11 ways to improve your nutrition to help prevent breast cancer
Having studied Nutrional Therapy, I feel it is really important for woman to be aware of how foods and lifestyle impact our health. Breast cancer is increasing at an alarming rate, 1 in 8 women are diagnosed with breast cancer, so it is vitally important that we should be aware of how we may be able to naturally prevent cancer from occurring in the first place. Everyone blames genes, but recent studies show that environmental factors and nutrition play a role in this illness and we can’t just blame genetics. Modern medicine overlooks many effective ways that this can be prevented and even has been reversed in some cases. Improving our diet and lifestyle can play a great part in prevention.
Here are some of the following suggestions (recommended by Dr Hyman):
1. Reducing sugar – is the simplest way to make an effective change. Remember that sugar is addictive, so replace sugary foods with more good quality fats and proteins to keep you fuller and reduce your cravings. Over time your sugar cravings will decrease. Try and avoids lots of carbohydrate foods and refined flours
2. Increasing fibre – Your goal is to aim for 35 grams of fibre a day, as this is crucial for optimal gut health. Foods high in fibre include fruits, beans, nuts, whole grains and vegetables.
3. Eat proteins and good quality fats – to balance the blood sugar effects of the carbohydrates. Protein and fats are crucial for rebuilding and repairing the body. Good fats also help you absorb fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K which are needed for a strong immunity and other functions.
4. Supplements of vitamins or minerals – you are lacking, for example, a good fish oil/omega 3 is good for controlling inflammation. We usually have too much omega 6 in our diet and not enough omega 3. Having too much omega 6 causes inflammation in the body. Controlling inflammation is important for preventing disease and helping to heal and prevent cancer.
5. Learn to control stress – many women who get breast cancer complain about a lot of emotional stress. Many Muslim women do not know how to control the stress in their lives and they feel quite overwhelmed. So it is important for Muslimahs to learn methods and techniques that help you deal with stress effectively, be it prayer, meditation, yoga, deep breathing, exercise, journaling, anything that effectively works for you. Also, focus on positively and being grateful daily as this is known to reduce and manage stress effectively. Read the article here of Practical ways to relieve stress and become more mindful Muslimahs.
6. Work on your gut health – gut microflora influences cancer genes and immunity. Eat gut supporting foods such as probiotics, fibre, fermented foods such as kimchi. If you suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or have a leaky gut, then get support and help from a Functional Medicine practitioner to identify the root cause and treat usually via diet. Many health and skin issues result from poor gut health, which decreases our ability to absorb the nutrition we need from the food we eat, leading to health problems. Once our gut health is rectified, out health becomes better.
7. Reduce toxicity in your blood – drink filtered water, opt for more organic good and good quality source of grass-fed meat or fish. Be aware of chemicals in your skincare and perfumes and in household cleaning supplies. Sweat more through exercise and saunas as sweat helps remove toxins from your body. Cupping (hijama) also helps to remove toxins.
8. Take regular exercise – this can decrease your breast cancer risk. Exercise improves insulin sensitivity, which helps you balance estrogen and maintain a good weight.
9. Get sufficient sleep – studies have shown that those that have less sleep and less good quality sleep, have an increased breast cancer risk. Try and aim for 6-8 hours of good quality, uninterrupted sleep each night.
10. Avoid cooking in certain oils – such as vegetable oils and sunflower oils, which are high in Omega 6 which causes inflammation in the body. Have more beneficial oils such as Olive oil (do not use on high heat, preferably cold or on low heat), flaxseed oil, organic cold pressed coconut oil etc.
11. Have a variety of good foods – Green foods (studies have shown Spirulina and Chlorella powders can be added to foods and smoothies and are known to be high in antioxidants and cancer prevention properties), pulses, beans, and foods high in antioxidants. I will be writing more on the topic of which foods are good to eat to protect against breast cancer such as broccoli, beans, carrots, turmeric, berries, cinnamon, tomatoes, olive oil, fatty fish and garlic.
I use these Green powders in my nutribullet in the morning to help me, there are various brands available but I use the Amazing Grass brand.
These little changes can help your health and immunity, so you are less susceptible from breast cancer inshAllah.
This post is not intended as medical advice and contains affiliate links.