Breast Cancer is the most common cancer in women in India. One woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, in India, every 4 minutes. So, by the time you have finished reading this article, one woman will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Therefore, I will not take much of your time and will directly get into ways to prevent it. Limiting alcohol intake, weight check and exercise are some of the best ways to prevent breast cancer. But current research has a lot more for us to know.
#1 Limit Alcohol
The main issue about consuming alcohol is the toxic compound called acetaldehyde. This compound is carcinogen and a major contributor of breast cancer. Immediately after drinking alcohol within 5 seconds the production of acetaldehyde begins. So, does consumption of alcohol promote cancer? Yes, any alcohol can promote the growth of breast cancer cells.
#2 Eat Purple grapes
Purple grapes specially purple grapes with seeds suppress the activity of an enzyme estrogen synthase which promotes the growth of breast cancer cells. Hence, 1 glass of fresh purple grape juice or 1 cup of purple grapes helps in the prevention of breast cancer. Mushrooms, strawberries, and pomegranate also help in the prevention. Research found that eating white mushrooms upto ½ cup a day can reduce the risk of breast cancer by 64%.
#3 Exercise Daily
Physical activity not only helps in weight loss but it also helps in lowering estrogen and progesterone levels. Ideally, it is recommended to exercise 5 hours a week which can lower the level of these hormones by 20%. Exercise minimum 5 days a week for 45 minutes to protect from breast cancer.
#4 Melatonin Regulation
Our sleep is regulated by hormone melatonin. Sufficient levels of melatonin can lead to lower levels of breast cancer. This hormone is secreted by the pineal gland which sits right in the middle of our brain and is connected to our eyes. During the day, this gland is inactive and as it starts to turn darker this hormone becomes active. An artificial light at night is enough to suppress the production of melatonin. Hence, adapt to daylight and avoid the night light from the bulbs. This will help you in sound sleep by regulating melatonin hormone level.
#5 Consume Soy
Soy are a class of phytoestrogen called isoflavones, which mimics the estrogen. But in research it is seen that there are 2 types of estrogen receptors, alpha and beta receptors. Our body’s natural estrogen binds with the alpha receptors whereas soy is a plant estrogen that binds with beta receptors. Soy protects from breast cancer and it also helps in reducing symptoms of hot flushes. Soya decreases the risk of cancer by reactivating BRCA genes, those genes which are responsible for suppressing cancer and responsible for DNA repair. Ensure that soy proteins are organic and not genetically modified and consume it at least 2-3 times a week.
#6 Manage Cholesterol
High levels of LDL cholesterol can stimulate the risk of breast cancer. It is thought that cancer cells use cholesterol to make estrogen. Controlling high cholesterol through amla powder or plant based diet can help in preventing both breast cancer and heart attack.
#7 Have Flaxseeds
Flaxseeds are rich in lignans, a phytoestrogens that reduces the effect of the body's own estrogen. Hence, are protective against breast cancer. Flaxseeds are the richest source of lignans in any other food. Eat 1 tablespoon of flaxseed powder a day to protect from breast cancer cells. Sprinkle on oats, salads, daal or add it to the dough to make chappati’s.
#8 Prefer Boiled Meat products
Heterocyclic amines are chemicals found in meat like pork, poultry and fish. When muscle meat is heated for too long, which means heating them for greater than 100 degrees, can produce HCA chemicals. Hence, boiling the meat should be accepted and roasting, grilling and baking meat should be avoided.
#9 Eat A Lot Of Greens
Broccoli, collard greens, spinach boosts the activity of detoxifying enzymes in the liver. Although eating less fruits and vegetables are considered unhealthy eating habits, consumption of fiber from vegetables, fruits and whole grains can reduce the risk of both cholesterol and breast cancer. A high fiber intake can reduce the chances of breast cancer by 85% for women in premenopausal age. A minimum of 25gm fiber a day is essential to see the results. As a general rule, eat 2-3 fresh fruits a day with 3 cups of raw vegetables of different colours a day.
Also Read: What Is Rainbow Diet And Why Is It Special?
#10 Drink Green tea
Consumption of Green tea, about 3-4 cups in a day can reduce the risk of breast cancer by 30%. Thus, you must consume green tea not only for weight management but also to cut down the risk of breast cancer.
Above prevention tips are based on current evidence based medicine. Following above tips can help us women in various ways.
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