October is here and you may be seeing pink everywhere – pink ribbons, pink t-shirts and pink signs - all reminding you that this is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. There are many things you can do to help prevent breast cancer, and today we want to share four supplements with you that can help make a big difference.
Did you know that one in eight women in America will be diagnosed with breast cancer? It’s also the second leading cause of cancer deaths for women (lung cancer is #1). Cancer statistics are scary, but the good news is that we can be proactive in our breast health goals and choose to stand strong for optimal breast health and cancer prevention. The foods we eat, our lifestyle habits, and the supplements we take can drastically improve breast health.
The first thing to consider would be to make sure the foods you are eating are the most nutrient dense and pure foods possible. Yes, organic and whole foods are best. Choices like an organic sweet potato, organic broccoli, an organic apple, or organic blueberries are some of the best anti-cancer foods. Raw is best, but cooked is fine too. Then throw in some lemon juice (1) in your water and eat a few organic raw cranberries (2) and your overall chances of cancer continue to decline.
Also, organic, raw, white button mushrooms (3) are specifically shown to support breast health and reduce chances of breast cancer. We recommend you add a few to your salad at least once a week, maybe twice. Organic protein bars and pure protein powders with no sugar are a great supplement to a mostly vegetarian eating plan. However, don’t avoid healthy fats and meats. Avoiding healthy fats can lead to hormone imbalance which can cause cancer. Eating organic butter, organic chicken, grass-fed beef, and organic salmon can be a part of a very balanced and healthy eating program. Just watch the calories in the heavy fat foods. Even when it’s healthy fat you’ll still have to metabolize it.
When it comes to cancer and food, perhaps the most important factor is the foods you should not eat. Avoid anything processed or inorganic. When that’s not possible, check labels for chemicals and additives. Avoid food colors, extra sugar (sugar feeds cancer) and trans fats. The shorter the ingredient list, and the easier it is to read, the higher the chances are that it’s a pure food. We think you probably know which foods we are talking about, but just to be sure, here is a list of a few of the worst offenders:
Foods to Avoid
- Hot dogs
- Processed bacon
- Lunch meat
- Chips like Cheetos or Doritos (sorry!)
- White bread
- Candy (pretty much any kind)
Lifestyle elements are also important to consider when planning for optimal breast health. Physical activity has been shown in studies to reduce chances of all types of age-related disease (cancer, heart disease, and diabetes) which includes breast cancer. Studies also show that physical activity reduces breast cancer risk by about 20%. (4) The best plan is to try for 30 minutes to an hour a day of moderate to very active exercise. Also, not smoking is another good lifestyle habit to check off the list. It improves your chances of surviving a cancer diagnosis by 20% and reduces your chances of getting this disease substantially.
4 Supplements to Support Breast Health
Supplements are one of the best ways to support optimal heart health and fight off all of the dangerous free radicals our bodies are exposed to daily. Supplements are powerhouses of antioxidants that can literally go to war against the free radicals which cause cancer in any type of cell.
1. Vitamin D
is a “pro-hormone” and is shown to reduce breast cancer risk. It helps trigger something called apoptosis which is programmed cell death. Basically, when your vitamin D
levels are optimal, your body has what it needs to kill off the cancer cells. It’s one of our God-given cancer prevention mechanisms as long as our vitamin D
levels are healthy. Women who have the highest exposure to sunlight, and a higher vitamin D level, have a 65% reduction in breast cancer risk compared to those who have the least sunlight exposure. (5) Girls with the greatest exposure to sunlight during the ages of 10-19 had a 35% decreased risk of breast cancer as adults. (6)
The issue is, we often find vitamin D levels are low. Ask your doctor to check your vitamin D levels if you haven’t already. More than your immune system is at stake; your breast health depends on it as well. If your levels are low, take what your doctor recommends (our doctors lean towards 5,000 mg daily for low blood levels). If your D level cannot be checked or is in a healthy range, take 2,000 mg daily to maintain good health.
2. Green Tea Extract
is one of the most important anti-cancer supplements as it’s shown in studies to kill cancer cells. It is produced from the evergreen plant, and traditional Chinese medicine has recommended drinking green tea for the prevention of disease for centuries. In recent years, studies suggested that green tea possesses antiproliferative, antimutagenic, antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral and chemopreventive effects. (7) Green tea can also reduce inflammation which is connected to cancer risk and can also reduce blood sugar, anxiety and brain fog. Nice, huh?
is an antioxidant herbal compound from turmeric that has amazing anti-cancer qualities. According to the US Library of Medicine, “Curcumin exerts antiproliferative and apoptotic effects. The expressions and activities of various proteins, such as inflammatory cytokines and enzymes, transcription factors, and gene-products linked with cell survivals and proliferation, can be modified by curcumin.” (8) Basically, curcumin acts as an antioxidant boss and modifies cell behavior to help reduce cancer risk. The Hotze Vitamins Curcumin product is Curcumin Ultimate
and contains 1,000 mg of active compounds. It is also gluten-free and has turmeric oil to improve absorption rather than black pepper which can irritate the gut.
– DIM (3,3'-diindolylmethane) has been shown to help prevent breast cancer. DIM
is the major bioactive compound in cruciferous vegetables, which have shown to be protective against breast cancer. Commonly consumed cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, bok choy, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, and Brussels sprouts. Research shows that DIM may reduce the invasive and metastatic potential of breast tumors. DIM selectively induced cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in both estrogen receptor–positive and estrogen receptor–negative breast cancer cells (9)
You can improve your personal breast health tremendously today by taking this eating plan, lifestyle and supplement advice. Chances are, you are already doing several things on this list, so maybe just choose one supplement or one lifestyle change to incorporate into your health plan each week. Don’t be a statistic. Stand strong for optimal breast health and cancer prevention.
Need advice on which supplements to take?
Call our Certified Holistic Nutritionists and Vitamin Consultants today at 281-646-1659. It will be our privilege to serve you.