What They Are – What They Need – What Hurts Them

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Getting to know your breasts is an important part of a balanced health routine.  Giving your breasts the proper care they deserve is not only important for today, it becomes increasingly more important throughout the entire aging process.  Breasts change many times and in many ways over a woman’s lifetime – in fact, they change monthly.

Men’s breasts matter as well and while boys and girls share the same type of breast tissues, over time, men do not have the same complex breast growth and development as women. Their high levels of testosterone and low levels of estrogen stops breast development.  Some milk ducts do exist in a male, but they remain undeveloped. Breast problems, including breast cancer, rarely occur in men.


What Breasts Are & Do

Breasts, like women’s bodies, come in all shapes and sizes, but all are made up of fat and breast tissue, along with nerves, veins, arteries and connective tissue that helps hold everything in place. The breast tissue varies, they change with age, and the left one usually doesn’t look the same as the right.  Though the breast is mature after puberty, the breast tissue remains inactive until pregnancy. During pregnancy, the lobules grow and begin to produce milk which is then released into the ducts so a mother can breastfeed her baby.

How breasts feel and look are always affected by menstrual cycles, pregnancy, breastfeeding, menopause, nutrition, exercise, weight, and the aging process. Breasts tend to sag with age, hormone changes, breastfeeding and menopause.

24387382_sIn today’s world, it is becoming increasingly more difficult for women to determine what “normal” breasts are with the strong social pressures favoring some types of breasts over others. Perceptions are influenced by how breasts are portrayed not only in advertising and promotional sales revolving around bra sales, but in the innumerable social media platforms and venues as well.


What Breasts Need

~ Exercise and Fresh Air13611576_s
Increased physical activity, even when started later in life, reduces overall breast-cancer risk by 30% by simply taking a 30-minute walk five days a week.

 

~ A Well-Balanced Diet4137916_s

  • Daily consumption of dark green, orange and red vegetables and fruits
  • High quality meats and proteins, healthy fats, and nutrient-dense foods
  • Plenty of essential fatty acids and anti-oxidant rich foods
  • Organic, non-GMO foods and products
  • Lower levels of processed sugars and simple carbohydrates (lowers inflammation and acidity)
  • Phytoestrogens (plant estrogens) in the form of soy, lentils, and grains.
    All are excellent sources of cancer preventing “protectoin.”
    **Avoid if you have or develop estrogen based breast cancer and are using an estrogen blocking medication.

~ The Before and After of a Healthy Weight
28319521_sThis may surprise you! Women who are overweight or obese before menopause have a 20 to 40 percent lower risk of breast cancer than those who are lean. This benefit is not well understood and may be limited to estrogen receptor-positive breast cancers.

Although being overweight or obese may lower breast cancer risk before menopause, weight gain should be avoided. Most breast cancers occur after menopause.  Women who are overweight or obese after menopause have a 30 to 60 percent higher breast cancer risk than those who are lean.

For more information on why weight affects breast cancer, please visit: Weight Gain & Breast Cancer Risk


What Harms Breasts

~ Smoking/Alcohol14125561_s
Both are strongly connected to breast cancer in women. Why? Alcohol changes the way the body metabolizes estrogen causing the levels to rise. The Center for Disease Control recommends only 1 alcoholic drink per day (this can still cause a 7% increase in risk level. Two or three drinks increase the risk to 20%).

~ Hormone replacement therapy
Evidence shows its use may significantly increase the risk of breast cancer. Estrogen-only HRT increases the risk of breast and ovarian cancer, but only when used for more than 10 years. The higher breast cancer risk from using HRT is the same for so-called “bio-identical” and “natural” hormones as it is for synthetic hormones.

~ Caffeine26976991_s
Coffee, tea, chocolate.  It isn’t necessary to never touch it – simply practice self-control in the amount consumed.  Caffeine increases fibrocystic breast tissues and reduce fertility levels.

~ Harmful Chemicals
There can be toxic substances in beauty products that increase the risk of breast cancers. Parabens can be found in deodorants, shampoos, and body lotions. If you can’t eat it, maybe you shouldn’t put it on your body. In 2014, there were 102 chemicals linked to breast cancer. For more information, please visit: Chemicals Linked To Breast Cancer

~ Bras: Wrong Size & Worn Too Long

39681201_lThe Daily Mail.com reported just today that surveys show those who had breast cancer were also the ones who reported wearing bras a bit too snug and for more than 12 hours a day. The study concluded that the constricting effect of bras suppress the lymphatic system below the armpits, blocking the very important internal network of vessels that flush toxic wastes from the body. Over time, these toxins accumulate in the breast tissues and create an environment in which cells can turn cancerous.

Ladies, you now have permission to “let them be free”.


Ahead in Part
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Coming January 22, 2016

 

“Ways to Nurture Breasts – Naturally”

 

 

 

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