October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time to reflect on those we know who've been affected by this disease and to spread greater awareness about breast cancer prevention, treatment and research. As with all matters of health, taking charge of your own body is key to lowering your risk, and managing your breast health starts with what you put into your body.
Supplements for Breast Health
If someone in your family has had breast cancer or you want to take a more proactive approach to your breast health, there are certain herbs and vitamins that benefit the breast tissue specifically. Some to look for include:
Vitamin D -- This important daily nutrient protects all the tissues of the body, including the breasts. It's also been shown to play an pivotal role in cancer prevention and treatment.
Turmeric -- The active compound in this spice is curcumin, an antioxidant with anticancer properties. Turmeric may also be able to prevent or slow the growth of cancer cells.
Grape Seed Extract - Grapes contain potent antioxidants called proanthocyanidins, which can prevent the damage to cells that can lead to cancer development.
Green Tea -- Compounds within grapes like epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and sinecatechins are powerful antioxidants that can have anticancer benefits.
Maitake Mushroom -- This particular form of mushroom can help strengthen the immune system and may help prevent tumor growth and enhance the effects of chemotherapy.
These supplements are available in capsule or tablet form and can be taken daily. As always, speak with your doctor before adding new supplements to your routine, especially if you're currently being treated for a medical condition.
Nutrition for Breast Health
Supplements will offer a higher concentration of the active ingredient per dose, which makes them more potent, but adding healthy foods to your diet is never a bad thing, and can certainly help play a role in reducing your risk. Some foods to shop for include:
Flax -- Whether you go for the whole seeds crushed in a smoothie or drizzle the oil over veggies, flax contains lignans, which are believed to have anticancer properties.
Milk -- Milk can be a valuable source of vitamin D, which has long been known to support breast health.
Fish -- Varieties like mackerel, salmon and even squid contain valuable omega-3 fatty acids which have many health benefits, including heart health and reducing the risk for breast cancer.
Produce -- Great foods to shop for include oranges and grapes for vitamin C, tomatoes for the antioxidant lycopene, bananas for cancer fighters catechin and delphinidin and arugula for quercetin, another anticancer compound.
Whole Grains -- Whole grains are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytochemicals that are known to protect cells from damage. They also contain antioxidants and phytoestrogens.
You can also season food with turmeric, instead of taking it in capsule form, to enjoy it's health benefits. Wash it all down with some freshly brewed green tea and you'll have one amazing diet to keep you on the anticancer track.
Remember, if you're age 40 or older, you need to have a mammogram every two years to check for breast cancer. Some experts say you can wait until age 50, but speak with your primary care physician to determine the best schedule.
Diet and nutrition are key to health in all areas, including breast health. Spread the word however you can -- let's play our part in the fight against breast cancer!
Products you may like:
eVitamins Vitamin D3 Why you may like this product? Our high potency vitamin D3
not only supports calcium
absorption for strong bones --
it also can play a role in
breast cancer prevention by
protecting the breast tissue.
This supplement provides 2,000
IU of D3 per serving.
Solaray Maitake Mushroom Why you may like this product? If you're not a fan of eating
mushrooms and want to get
their nutritional benefits,
try this supplement from
Solaray. Maitake mushrooms
have immunity-boosting and
anticancer properties that can
help protect the body's cells.
This supplement also contains
reishi and shiitake mushrooms
for additional health
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