Featured image courtesy of cuup.
Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we’re focusing on some wellness tips for the ladies, because it’s never too late to start thinking about the health of your breasts.
Check, Check, Check
Usually, women don’t go in for mammograms until they’re around 35 or 40. And while this is standard, a clinical breast exam (CBE) is recommended every three years for women in their 20s and 30s.
As for self exams? Experts suggest that we should consider them a thing of the past, and rely on clinical breast exams as a more effective method of prevention and detection, especially if you have a family history of breast cancer or you have “dense breasts.”
Work Out Often
Experts suggest that working out may support healthy breasts since fat cells produce estrogen, and high levels of estrogen have been linked to breast cancer cell growth.
The American Cancer Society recommends that women get around 2 hours of exercise per week. Any kind of cardio will do the trick, so grab your bike, dance along to your favorite groovy playlist, or hit the nature trail with your girlfriends.
“This doesn’t mean that women should obsess about their weight,” Dr. Colditz tells Verily, “but a healthy approach is key to boosting lifelong breast health.”
Squash Your Sweet Tooth
Who doesn’t feel like stress-eating an entire loaf of garlic bread or inhaling a pint of chocolate gelato these days? We don’t blame you, but according to the Mayo Clinic, “There is some evidence that consuming large amounts of sugar is associated with an increased risk of certain cancers… eating too much sugar can also lead to weight gain and increase the risk of obesity and diabetes, which may increase the risk of cancer.”
What does this mean exactly? Well, eating sugar in excess can increase inflammation, insulin, and estrogen, which basically feeds cancer cells. So, what can you do about this? Plenty!
If you have a serious sweet tooth, train your body to crave natural sugars, and learn to love fresh fruits. If you swoon over soft drinks, try making friends with sparkling water instead.
And if you just have to have something sweet, opt for (at least 60%) dark chocolate to satisfy your cravings. It’s way healthier for you than a store-bought candy bar, and research actually shows that eating darker chocolate can help fight cancer! As if you needed another excuse, right?
Eat the Rainbow
Try to eat a fruit or vegetable from every color, every day- especially the dark greens, blues, and purples.
Eat broccoli, bok choy, and cabbage consistently; they’re rich in sulforaphane (a powerful detoxifier) that helps clear out excess inflammatory estrogen, and prevents breast cancer cells from forming.
Make Your Microbiome Happy
How does the microbiome affect your breast health? The answer may lie in the millions of little bacteria that live in your gut.
These bacteria make up your gut microbiome– the largest collection of bacteria in your body! Your microbiome starts forming when you’re born, and changes as you age.
So what does this have to do with breast health? “Having a healthy mix of gut bacteria may lower a person’s risk of obesity or weight gain,” says Dr. Daniel-MacDougall, nutritional epidemiologist and researcher at MD Anderson Cancer Center. And since we know that obesity is a known risk factor for many types of cancer, especially breast cancer, it makes sense that promoting a healthy microbiome can support your body’s cancer fighting efforts.
To make your microbiome happy, try to eat prebiotic and probiotic rich foods daily like raw sauerkraut, kimchi and miso. These cultured foods are super important for a healthy microbiome, as well as for your energy, mood, and help fighting off disease!
Manage Stress + Anxiety
There are two different kinds of stress; chronic stress, and just plain old stress.
It’s absolutely normal to feel a little bit of stress when you’re faced with a tight deadline, a tough family situation, or if you’re running late for work. However, long-term stress (aka chronic stress) can result in lasting, physical damage to your body.
Even though chronic stress hasn’t yet been linked to increasing the risk of developing cancer, it may affect the tumor’s ability to grow and spread.
So, we know (and have known for a while, right?) that chronic stress + anxiety are bad for you, but what can you do about it? Below we’re outlining a few ways that you can manage your stress and anxiety:
- Take a break: Each day, carve out a little time in your routine to do a yoga sequence, listen to music, meditate, or practice breathing techniques. Taking a break from the daily grind will help reset your mood and allow you to face stress head-on.
- Eat well: Don’t skip meals, eat when you’re hungry, and keep plenty of healthy, energy-boosting snacks on hand!
- Get plenty of sleep: When you’re stressed, your body needs even more sleep than usual. Prioritize getting 7-8 hours of sleep- every single night- even if it means cutting your nightly Netflix marathon short or skipping that afternoon latte.
Utilize Your CBD
In other CBD news, the U.S. FDA recently approved Epidiolex (which contains CBD) for the treatment of seizures associated with two rare forms of epilepsy. So obviously, this drew the attention of the public’s eye (and many scientist’s as well).
As a result, many studies are currently being conducted on the various possible applications of full-spectrum CBD for cancer treatment and prevention.
In 2016, scientists noted that the use of cannabinoids showed promise in the fight against cancer. The doctors found that cannabinoids seem to inhibit the growth of many different types of tumor cell in test animals. And while there’s certainly much more research to be done on the topic of CBD and cancer prevention, the science looks promising, to say the least.
In this rapidly growing industry, where companies are slapping CBD labels on all kinds of products, make sure to look for brands you trust to reap all the benefits of CBD oil. Look for the company’s lab reports to show there are no toxins in your CBD, and verify that what you’re buying is sun-grown, without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers.
Rosebud CBD comes from a small, family owned family in sunny Oregon, and you can find our batch reports here!
If you have any questions about breast cancer or cancer in general, talk to your doctor or health professional, and make sure to monitor any changes you may be experiencing in your breasts. Screening recommendations can vary depending on your personal risk factors such as being a smoker, your family cancer history, age, weight and overall health.
We hope these wellness tips for breast health have been helpful, and that you are able to implement a few simple lifestyle changes for better overall health and wellness!
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