Tips To Reduce Your Breast Cancer Risk
I don’t know about you but this time of year always makes me crave soup! Not the kind that you get out of a can, but the homemade kind that mothers and grandmothers used to make. The change of seasons is still part of my bio-rhythms having lived in the North all my life (until moving to the desert two years ago). In the Fall I begin to think of soup and my grandmother, and it conjures up a feeling of warmth, nourishment and of being cared for. So, to me, it is no coincidence that October is breast cancer awareness month; let me explain.
Studies show that homemade soup stock (yes, from the bones of healthy animals) provide rich sources of protein, healthy fats, vitamin A and D, abundant minerals, and one very important anti-oxidant, glutathione. A recent study reported in the October 8th issue of The American HealthCare Foundation states that, “women who had the highest levels of glutathione were more than 75 percent less likely to develop breast cancer than those with the lowest glutathione levels.” In addition, “glutathione acts directly against certain carcinogenic substances by binding to these toxins and eliminating them through urine or bile.” Our stores of glutathione can become depleted as stressors increase.
Increase vitamin D!
Research shows that the risk of breast cancer may be reduced, when proper vitamin D levels are maintained. Other protective nutrients include vitamins A &C, carotenes, coenzyme Q10, CLA (conjugated linoleic), and butyric acid (available in butter from grass-fed cows). Check with your doctor about maintaining safe ranges of vitamin D.
Eat Your Fruits and Veggies!
A study in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment demonstrated that when we eat more anti-oxidant rich fruits and veggies we reduce our risk of developing mutations and an added bonus, we lower our overall oxidative stress levels.
Size Does Matter!
Risks were shown to decrease in women who maintained a healthy body weight.
I believe that one of the most powerful actions we can take is to develop an attitude of love and appreciation for ourselves and others. Those who express gratitude, increase nitric oxide levels in the body and nitric oxide helps to relax blood vessels which may reduce healing time.
Women today are told they can do it all! We are expected to work full-time, raise our families (sometimes alone), provide healthy meals, run a smooth household, and keep our youthful appearance! Pressures on young women to be wage earners and mothers can place enormous stress on our bodies at a time when strength is needed to raise happy, balanced and healthy children. This stress can create fertile ground for chronic disease.
This time of year marks a change of seasons, autumn, a time of year where traditionally (except here in the desert) the leaves begin to fall away, the season before winter; where we look inward and begin to reflect on what we have accomplished. Take time to nurture yourself and express gratitude for those around you. Louise Hay, in her book, You Can Heal Your Life notes that breast problems may arise with a refusal to nurture one’s self, putting everyone else first. The breasts lie within the fourth chakra which is the location of the heart; this is about personal expression and emotion, healing and forgiveness. The heart suffers when there is a sense of separation or isolation. This month take time to nurture yourself, spend time in nature and rejuvenate your spirit! Being loved, accepted and nurtured is how we move forward in life. Learning to nurture ourselves and putting ourselves first not only models this self-nurturing activity for our children, it will strengthen us to step into our lives with a sense of power, health and wholeness. And above all else eat good nourishing food, like homemade soup! All these things will help reduce your incidence of breast cancer, and go a long way towards increasing health.