Breast Cancer Awareness Month – October

What really Keeps your Breasts Healthy ?

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Eating Healthily

It’s no myth that cancer has a lot to do with what you eat.

In particular, cancer has an insatiable appetite for sugar, because it needs a sugary environment to survive. Cancer cells mainly use glucose as fuel – and much more of it than normal cells use. Recent research has confirmed a link between elevated blood sugar levels, as well as increased insulin levels and cancer risk. Too much sugar also suppresses your immune system.

An effective tool in eliminating sugar from your diet is to eat according to glycaemic load (GL). Focus on food with a low GL, such as vegetables, protein and whole grains, but pay special attention to cancer-fighting food, like legumes, and cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, brussels, sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower. Cruciferous vegetables are particularly beneficial, as they contain components like I3C and DIM, which promote the conversion of estrogen to its harmless 2-hydroxyesterone form, as opposed to its breast tumour-promoting 16-hydroxyesterone form. Also include beta-carotenes found in carrots, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, green leafy vegetables and squash.

An over supply of high GL food, saturated fats and omega-6 fatty acids in your diet, may cause your body to become less sensitive to insulin, the hormone that controls blood sugar levels. This pre-diabetic condition is called  Insulin Resistance and it raises your risk of developing diabetes and breast disease.

Try to reduce the amount of fat in your diet, especially the saturated kind, to less that 20% of your diet, avoid all hydrogenated oils and add a tablespoon of raw flax oil or ground flaxseeds to your food daily (total 1 Tablespoon per day).

Keeping your Hormones Balanced

It’s true that hormones play an integral part in breast health. Estrogen fuels certain types of breast cancer and excess estrogen has also been linked to FBD (Female Breast Disease).

Pharmaceutical hormones such as the oral contraceptive pill and HRT have been associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. But you do not have to take hormones to be exposed to them – they are present in our food and water, and certain chemicals in our environment have hormone-like properties.

Many people do not realise this, but fatty tissue is a major source of estrogen production in postmenopausal women. High-fat diets may reduce the amount of estrogen that is discarded by the body, while diets high in fiber and low in fat can reduce the amount of circulating estrogen. The less free estrogen there is in the body, the lower the changes of unwanted lumps in your breasts.

To keep your breasts healthy, it’s also important to reduce the amount of estrogen that you might get from your diet. To try limit commercial animal products, which includes meats, poultry, and so forth, because they often contain fake estrogens used to breed the animal themselves.

Also do not heat food in the microwave, in plastic containers or covered with soft plastic as they can give off large amounts of toxins, called polymers. These may leach into food and mimic the effects of estrogen in the body.

Increase your dietary intake of fish high in omega-3-fatty acids, whey, eggs and nuts, and have hormone-free poultry and meats, as well as hormone-free dairy products.

Even though studies have not proven a direct link between caffeine and  FBD as yet, some doctors recommend that women with this condition should avoid coffee as far as possible. Women have reported significant relief from FBD symptoms after eliminating caffeine from their diets. If you suspect caffeine might play a role in your FBD symptoms, elimate all the possible sources of caffeine – chocolate, coffee, tea and soft drinks – from your diet for three months to see if your symptoms improve.

Alcohol use, even in moderation, has been linked to an increase in the risk for breast cancer. And folate from green leafy vegetables may help the body to repair the genetic damage caused by alcohol, which can lead to cancer. Alcohol is broken down in the body into a chemical called Acetaldehyde, which has been shown to cause cancer. Without adequate folate, the body may not be able to undo the harm done by alcohol.

Loving your Liver

The liver plays so many important roles in the body, including as a detoxifying and filtering system for all your body waste. It also binds and eliminates extra hormones, including estrogen. So, if the liver is not working as it should, estrogen levels go up.

You can help the liver with it’s mammoth task by eating more fiber. The more fibre in your diet, the better would be your bodies ability to get rid of toxins absorbed from almost everywhere around you and from many different sources. See the protocols below for the nutrients you could take every day to support your liver and to help prevent breast disease.

Adjusting your Lifestyle

Here are a couple of changes that you could make to your everyday life, which will also boost your Breast Health.

Stress less Researchers have discovered a direct link between stress and the immune system and have found that happy women have stronger immunity that can prevent cancer.

Go to bed earlier Discruptions to your natural clock, such as being exposed to artificial light or staying up for long periods at night, increase the risk of breast cancer, according to a study by the American National Cancer Institute and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Light slows down your bodies production of melatonin, a sleep hormone that opposes estrogen and protects against breast cancer.

Be active Besides being healthy in many other ways, physical activities such as sport or exercise are arguably the easiest lifestyle change you could make to protect yourself against breast disease.

Avoid radiation It’s well know that X-rays can cause genetic mutations and cancer.

 

Breast Health Protocol

Calcium-d-glucarate (100mg twice daily)

Helps the body excrete cancerous toxins and hormonal waste products.

Broccoli extracts (I3C and DIM) (100mg twice daily)

Promotes metabolisation of estrogen by the liver into its safer forms

EGCG  (50mg twice daily)

An extract from green tea, which helps to keep your genes from mutating.

Selenium  (50mcg twice daily)

Protects and boosts your immune system and helps prevent cancer growth

Coenzyme Q10  (50-100mg twice daily)

Protects and boosts your immune system and helps prevent cancer growth

Vitamin D3 (2,000 IU per day)

Protects and boosts your immune system and helps prevent cancer growth

Omega-3 fish oil, krill oil or flaxseed oil (1000-2000mg twice daily)

May have a protective effect against breast cancer

Melatonin (3mg at bedtime)

Powerful antioxidant. Regulates sleep and keeps estrogen in check.

 

Being overweight, or underweight or over stressed could also be a trigger for hormone imbalances.

It is vitally important that we provide our bodies with a well balanced diet with all the correct amount of healthy fats, correct proteins (amino acids) and vitamins and minerals as they play a vital role in the production of hormones in our bodies.

Information on Breast Cancer prevention and support supplied by Body Sculpt Doc, Kevin Naude’, Nutrition Advisor.

Please contact us if you would like to make an appointment, our offices are in Somerset West, Cape Town, South Africa. Otherwise visit our website for more information about our Nutrition Services.

Kevin Naude’ – 082 6644108

email: kevin@bodysculptdoc.co.za

website: www.bodysculptdoc.co.za