October marks National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and unfortunately the disease is far too common among several of my family members.
I am challenged by this, because as a Certified Fitness Nutritionist (CFN) and Specialist in Exercise Therapy (SET), I strongly believe that living an optimum healthy life is greatly supported by following a lifestyle of Preventive Medicine. This includes incorporating healthy nutrition and exercise into someone’s daily routine—not on selective days, but daily.
There is no 100% medical guarantee that someone may never get breast cancer if they follow the daily lifestyle of Preventive Medicine. Although, following it can give someone the opportunity to become a warrior and have the best fighting chance to warding off breast cancer.
Equally, there is no 100% medical guarantee that someone with breast cancer will become cancer free by following Preventive Medicine. Although, following it can give someone the opportunity to become a warrior and have the best fighting chance to get rid of breast cancer and thrive living their best life!
Here, I share a few helpful tips and encouraging words of support.
Family history of breast cancer in both females and males is one of the greatest risk factors in addition to inherited changes in certain genes. Genetics play a huge role in the underlying diagnosis.
Conditions that cause higher levels of estrogen in the body can also contribute to the risks.
There are also other risks that include exposure to radiation on the chest, drinking a lot of alcohol, liver disease, hormone replacement, smoking, obesity, race and ethnicity and dense breast tissue.
Some of the big culprits linked to breast cancer are physiological stress, red meat and processed meat that includes high salt levels, fat content and nitrates. Beef contains extra hormones and antibiotics.
The best foods to help fight and ward off breast cancer contain a lower dietary fat content between 10- 20% of the overall caloric level of one serving.
It is also very important to eat a minimal amount of animal-based protein and attempt to eat more plant-based sources. I have found that beans and lean meats are better sources.
Grains and fruits play a huge role in allowing the body to receive fiber and energy, and vegetables are prevention. I suggest the following: 3-5 servings of vegetables daily (that’s right, vegetables), 2-4 servings of fruits daily, and 3-4 servings of grains daily.
Try to decrease additives and artificial flavorings because they are foreign to the body and there is no way for the body to know what to do with them once they get trapped inside. In other words, the human body does not have the GPS coordinates to omit them properly.
Hydration is key and drinking 8-10 eight-ounce glasses of water daily will help not only keep your skin supple, but it will aid in proper digestion. People really underestimate the benefits of water and think that tea, coffee, juice and soda all contribute to their water intake. They do not! It is best to drink mostly caffeine free fluid. Hydration helps to regulate the body temperature and helps blood pressure stay within normal range. It also helps minimize constipation, diarrhea etc. The body needs the opportunity to rid itself from excess waste. Water helps do this.
Remember to eat regularly throughout the day every 2-3 hours with 5-6 small meals so that your body receives proper fuel. In essence…energy. The body can only absorb and digest so much at one time.
Focus on nutritional food sources. Phytochemical food sources help to ward off diseases of any kind by breaking the toxins down in the body. We’ve all heard of “an apple day keeps the doctor away”, but how many of us actually eat one daily?
Here are some phytochemical food sources:
Carotenoids are an antioxidant and found in colorful veggies and fruits (yellow, orange and green) such as broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, peppers, spinach, tomatoes and watermelon.
Flavanoids are an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory found in fruits and vegetables.
Indoles are found in sulfur cruciferous vegetables such as bok choy, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale and turnips. A lack of sulfur enriched foods can cause deficiencies in the body such as acne, brittle hair and nails, depression, eczema, gastrointestinal issues, itchy skin, memory loss, migraines, rashes and slow wound healing.
Check out Micro Mondays 90-second video that features sulfur in an episode from my show that airs each Monday on my Exercise Healthy Nutrition YouTube channel. Subscribe for free and never miss an episode of this upbeat video series that features simple, quick tips on how to live healthy. Each 90-second clip features a different macronutrient that the body requires to sustain optimal living and enhance a healthy lifestyle.
Isoflavones are anti-inflammatory and prevent damage to the cell’s DNA and found in alfalfa, beans, flax seed and legumes.
Isothiocyanates are anticarcinogenic, neuroprotective and antidiabetic and found in cruciferous vegetables, horseradish and mustard.
Organosulfides are antibacterial and protect the liver and found in cruciferous vegetables, garlic, leeks, onions and shallots.
Phenolic Compounds help protect against hypertension and metabolic and neurodegenerative issues and found in berries, cruciferous vegetables, flaxseed, garlic, grapes, green tea and soybeans.
Setting up a strong foundation of support is key to warding off any disease. Do not go it alone! Some people think that greatness is achieved by oneself. As the saying goes, each person is only as strong as the weakest link. So, support one another for each other’s highs and lows in life.
Turn down the negativity and most of all, don’t dish it out.
I genuinely send positivity to each and every one reading this. Find one thing to be grateful for each day.
My company, Exercise Healthy Nutrition LLC, has created an early holiday promotion and set up a Friends & Family Corporate Discount In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
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