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October: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer awareness month. As a medical herbalist, I like to highlight health promoting lifestyle practices to help everyone achieve and maintain their best health. The strategies I recommend for keeping breasts healthy are also appropriate for good health generally. So, whether you have breasts or not, consider how many of these strategies you currently incorporate into your life then add any missing ones to help you have optimal good health.

Sleep well

This means quantity ( 6.5-8 hrs) and quality. See the sleep notes from the successful Sleep workshop I ran with my colleagues at Ilkley Complementary Therapies. I wrote these up for Viva70 Magazine

Get regular moderate exercise to reduce your risk of disease.

This can simply be a walk or dancing in your kitchen. Aim for at least 30 minutes a day of any form of exercise.

Consider what you eat

You know the drill: limit processed foods, sugar, refined carbohydrates, bad fats, alcohol and caffeine. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, good fats (avocado, nuts/seed, oily fish) and lean protein.

Specifically for healthy breast tissue include daily:

* One cruciferous vegetable (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale) as the Sulforaphane produced in the body after you eat these has been shown to reduce the effect that carcinogens have on the body and the progression of cancer cells.

* An omega 3 source (wild-caught salmon, omega-3-rich eggs and ground flax seeds) as the anti inflammatory properties reduce cancer risk. You can take a good quality fish oil with 1000 mg of DHA and EPA per day.

* A probiotic (yoghurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh) to keep the bacteria in your body balanced positively because imbalances can affect the way the body metabolises estrogen and toxins. You can also take a good probiotic supplement.

Get adequate Vitamin D

Studies show it can reduce the risk of breast and other cancers. Get some sun on your skin for at least 15 minutes s a day. Food sources include oily fish (salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel), red meat, liver, egg yolks and full fat dairy. Most people need a supplement of 5,000 to 10,000 international units per day. Look for D3 as this is the form your body naturally produces when it’s exposed to sunlight.

Maintain a healthy weight as being overweight increases the risk of breast cancer.

Have a fulfilling social life

This improves your immune system which in turn kills off pathogens and rogue cells (these can lead to cancer and auto immune diseases). So interact with more people who like what you like by volunteering for a cause you’re interested in or take up a new activity. Remember to meet with friends and family loved ones regularly. Get some dates in your diary.

Implement a consistent self care practice

Every Sunday I post wellbeing information on my social media pages that you can use to create your own self care practices. Look back on these for ideas. Facebook: Enhance one and Ilkley Complementary Therapies Instagram: julialrichards Twitter @julialrichards Linked in: Julia Richards

Self care keeps you healthy emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically.

Perform Self massage

This is part of self care. See my Facebook post from 4 Oct 2020 on how to perform self massage. Specially for breasts, give them a massage for 5 minutes per day ( when you shower is a good regular way to incorporate this ) Also, go bra less as much as possible to stimulate lymph flow, which releases toxins from breast tissue.

Stay healthy.


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