“Menopausal women have the ability to reduce their chance of breast cancer by 14% by walking 7 hours per week. That’s one hour per day.”
-Laura Renegar, Be Organic Podcast Ep. 47
This is a reassuring statistic. There are lots of ways we can reduce our risks and predispositions to diseases like Breast Cancer. We sought information from the experts – Dr. Chasse Bailey Dorton, oncologist, and Dr. Kat, a Thermography specialist. Family history and predispositions don’t have to be inevitable, so let’s talk about it.
Let’s start with getting in tune with your body. Notice how your periods feel, whether your breast size changes, and whether some months seem to be heavier than others. When we are stressed, our bodies lean towards the hormone estrogen during our cycles, and when we are relaxed we lean more towards progesterone during our cycles. It’s something to take note of in your body but there is no need to freak out about it! Figure out what makes your periods feel more comfortable and that will ultimately help you find that hormonal balance. Lowering stress, moving your body, and eating nutritious foods are going to be the best place to start for getting your estrogen/progesterone levels under control. Here are some of the top fruits & vegetables to help balance your hormones: (1)
- Avocado – The healthy fats in avocados are the building blocks for important sex hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Filling your body with the healthy fat in avocados will give your body the fuel it needs to keep producing hormones.
- Fresh Berries – Vitamin C may help regulate your progesterone levels during the PMS phase of your cycle, and blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries are all hormone balancing fruits packed with vitamin C. (2) It’s best to get your fill of these berries before your cycle starts, so we recommend The Berry Bowl or The Youthful One.
- Lignan-rich seeds – Seed cycling has helped many people balance their hormones naturally. Check out our short podcast episode on it here. Flax & pumpkin seeds contain lignans, compounds that may help stimulate estrogen production when you’re a little low and get rid of excess estrogen. (3) Get your pumpkin seed dose with The Fall Bowl & The Autumn Crisp Bowl – two stars of our seasonal Fall menu!
It’s good to feel your breast tissue for any new developments, no matter how old you are. Being in tune with small changes, whether it be fibroids or something else, it’s always good to get it checked out as a proactive step. It’s important to be your own advocate and address it when something just feels “off”. Learn how to do a self-examination here.
We talk about it all the time, but the food you put in your body has the ability to literally change your DNA- aka epigenetics. What does this mean? Well, if you have diseases that have been passed down from generation to generation, you don’t have to be stuck with the same outcome. The foods we eat have the capabilities of signaling inside the cells, turning on and off different genes. I know we just simplified this concept a lot, but your food goes way past being “just macronutrients”. Make sure to get fruits and vegetables in every day – and if you hate eating them, try drinking them! Cold-pressing pounds of fresh produce into each Clean Juice bottle will deliver your body key nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. We also have our Greenoa greens & grains bowls that are sure to give you your daily dose of fresh leafy greens.
It is critical to make sure your fruits & vegetables are USDA-certified organic. They are sprayed with harmful pesticides and even after being washed, these pesticides remain and will be ingested when you eat non-organic produce. Filling your body with toxins and harmful pesticides will have adverse side effects, and choosing organic means you will have reduced exposure to synthetic pesticides, increased antioxidant levels, and a minimized chance of having heavy metal poisoning. One of the most common commercial pesticides, glyphosate (known by the brand name, Roundup) is classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as a probable human carcinogen. Experts warn that over time, repeated exposure to pesticides can lead to certain types of cancer. Looking for that USDA-organic seal when you shop and slowly switching over your household ingredients will help reduce your exposure to harmful pesticides.
We could talk all day about movement and its benefits, but one of the first things that come to mind is this quote, “stagnant pools breed disease.” This makes us think about our blood and lymph, two mechanisms that are used to excrete toxins out of the body. What happens when this fluid isn’t moved? It becomes stagnant and bad waste builds up. How do we get our lymph moving and toxins out? We workout out and sweat all those toxins out. So get that sweatband on and let’s move it!
Recent podcast guest, Lisa Gainsley, taught us all about lymphatic massaging and lymphatic contouring. Massaging your lymph nodes (the correct way!) starts to move the toxins out. As Laura Renegar said at the beginning of this blog post, just walking for 1 hour a day is enough to get you started on your path towards breast cancer prevention. A great way to get your steps in AND support breast cancer research & programs would be to join a Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in your town! Walking and meeting other men and women passionate about eradicating breast cancer will leave you with lasting memories.
(2) Henmi, H., Endo, T., Kitajima, Y., Manase, K., Hata, H., & Kudo, R. (2003). Effects of ascorbic acid supplementation on serum progesterone levels in patients with a luteal phase defect. Fertility and sterility, 80(2), 459-461. https://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(03)00657-5/fulltext
(3) Aehle, E., Müller, U., Eklund, P. C., Willför, S. M., Sippl, W., & Dräger, B. (2011). Lignans as food constituents with estrogen and antiestrogen activity. Phytochemistry, 72(18), 2396-2405. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21889775