4 Ways to Balance Your Hormones to Prevent Breast Cancer
The main cause for breast cancer is due to hormonal imbalance. As we age, our body experience hormonal imbalance. There is an imbalance between the level of estrogen and progesterone.
Progesterone is a hormone that helps in preventing breast cancer. It helps to prevent “fibrocystic changes and encourages apostosis (programmed cell death)” in the breast.
In general, this hormone, produced in the ovaries and also referred to as the “pregnancy hormone”, is important. Without it, women may experience fibroids, heavy periods, endometriosis, cysts and cancer in the breasts.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Estrogen is not entirely bad.
In women, this hormone contributes to many things such as the development of the breasts. It also helps in regulating the menstrual cycle and prepares mothers to produce milk.
Again, it is when estrogen dominance happens that leads to developing breast cancer risks.
Did you know that our lifestyle can also influence hormonal imbalance? Not just our age!
Yes, this means that breast cancer can be prevented.
How? How can we naturally balance our hormones? Here are 4 ways:
Maintain a healthy weight
Hormonal imbalance can occur when our body weight is unhealthy. That is why those who are overweight or obese are more susceptible to diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and cancer. More fat tissue in the body can increase estrogen levels and hence, increased risk of developing breast cancer. Also, overweight women tend to have higher levels of another hormone which is called insulin. Studies have linked higher insulin to breast cancer.
So, remember to eat right and exercise to maintain a healthy weight!
More whole, plant-based foods
In order to help you maintain a healthy weight, what you eat plays a very important role. You don’t have to eat less, you just need to eat right. Eat more whole, plant-based foods. Consume more vegetables (especially cruciferous vegetables), fruits, beans, legumes and seed. By consuming whole, plant-based food, not only that your body gets all the essential nutrients it needs, your fiber intake also increases. Fiber helps to reduce obesity risk by making you feel full longer, controls blood sugar and lessen estrogen levels.
Remember to eat more whole, plant-based foods and less processed, high sugar, fried unhealthy foods.
Increase your physical activity to reduce risk of developing breast cancer. It was found that those who regularly exercise have a lower risk of breast cancer than those who do not. This happens because regular exercise can help you to keep your weight at bay. Also, it is thought to regulate both insulin and estrogen.
Studies also found that regular exercise is essential among women already diagnosed with breast cancer. How? With exercise, women are able to combat the side effects of breast cancer treatment; weight gain, fatigue and osteoporosis. Exercise also helps to improve mental wellbeing as undergoing cancer treatments can be stressful at times.
Do not go to bed late
Sleep deprivation affects hormonal imbalance in the long run.
Did you know that sleep regulates your stress hormones? This means that if you have been getting inconsistent quality sleep, you will be more sensitive to stress.
Interesting fact: Studies have found that there is a possible association between stress and breast cancer.
Also, sleep ensures the hormones responsible for controlling blood sugar level and appetite are well-maintained. Hence, less sleep leads to increased hunger and cravings for calorie-rich foods. If this cannot be controlled, weight gain is affected and you know what happens when we gain weight unhealthily.
Some studies also noted that oversleep does not do good for the body as well. Too much sleep in the long run leads to the development of breast cancer risk.
So, friend, do always try your best to get sufficient hours of sleep every night.
While it is good to strive for a healthy lifestyle,
women are always encouraged to perform a breast self-exam once a month. For older women aged above 40 years old, you are encouraged to go for a mammogram once a year.
Psst…There are 2 things you must CERTAINLY do to prevent or lower breast cancer risk. Read here.