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8 Tips to Keep Your Breasts Healthy

Women are at a high risk of suffering from breast cancer. So, the best thing that every woman can do is keep her breasts healthy with lifestyle changes and hence ward off the risk.

Women's Health By Ariba KhaliqSep 26, 2014

Support Your Pair

Young women and breast cancer share a love-hate relationship. Love comes from their low risk of developing the cancer as compared with older women. And hate because if the deadly cancer does strike, it can be much more aggressive. Young women can effectively protect their breasts by following a healthy lifestyle. Comply with these do’s to secure that bosom and lower your risk of having breast cancer.

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Exercise

When you are overweight, your body’s fat cells produce the hormone oestrogen, high levels of which are linked with certain types of cancer. When you workout, your fat cells shrink in size and your body produces less oestrogen. It is recommended by the American Cancer Society that every young woman should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. These 150 minutes should ideally be spread out over the week. You can opt for any kind of cardio workout and if you are tight on time, you may choose to do high-intensity training for 75 minutes a week for same benefits.

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Have Some Chocolate

Okay, this one is pointless to say to women because they love chocolate anyway. But, love it all the more because you just got another excuse. Researchers have found that dark chocolates contain a compound that interacts with an enzyme and both these together kill cancerous cells in our body. Just think about it, this discovery may one day lead to adding some chocolate to current cancer treatments. Until then, just enjoy that square.

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Don’t Freak Out over a Lump

If you find out something during your self-examination of breasts, don’t lose your mind over it but don’t ignore it either. Four out of five lumps felt in the breast are benign and many -a-times they may be cysts, or fluid-filled sac, which are caused by hormonal fluctuations. A new lump that you may notice may not be cancer, but you must get it checked by your doctor, just in case.

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Fruit Up

Several recent studies have suggested that eating a lot of fruit and veggies may be associated with a lowered risk for developing oestrogen-receptor-negative breast tumours. Fruits are rich in carotenoids, which are natural pigments that play the role of antioxidants. Oestrogen-receptor-negative breast cancers make up only about 15 percent of all breast cancers, but they're particularly hard to treat. You might want to follow USDA’s advice and fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables.

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Ditch the Booze

If you drink more than three drinks a day, you are at 1.5 times increased risk of developing breast cancer as compared to your non-drinking friends. Try to keep it to one serving a day or less: 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor.

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Sleep Well

When you stay up late at night, you expose yourself to light at night which suppresses the melatonin levels in your body. Melatonin is a sleep hormone that helps regulate oestrogen. Add prevention from breast cancer to the list of reasons for getting eight hours of sleep every night.

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Don’t Forget Folic Acid

Lack of folate, which is the naturally occurring form of folic acid in our body, can impair our DNA’s ability to repair itself. And damaged DNA can give you cancer. Eat foods such as spinach and black-eyed peas, folic-fortified cereals and grains, which are all rich in folate. You should aim at getting 400 micrograms of it daily.

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Be Peaceful

Practising peace can actually be lifesaving. Psychological factors like stress put you at an increased risk of getting cancer, probably because stress turns you towards alcohol and overeating which are both risk factors. You must take deep belly breaths, watch your favourite comedy or chant an uplifting mantra. Relax yourself with whichever method suits you. Just stay calm.

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