Illustration by: Corina Lo
We know that cancer rates are on the rise and while I don’t have all the answers to why some women develop breast cancer, I do believe we have ways to optimize our body’s health and reduce the risk of developing the disease. In this article I will share with you some health tips that will promote breast health, liver detoxification and reduce unwanted xenoestrogens.
Organic foods have fewer hormone disrupting agents and cancer causing pesticides. They also have a higher level of cancer fighting nutrients. 2-3 pesticides acting together on our food can have a synergistic effect 1000 times greater than either pesticide alone.
Aim for a vegetarian diet
Limit red meat, poultry, fish, dairy and eggs. Aim for half your plate being fruits and vegetables. Focus on whole grains, legumes, tofu, seaweed, nuts and seeds. Eating lower on the food chain decreases the quantity of environmental chemical that we ingest. A low fat, high fiber vegan diet is best for managing estrogen and insulin, both implicated in breast and uterine ailments.
Eat high fiber food
Aim for 45-60 grams per day. Using beans, bran, psyllium, ground flax seeds, raw fruits and veggies, and whole grains. Minimize white products that are devoid of fiber. Whole grains improve insulin sensitivity, which is associated with a drop in circulating estrogens. Aim for 2 tbsp of ground flax seeds per day. They are phytoestrogenic and reduce xenoestrogens (bad estrogens) from the body. Add them to your smoothie, oatmeal or salad everyday!
Increase cruciferous vegetables
ie. cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collards, bokchoy, and brussel sprouts at least 3 times per week. These foods support both Phase 1 and Phase 2. This means they process the toxins and excrete them effectively from the liver. They are also touted for their anticancer properties, being rich in indole-3-carbinol, a phytochemical that inactivates potentially harmful estrogens, reducing the risk of female fibroids, cysts, and cancers.
Add raspberries and turmeric to your diet
Both of these will slow down Phase 1 and speed up Phase 2, aiding in liver detoxification. This is a good thing as it helps balance hormones and reduce the risks of hormonal growths. Turmeric can be added to rice, tossed in with veggies, added to smoothies, or mixed in with some almond milk and honey as a warm beverage.
Try Dry Skin Brushing
This is a simple massage you would perform before taking a shower with a dry skin brush. It helps to stimulate the lymphatic system and expel toxins through the skin. Dry skin brushing helps the body breathe thru the skin, and aids in the body’s elimination as well as promoting circulation.
Be conscious of the products you use. This includes skin care items and household cleaners. It is astonishing how many chemicals are in everyday products. Skin care products are absorbed by the skin, our largest organ and household cleaners are inhaled through the lungs which is then absorbed into our blood stream. There are so many amazing all-natural, chemical free products. The switch is easy! Give them a try, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
Written by: Dr. Rachel Schwartzman ND