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5 Ways to Boost Breast Health Naturally

By Expert HERWriter
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October is known as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Along with awareness, it is important to also focus on prevention.

The breast tissue is made up of fat, connective tissue, and tubes that respond to different hormones produced in the body.

Some women notice that their breasts swell before their period or that they may be more sensitive throughout the month which is often a direct result of these hormones.

When someone is diagnosed with breast cancer, it may or may not be hormone receptor positive, meaning the cancer may or may not respond to hormone blocking medications.

However there are some natural ingredients that may prove beneficial overall for the tissue.

First, eat more broccoli, particularly broccoli sprouts. Research shows that a constituent in there called sulforaphane helps the liver excrete excess estrogen and may have an impact on cancer cells. It may also improve survival in breast cancer patients.

Broccoli sprouts are easily mixed into salads, coleslaw, a stir fry, the morning smoothie and more. Add them into your diet daily for better health.

Second, drink more green tea or consider green tea capsules full of the active ingredient EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate). Green tea is a powerful antioxidant and in some studies, has been shown to be protective against breast cancer.

Unfortunately, the jury is still out when it comes to human trials. However having a cup, two or three of green tea per day (even decaffeinated) is not going to hurt and may end up being protective.

Supplements typically start at 500mg and can be bought as decaffeinated.

Third, add the spice turmeric to your foods and consider taking it as a supplement in the form of curcumin. Make sure to buy organic.

Even in 2002, curcumin was recognized as a powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and potential anti-cancer ingredient.

The spice is not generally considered potent enough in its regular use however it is a start towards prevention. Supplements typically start at 500mg but purity is important.

Fourth, get vitamin D testing as adequate levels are important. A potent steroid hormone, Vitamin D has been shown beneficial for both prevention and for treatment as adjunctive care. Sufficient levels start at 32 ng/mL however many in the healthcare field aim for levels between 50 and 100 ng/mL.

Fifth, eat foods rich in apigenin such as parsley, basil, artichoke and celery. This powerful bioflavonoid is showing a lot of promise to both prevent and treat breast cancer cells.

Mix a handful of parsley and celery with your broccoli sprouts in a smoothie or a stir fry. Steam up an artichoke or regularly use artichoke hearts in salads. Be sure to add plenty of basil to the turmeric curry.

The best practices to hopefully avoid breast cancer are to regularly work on breast prevention. These suggestions are not magic pills nor are they guaranteed. However they are foods easily incorporated into daily life and given the research surrounding them, are worth it.


1. Specific Plants Protect Against Specific, Not All, Cancers. Web. 13 October, 2012.

2. Cruciferous Veggies Boost Survival in Breast Cancer Patients. Web. 13, October, 2012.

3. Green Tea Drinking and Subsequent Risk of Breast Cancer in a Population to Based Cohort of Japanese Women. Web. 13 October, 2012.

4. Use of Nutritional Therapies During Cancer Treatment: Benefits From Dietary Supplements. Web. 13 October, 2012.

5. Vitamin D May Help Breast Cancer Survivors Stay on Track. Web. 13 October, 2012.

6. Vitamin D Insufficiency Linked to Aggressive Breast Tumors. Web. 13 October, 2012.

7. Apigenin induces apoptosis via extrinsic pathway, inducing p53 and inhibiting STAT3 and NFκB signaling in HER2-overexpressing breast cancer cells. Web. 13 October, 2012.

8. Apigenin blocks induction of vascular endothelial growth factor mRNA and protein in progestin-treated human breast cancer cells. Web. 13 October, 2012.

Reviewed October 15, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

Add a Comment1 Comments


All new facts to me. Learn something new every day. Thank you for the share. I love how the NFL marks october with the players and coaches wearing all pink. Really gets the word out. We have all been affected at some level by breast cancer.

Marielaina Perrone DDS
Henderson Dentist

October 15, 2012 - 10:58am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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