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Keeping Your Breasts Healthy
Written by Shelly Lynn Nellis   

Breast HealthWhat does breast health mean to you? For most women, breast health means regular self-examination, checkups with a gynaecologist, and mammograms. Yet there is much more to breast health than early cancer detection. All women have the option of taking a proactive stance to ensure that their breasts remain healthy and youthful looking well into middle-age. Use the following approaches to protect and maintain the health of that most deep-seated symbol of your femininity: your breasts.

Nutrition and Exercise

Breasts are a natural part of the female human body, and as such, if a woman leads a healthy lifestyle, she can protect the health of her breasts along with the rest of her body. Leading a healthy lifestyle means eating organic whole foods that have not been treated with pesticides, herbicides or hormones. It means exercising at least three or four times per week, and avoiding toxins like nicotine and alcohol. It means maintaining a healthy weight to ensure optimal health. Women who are significantly overweight generally produce more of the hormone estrogen, and conventional medical knowledge links estrogen to breast cancer.

Avoiding Xenoestrogens

Breast cancer has been linked to substances in the environment called xenoestrogens. These xenoestrogens have the same impact as estrogen on the human body, and must be avoided wherever possible. Common sources of xenoestrogens include soft plastics, household cleaners, toiletries, pesticides, plastic bottles and heavy metals such as lead or mercury. It is prudent, therefore, to use ceramics or glass rather than plastics when cooking or storing food. Avoid microwaving food contained in plastic containers, and do not drink from plastic bottles. Opt for natural household cleaners and laundry detergents, and choose naturally made shampoos and soaps.

Massage

Regularly massaging the breasts can improve their overall health because massaging the breasts helps the lymph nodes to drain and improves blood circulation. Massage can also alleviate breast pain associated with PMS, and may even prevent breast lumps from forming.

Breastfeeding

If you give birth to a child, try to breastfeed for at least twelve months. Most pediatricians agree that breastfeeding is better for the child’s development than formula milk. What’s more, breastfeeding helps forge a closer bond between mother and child. And according to research, it may also lower a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer.

Proper Support

Women who do regular cardiovascular exercise obviously care about their health and physical appearance. However, women who exercise without wearing a proper support bra could be doing their breasts more harm than good. When doing aerobic exercises like jogging or speed walking, your breasts tend to bounce. This bouncing can actually stretch the tissue of the breasts, which eventually makes them sag. That’s why all women should ensure they are wearing a supportive sports bra in the correct size before attempting any kind of aerobic exercise. It is also a good idea to wear a bra that fits well even when you’re sedentary.

Breast Skin

Breasts are part of what makes the female body so aesthetically pleasing. Firm, smooth breasts are considered a sign of youth, beauty and fertility. Yet all skin ages over time, and the breast area is particularly sensitive to sun damage. That’s why it’s worth using a sunscreen with a high sun protection factor before going outdoors during the warm-weather months. Also consider investing in a breast-firming cream. Retinol creams for the face can also do much to improve the appearance of breast skin.

Love Your Breasts

All women should love their breasts. Breasts are not just part of what makes a woman attractive. Since breasts are used by one generation to nourish the next, they are also a fundamental part of the cycle of life. Examine your breasts regularly, have regular screenings and endeavour to keep them healthy by adopting a pre-emptive standpoint.

Shelly Lynn Nellis - Editor-in-Chief

Shelly Lynn Nellis has been active in the health and beauty industry for more 20 years. She is one of the founders of VISTA Magazine, a national health publication, and is editor-in-chief of the recently launched Fresh Vancouver.

 

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