The Nutrition Nook ~ October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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The Nutrition Nook is a monthly column featuring nutrition information for healthy eating from Renee M. Simpson, RDNRenee is a registered dietitian who loves good food herself AND she has had her share of battling the bulge.Renee’s corner of the web is located at the Soul Food Therapy blog, which “provides recipes, articles, and encouragement for anyone who has a love affair with food, and desires to live a healthy lifestyle.”  I pray that you are encouraged by what Renee has to share.  * Remember to consult your primary care physician or dietitian before beginning a new nutrition regimen.*Soul Food Therapy

It’s that time of year again – think pink, Race for the Cure, save the ta-tas, all that jazz.  I won’t tell you what you already know – get your mammogram blah blah blah.  Instead, let’s talk about a few preventative measures you can take that I don’t think we hear about as often as we should.

  1. Eat a whole foods plant-based diet.  No, I’m not telling you to go vegan.  But, women who consume a diet high in meat products, particularly those that are not grass fed, as well as hormone and antibiotic free, have been found to have a greater incidence of cancer.  A good plan of action is to make sure that no more than ¼ of your meal consists of animal products.  Another option is to have a few meatless days a week.
  2. Go easy on the dairy products. The milk industry would not want you to know that milk does not necessarily do a boobie good, but there are studies that show an increased risk of premenopausal breast cancer among a group of women who consumed high fat dairy products on a daily basis.  Given that there are traces of growth hormones in milk even if it is low fat, I would say watch your intake just to be safe.
  3. You don’t have to blame it on the genes.  We know that a woman with a family history of breast cancer is automatically at an increased risk.  But, keep in mind that not only did she inherit genes but she also inherited lifestyle, as well.  Consider things in the life of your family member who has/had breast cancer and determine what, if anything, you could do differently that could decrease your risk.   Diet, exercise, exposure to stress, obesity and toxins are all things that can affect your risk of breast and other cancers.  These are all factors that we have the power to influence.
  4. You are what you think you are.  There are multiple studies that show the strong correlation between what you think and what becomes your reality.  It’s called the placebo effect.  When you think you are taking a pill that can heal you, you miraculously are healed.  Thank God for a powerful mind, and be sure to use it in a positive way.
  5. No science to back this one up, but I thought I’d share.  I once heard a minister say that rejection from a man can lead to breast cancer.  Again, no idea what the evidence is on this, but since I have much respect for this particular minister, I thought I’d mention this one.  I do know of 3 women who have had breast cancer and were in awful relationships at the time.  Hmm, I would think any emotional pain internalized could lead to a variety of illnesses, so I guess in that aspect, this would make sense.  This is basically a way of acknowledging that getting rid of a bad relationship is good for your health. We know this, but it’s often easier thought than done.

So that’s my short list of preventative measures.  Be sure to pass this on to your girlfriends and fam.  Do you have something to add to the list?  If so be sure to leave it in the comments below.

Renee Simpson, RDN

References:

http://ww5.komen.org/BreastCancer/Table14Dairymilkconsumptionandbreastcancerrisk.html

http://www.tcolincampbell.org/courses-resources/article/avoiding-breast-cancer-with-diet/?tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=76&cHash=4af0558305

http://www.wired.com/medtech/drugs/magazine/17-09/ff_placebo_effect?currentPage=all

http://www.lifepowerblog.ca/blog/2011/1/20/mind-over-matter.html