October month is dedicated to a significant cause that affects the lives of millions of people around the world. This is the time when communities come together, and individuals proudly wear pink to signify their support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Why is it called Pink October?
Since the nineties, October has been celebrated as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. People around the world wear pink bands or pink ribbons, which have become a universal symbol, to support breast cancer awareness. This is also to support women who are fighting breast cancer and give them hope for a better future.
This month focuses on the concept of “Prevention being better than Cure” and is dedicated to educating as many women as possible about the importance of diagnosing breast cancer early so that treatment is much easier, and it can be treated early. They can then lead healthy and normal lives.
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women and is the second leading cause of cancer death among women. It is a disease in which cancer cells develop in the tissues of the breast, and they can then invade the other cells and damage them. This then spreads very rapidly and can affect the other organs and tissues of the body.
7 Ways to Reduce the Risk of Breast Cancer.
Over the course of a lifetime, a variety of variables can affect your chance of developing breast cancer. Some things, like becoming older or having a family history, are unavoidable. you can lower your risk of breast cancer by taking care of your health.
- Healthy Balanced Diet: Take care of your nutrition – a healthy balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, reduces the risk of breast cancer. Reduce the consumption of red meats and processed foods.
- Improve your lifestyle: Focus on improving your lifestyle. Get physically active and move. Obesity and a sedentary lifestyle can contribute to an increased risk of breast cancer. Try to engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day.
- Limit alcohol consumption: Alcohol consumption should always be in moderation. Better still to avoid it as much as possible.
- Consume minimally processed foods: Try and eat clean, natural products and avoid processed foods.
- Regular examination: Get regular clinical breast examination from a healthcare professional, especially if you are over 40. Women over 40 should have annual mammograms. Early detection can be a lifesaver.
- Power up on Probiotics for a healthy gut: the gut plays an essential role in removing harmful toxins and cancerous substances from our body. Keep your gut healthy with your daily shot of probiotics.
- Breast feeding: Studies have shown that breast feeding can reduce the risk of breast cancer.
A Rainbow Diet to Fight Breast Cancer
Phytochemicals which naturally occur in plant foods such as fruits and vegetables act as antioxidants and destroy free radicals (cancer causing substances).
- Red– Contains LYCOPENE that removes free radicals, boosts immunity, and prevents infections. Cherries, tomatoes, red apple, beetroot.
- Orange and Yellow – Contain ALPHA CAROTENE to protect from cancer and BETA CAROTENE which converts to Vitamin A to protect the skin against free radical damage. Peaches, pineapple, lemons.
- Green – Contains CHLOROPHYLL to purify the body and green foods contain calcium and minerals. Spinach, Green leafy vegetables, avocado.
- White – contains nutrients that provide powerful immune boosting activity. Cauliflower, bananas, turnips.
- Blue or Indigo – contains ANTHOCYANINS which improve overall health. Eggplant, plums, blue berries.
Probiotic study conducted across 14 areas of Japan revealed regular consumption of LcS and soy isoflavones may be protective for breast cancer.
A study conducted by Prof. Masakazu Toi, University of Tokyo, Japan showed that a combination of a probiotic (LcS in Yakult) and soy isoflavones can reduce the risk of breast cancer.
In a large population – based study, involving 968 women in the age group of 40 – 55 years, it was observed that women who consumed Yakult more than 4 times per week, had a 35% lower risk of breast cancer, as compared to those who did not. Not only that, but women also who consumed both Soy products and LcS had an even lower risk of breast cancer.
How does it work?
When we consume soy-based foods, they are digested in our intestine and converted to the isoflavone daidzein. Daidzein will then be converted to equol by the good bacteria in our intestine. Equol is a secondary metabolite of soy food, that can mimic the female hormone estrogen, and can works as a strong missile to kill cancer.
By consuming Yakult that contains live Shirota strain, lactic acid is produced in our intestine, which creates a favorable environment for good bacteria to multiply and grow.
LcS also activates Natural Killer (NK) cells in our body to patrol, search and kill cancer cells that develop naturally in our body. This will lower the risk of breast cancer too.
Reference : Toi et al (2013), Current Nutrition and food Science, 9, 194-200.