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Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women.
Is it possible to make a difference to our risk of developing breast cancer in the first place by the lifestyle and dietary choices we make?
We read and hear so much about what to do, what to eat etc to prevent us from developing cancer. So where do we start?
I personally do not believe there is anyone single food, diet or lifestyle change that will prevent you from getting this awful disease.
But what I do honestly believe is, some choices we make can make a difference in the chances of developing breast cancer. This improving your overall health and well-being.
We all have a story of cancer that has affected us and our families.
My mother found a lump when she was only 44 and was diagnosed with breast cancer shortly after. She had a mastectomy and several bouts of radiotherapy.
After around 12 months she was told cancer had gone, she continued to have routine check-ups for the next couple of years.
10 years later when she was 54, she began to feel poorly and not able to sleep due to pain at the back of her head. After numerous visits to the doctors with various diagnosis from a virus to a ‘way you have been lying’
6 weeks later she went to A&E as the pain was so bad.
She was told on 21st December she had cancer in the nerves of her brain, it was treatable, but it was terminal. My mum lost her battle to cancer when she was 56.
Even though I knew for nearly 18 months that my mum wouldn’t be with us very long, I can honestly say I had no idea how shocked I would feel and so final it was ….. this sounds strange I know but that is the only way I can describe my feelings over the next few months.
When I lost my mum, I had 4 young daughters, now they are young ladies and 2 of them have children of their own.
I am now 56, it has been at the back of my mind for a few years, being very aware that I was approaching the age that my mum was when she lost her life.
In the last 4 or 5 years, I have been trying to make better choices in my lifestyle. The main reason for this is, of course, I want to feel good and improve my quality of life. But most of all I want to prevent my girls from going through watching their mother suffer from this awful disease.
I decided to make small changes to help lower the risk of cancer developing if at all possible. Also, encouraging my daughters to make better choices and teach their own little ones everything we have learnt.
Eat Healthily – But what does eating healthy mean?
Eating a balanced diet is the biggest thing you can do to improve your health.
I have chosen a plant-based diet, but you can easily add a few of these suggestions slowly. Don’t try to rush your changes if you are not ready to do so, this can result in you giving up and going back to old habits.
Eating healthy means including a wide variety of foods and very importantly, consuming the right amount of food and drink to achieve then maintain a healthy body weight.
Nutritious rich foods such as leafy greens, citrus fruits, beans, berries and certain herbs and spices may all reduce your risk of developing breast cancer.
Just as important is to cut out processed food of any kind, sugar-rich foods and beverages, fried food, alcohol and smoking.
Try adding some of these to your diet:-
Leafy green vegetables
Spinach, kale, chard and mustard greens are said to have the best anti-cancer properties. Including a variety of your favourite green vegetables will benefit your well-being.
Citrus fruits are full of compounds that may protect against breast cancer. These provide antioxidant, anticancer and anti-inflammatory efforts.
Add plenty of oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes to your diet.
Eating berries, especially blueberries regularly may help lower your risk of breast cancer. These have shown to help protect against cellular damage as well as the development and spread of cancer cells.
Foods such as Kimchi, miso, and sauerkraut contain probiotics and other nutrients that may safeguard against breast cancer.
Try to incorporate these into soups, noodles and stews.
Garlic and onion
Garlic, leeks and uncooked onion have shown to have a positive effect against breast cancer, containing powerful anti-cancer properties.
Eating fruits such as peaches, apples and pears have also shown that the antioxidants found in them inhibited the growth and spread of breast cancer cells.
Vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage have shown to have significant anticancer potential.
Beans are loaded with fibre, minerals and vitamins helping to protect against cancer.
Herbs and Spices
There are many herbs and spices that contain plant compounds that may help to protect us against cancer.
These include rosemary, oregano, parsley, thyme, turmeric, and ginger. You can include at least one of these in every meal you cook.
They are easy to grow even in a window box. Grow from seed in preference to buying plants from the supermarket. Chemicals may have been added to the growing process of these plants.
There are many more herbs and spices you can include that all have their own unique benefits.
Always try to buy organic wherever possible.
Diet is one way to try to help prevent breast cancer – The other way is by reducing chemicals in the home.
Reducing toxins and chemicals by buying organic cleaning and laundry products can lower the risk. Many cleaning products can contain chemicals that may harm us.
Purchasing organic bed linen, towels, also soap, shampoo and skincare can all play a part in exposing our bodies to more harmful toxins.
For more information please take a look at my ‘Organic products in a family home’ Blog
Can an active lifestyle reduce our risk of cancer?
Keeping active has shown to lower the risk of developing breast cancer and many other cancers. Plus what could be better than the whole family enjoying a nice long walk, swim or fun sport activity.
There are so many activity groups around to join, take a look at your local social media groups. If you don’t fancy attending in person, there are so many virtual groups now.
I am convinced that making these lifestyle changes you will feel better and your overall health will improve.
Evidence has shown that increasing your intake of fresh fruit and vegetables of any kind along with cutting out processed foods gives you a lower risk of developing breast cancer.
A good friend of mine was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. He changed to a Vegan diet and within 6 months he no longer has diabetes.
As soon as we feel poorly, we go off to the doctor and expect a pill to make us feel better – its time to start helping ourselves by making lifestyle changes and also teaching our children to do the same.
18 months ago, my youngest daughter and I wanted to start a business, not only to make money but to make a difference to people’s lives.
MettaLife is an Ethical Vegan Lifestyle Marketplace, we now partner with over 100 UK small Ethical businesses.
All our products on MettaLife are Vegan.
With Christmas just around the corner, we would like to encourage people to buy Ethical this year, don’t waste money on meaningless gifts made of plastic by underpaid and unappreciated workers earning pennies for a days work.
Give kindness this year:- while helping us support this incredible cause
Kindness to the people making your Gift,
Kindness to the small UK business selling your gift,
Kindness to the person you give your ethical gift to,
Kindness to all our animals with cruelty-free Gifts,
Kindness to our planet with gifts made of recycled materials, reusable gifts helping to achieve zero waste, chemical-free, natural and organic gifts, all wrapped up in beautiful recyclable wrapping paper.
I would love to hear about the changes you have made to improve your overall well-being in the comments section below, how you are raising money for Breast Cancer Awareness month this year and let me know which are your favourite MettaLife gifts or anything you would like to see in our Ethical Vegan Gift category.
Thank you for reading x
*This is my personal point of view only*