing in the sun (okay, at least 15 minutes worth, anyway!) – doctor’s orders! Emerging evidence suggests vitamin D deficiency may be linked to development of various forms of cancer, including breast cancer. One recent study involving over 1000 postmenopausal women found that supplementing with calcium and vitamin D for 4 years significantly raised vitamin D status and reduced all-cancer risk.† Optimize your vitamin D status by either getting more sun, drinking fortified milk or orange juice, eating sockeye salmon, or taking vitamin D supplements.
- Sleep More. Yup, in addition to more beach time, sleeping more is a great way to protect your overall immune system and allow for normal hormonal fluctuations.
- Revisit Your childhood. Remember how much you loved jumping on a trampoline in gym class? Turns out that the gentle up-and-down bouncing of a mini-trampoline can provide stimulation for your lymph nodes, increasing the amount of toxins they can drain out.
- Get Out And Play. No room to store a mini-trampoline? Consider adding other forms of exercise to your daily routine. Regular exercise cuts your risk of cancer, heart disease and much more. If the thought of joining Jane Fonda in legwarmers makes you pull the covers up over your head, find sports you actually enjoy doing – you’ll stick with them longer. As long as you’re moving, you’re moving in the right direction.
- Get a massage. Find a licensed massage therapist and get or learn how to give yourself a proper breast massage. Preliminary research suggests that then physical pressure of massaging your breasts helps regulate the cells back to a normal growth pattern. It may also help release toxins (yes again). Massaging your breasts can also help with early detection of changes. If you can’t find the time to go see a masseuse, try to take a steam bath or massage your own breasts for a few minutes each day to increase blood flow. (Or hey, ask a friend to help out!)
- Get your I3C on. I3C, or Indole-3-carbinol, is being researched for its beneficial effects on estrogen metabolism. In a randomized controlled trial, a supplement combination of indole-3-carbinol, calcium glucarate, milk thistle, Schisandra chinesis and stinging nettle was shown to significantly increase urinary concentration of 2-hydroxy estrogen in pre- and post-menopausal women. This is important because studies have shown that as levels of 2-hydroxyestrogen increase and levels of 16-hydroxyestrogen decrease, the risk for breast cancer decreases.This unique blend of natural ingredients helps protect breast tissue by aiding detoxification, helping the body eliminate harmful estrogens and promoting a healthy estrogen balance. You can get a small amount of I3C by eating Brussels sprouts, collards, mustard greens, rutabagas, however to get a therapeutic amount consider a supplement.
- Milk Thistle? It does a body good? The majority of detoxification happens in the liver. It filters your blood and helps to metabolize or break down drugs and alcohol. It also regulates hormones and blood sugar levels. Keeping your liver healthy involves eating right, and keeping alcohol intake to moderate levels. Milk thistle has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and has long been used in herbal medicine to protect the liver.
- Learn to Chill. Okay, if the afore-prescribed massages, extra sleep, and fun on the trampoline don’t have you a little more relaxed, you definitely need to find some way to unwind! Try yoga, or learn to meditate. Free apps like Lift have several guided meditations that can help you learn this immune-boosting skill.
- Take Some Hot Pics: Of course you know that regular monthly self-breast exams are at the forefront of early detection. But did you know there are other detection methods that do not involve the uncomfortable compression of mamograms, or the radiation? A non-invasive tool called thermography is increasingly being used to help identify hot spots (caused by inflammation and unusual blood flow). This simple technology can help detect changes up to 8 years before mammograms.
- Go Green. Green tea, particularly Japanese green tea, contains powerful antioxidants that can help support estrogen metabolism, protect cells against DNA damage and inhibit cancer cells. When you’re brewing up your sencha or matcha, let it steep for 5-8 minutes to release the most polyphenols. As a side note, black teas aren’t as effective – they are fermented, which gets rid of the good stuff.
Hopefully a few of our Top 10 Ways To Take Care Of Your Breasts are things you can easily incorporate into your life every day. Remember, each step you take towards better health is a good step. Don’t stress if you can’t do all of them at once. For another simple preventative measure, take a look at our Breast Health supplement, chock full of Indole-3-carbinol, Vitamin D, Milk Thistle, and other good things to do your body good. While there is no silver bullet to prevent breast cancer, there are lots of ways you can improve your overall health and boost your immunity, so take charge of your breast health today.
† American Journal of Nutrition, Vitamin D and calcium supplementation reduces cancer risk: results of a randomized trial