Breast cancer. Just the name of this disease puts fear in the heart of every woman. It’s a scary disease and if you’re an American woman, there is a 1 in 8 chance you’ll get it. Yet you don’t have to feel helpless. There are things you can do to help prevent breast cancer. Here are four simple tips you can try that will help:
Go ahead and have a glass of wine with dinner or go out for drinks with friends if you enjoy doing so. A moderate amount of alcohol won’t hurt you and might even have health benefits. The keyword is “moderate”. Research has shown that having more than one alcoholic beverage per day can increase your risk of cancer by elevating your estrogen levels. So if you drink, do it in moderation. For a treat high in antioxidants, pair your glass of red wine with a piece of dark chocolate. This combination not only tastes good, but it is also good for you.
Enjoy moderate amounts of coffee and tea
According to the National Cancer Institute, antioxidants in both green and black tea can help protect your body from DNA damage which can cause cancer. Other research suggests that coffee can help protect against tumors. So feel free to have a cup of your favorite hot beverage in the morning. Brew a cup at home, or hit Starbucks on your way to work. Just make sure that you stick to the unsweetened stuff. Sweet, sugary drinks will increase your cancer risk, so save the pumpkin spice latte for a special occasion.
Be physically active
You don’t need to run a marathon to reduce your risk of breast cancer. Just a half-hour of walking every day will have a big impact. You don’t even need to do it all at once. You can split it up if you need to.
If you are having a hard time getting motivated, consider asking people to join you. Instead of going to lunch with friends, ask them to go for a walk with you. Or ask your spouse to walk after dinner. Make sure you move at a brisk pace. The ideal speed will be fast enough so your breathing will be more rapid while still slow enough that you can carry on a conversation.
Avoid chemical hair dyes
A recent study found a link between chemical hair dyes and breast cancer. This doesn’t mean you have no options if you want to color your hair. There are natural products containing henna that are much safer. You can find them in health food stores and in Indian markets. Not only are these products safer, but they also often increase your hair’s natural shine and volume. Just follow the directions on the package to achieve the look you want.