"EVERY JOURNEY BEGINS WITH A SINGLE STEP"
I have a Q for you today: Amid the many other to-do's you have in your life, where does your daily health care fall on your list?
If you are like me, you might find yourself swooped into work deadlines, kid activities, supporting many others in your life, and maybe even binge watching Netflix or loosing yourself in some social media scrolling.
Time can slip away so quickly in today’s bustling world.
Staying on top of our health takes a lot of diligence, awareness and empowerment. For me, somedays it can feel like a full-time job.
Each year, as you may know, October is dedicated to Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I wanted to highlight The National Breast Cancer Foundation. The National Breast Cancer Foundation provides help and inspire hope to those affected by breast cancer through early detection, education, and support services
In my practice, Boulder Nutrition, I both treat and support many women in both breast cancer prevention and nutritional support during treatment for breast cancer.
So today, I wanted to dedicate the following article to:
Honoring the unbelievable journeys that so many woman (and men) have faced through breast cancer.
The many people whose lives have been touched by cancer, directly or through loved ones.
Understanding early detection, prevention, self-care and taking the best route to understanding our unique health and hormones.
Gathering all the most current research and information so that we can do everything we can to EMBRACE PREVENTION.
The current research states that women today have a 1 in 8 chance of receiving a breast cancer diagnosis. While this is a scary fact, it is also one that we can change with some of these important prevention steps.
In a review of 81 different studies, there is evidence showing that if we could improve our lifestyles and our overall health, we could collectively decrease the rate of breast cancer by 40% or more.
Here are a few ways to ensure we are doing everything we can to keep that decrease on the rise:
*According to John Hopkins medical center: "Forty percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump, so establishing a regular breast self-exam is very important.”
The recommendations are to self-examine at least once per month (if not more) to not only get to know the way your breasts feel but to stay aware of any changes (big or small).
There are three optimal ways to perform a self-exam:
Perform self-exams in the shower, including armpit areas. Use a circular motion with a medium pressure.
Perform self-exams in front of the mirror and get to know how your breasts look. Stay aware of both visual changes, and textural changes.
Perform self-exams lying down. When we lie down, our breast tissue spreads out and we have a different kind of access. Raise the arm of the breast you are examining and use a medium pressure and a circular motion.
We all live in today's bustling and busy world. If you are like me, sometimes it feels like it is impossible to catch a break.
While our world is getting faster and more full, our sleep is becoming even more relevant to our overall health.
If you sleep eight hours per night (or more), you lower your chances for breast cancer by 72%.
Trouble sleeping? Add in a time released melatonin (which also decreases breast cancer) to help with deeper more restful sleep, as well as overall antioxidant and immuno-support.
Your liver is the most valuable organ when it comes to breast cancer prevention.
When your liver is healthy and strong you can effectively metabolize excess estrogens and other toxins in the body. When a toxin binds to a hormone receptor, it usually binds permanently, blocking/preventing the body from a healthy function and metabolization of that hormone.
This is not a recommendation to go on crazy liquid diets or the master cleanse, but rather a chance to do a simple seasonal clean eating plan, including detoxifying herbs, remedies, foods, and supplements.
Keeping your body and your diet as "cleanse friendly" as possible day to day.
Minimizing your fish intake to 2-3 servings per week to avoid heavy metals (and stay away from fish known for extra high heavy metal toxicity).
Take detoxifying supplements and herbs (see below).
Perform a seasonal cleanse or purification to keep your body cleansing regularly.
Detox your home from synthetic (toxic) products that can be replaced with more natural cleaners, detergents, scents and products.
The ways in which we feed our bodies is very integral in how we feel, in the levels of internal inflammation we have in our bodies, and in how our hormones respond and balance out (including estrogen)
There are three very important aspects to consider in your diet for breast cancer prevention:
1. The quality of our food (whole, clean, natural, organic).
2. The inflammatory characteristics of our food.
3. The insulin response to our food.
Some dietary recommendations:
Eat a diet based on whole natural ingredients. Eat organic whenever possible.
Add lots of leafy green vegetables, especially of the broccoli family. *A study in JAMA (Journal of American Medicine) showed that eating 5 servings of the broccoli family (cabbage, Brussel sprouts, kale, broccoli, radish, cauliflower etc.) decreases breast cancer incidence by 50%.
Avoid inflammatory foods such as gluten, sugar, refined carbohydrates and artificial ingredients.
Be careful with soy. Over 95% of our American soy is GMO so if you are going to eat it (in small amounts) be sure it is organic. *A recent study from JAMA (Journal of American Medicine) states that small amounts of soy actually decrease the recurrence of breast cancer.
Eat low glycemic food. Keep your blood sugar stable. High levels of insulin (caused by a diet high in sugars) cause both inflammation and an imbalance in hormones, including estrogen. A high glycemic diet increases chances of breast cancer by 44%.
Eat healthy natural fats found in nature. (No need to eat low fat, just good quality fat.)
It is important to remember that dietary supplements are not meant to substitute for medications and treatments involved with breast cancer, but they can give you a better chance at staying healthier longer.
Supplements, if used correctly, boost our energy, send high powered antioxidants through our bodies, and provide the balanced nutrition and high-powered super fuel we can almost always use to improve our health, either preventatively or to treat our common health issues.
The fast pace and high intensity of our modern lifestyles, increased stress levels at home and work compared to times past, and the incredible amount of toxic burden in the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat all dramatically increase the body's requirements for nutrients -- not calories, but nutrients, the biochemical constituents we need to adapt to and compensate for the challenges of modern life.
Buy fewer supplements and buy the high quality, natural, pure and professional grade supplements so that you get the most value and you see the results you want.
Supplements to consider:
A high potency multivitamin: A well rounded dose of all the essential vitamins and minerals will ensure the best cellular, metabolic, and detoxification mechanisms in the body.
Omega 3: Omega 3's are some of the most potent and anti-inflammatory oils you can add into your supplement protocol. *Studies show that when a woman has adequate levels of omega 3's she decreases her chance of breast cancer by 32%.
Probiotic: I am sure you have heard about the second brain, or the microbiome? Daily doses of a well-rounded LIVE probiotic will ensure your digestive flora are in good standing supporting you in the optimal absorption of all the other nutrients you need to feel your best.
Iodine (with Selenium): Iodine deficiency is very common (more often noted for the thyroid). Supplementing with iodine has been shown to help the normal structure of the breast tissue. Adequate iodine literally turns off the production of estradiol.
DIM: Diindolmethane is the phytochemical produced in the digestion of the brassica family (broccoli) is integral in the metabolizing of estrogen through the liver. DIM literally balances hormones from PMS to menopausal symptoms to decreasing risk of breast cancer.
Vitamin D3: Vitamin D deficiency is extremely high (even in sunny areas). Vitamin D3 Inhibits growth of breast cancer cells. Ensure that your levels are where they need to be, if not add regular dose of vitamin D.
Whey protein: Whey protein boosts glutathione levels in the liver and aids the body in the detoxification process. Whey is also known to chelate to heavy metals (such as mercury) and aid in the elimination through stage II detoxification.
CoQ10: If you are deficient in CoQ10 (usually from being on a statin drug) you increase your risk of breast cancer by 800%. If you are taking a statin drug, please take a regular daily dose of a highly concentrated CoQ10.
I know this is a lot to keep track of, so I created a little check list for you to download:
I know many of you have been through incredible journeys of your own, and found oodles of information, resources, support and hope. Please comment below with any tips, websites, books, or pieces of information you think we should know about. Your knowledge is so valuable.
If you have questions, stories, confusion or anything at all that you would like to share, please join our conversation in the comments below.
With All Love,
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