Breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer among Australian women, but it’s a common misconception that the disease is mostly hereditary. According to Breast Cancer Network Australia, 90 to 95 per cent of cases have nothing to do with family history.
The main risk factors are being a woman and getting older, neither of which you can control. However, there are a number of lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your risk of developing the disease.
Dr. Kristi Funk — Angelina Jolie’s doctor and the founder of the Pink Lotus Breast Centre in California — recently appeared on US breakfast show, Good Morning America to share her top tips to help prevent breast cancer.
"It begins with the diet," Funk said. "Diet, nutrition, exercise ... so many things we can control."
1. Up your intake of cruciferous vegetables
Ensure you’re eating veggies like cauliflower, broccoli, kale, cabbage and brussels sprouts each day. Funk says these are the “caped superheroes of the superfoods” thanks to their isothiocyanates, which have been found inhibit the development of cancer.
2. Eat more antioxidant-rich berries
Funk describes antioxidant- rich strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries as “free-radical scavengers” that make “cancer cells commit suicide". She suggests adding a cup of them, frozen ideally, into a daily smoothie.
3. Add turmeric to your diet
Funk suggests a quarter of a teaspoon each day, activated with black pepper.
4. Try Indian Gooseberry
This little known superfood is at the “tippity top of the antioxidant scale” and 75 times more potent than goji berries, according to Funk. It comes in powdered or liquid form.
5. Load up on mushies
Add some common button mushrooms to your eggs on toast. Funk says these are a great source for nutrients when it comes to breast cancer prevention.
6. Soy is good
Soy products have long been thought to have harmful effects for breast cancer patients but Funk says that newer studies have busted this belief, showing the benefits of soy milk, tempeh, tofu, miso and edamame.
7. Swap your antibacterial wash for a bar of soap
Funk explains that old-fashioned soap contains far less toxins than antibacterial mixtures.
8. If you’re eating the produce’s skin, buy organic
Funk recommends buy organic produce when you can, but it’s more important if you’re eating the skin of the fruit or vegetable like with apples and carrots.
9. Dust and vacuum your home regularly
Reduce the number of toxins in the air by regularly dusting and vacuuming, says Funk.
10. Fill your home with greenery
Plants don't just make for pretty decorations, Funk says they can also absorb toxins from around the home.