Nutrition, Wellness, Exercise
Embracing optimal nutrition, wellness, and regular exercise is crucial to breast health and overall wellbeing. These lifestyle choices play a significant role in maintaining energy, supporting immune function, and aiding in both the prevention of and recovery from breast cancer.
Nutrition and Its Importance
NUTRITION (noun / nu-tri-shon) refers to the act or process of nourishing or being nourished, wherein an animal or plant takes in and utilizes food substances. Whether you are a woman interested in a healthier lifestyle or a breast cancer patient, nutrition is paramount. For women with breast cancer, a nutritious diet helps maintain energy and strength, promotes healing post-treatment, and provides future protection.
A nutritious diet:
- Emphasizes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and dairy products.
- Avoids saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt, and added sugars.
- Balances caloric intake with caloric needs.
Healthy Lifestyle for Breast Cancer Prevention and Recovery
With a cancer diagnosis come many questions about lifestyle, particularly diet and nutrition. Similarly, women without cancer often wonder how they can improve their overall health. Since achieving a healthy lifestyle is central to breast cancer prevention, diagnosis, and recovery, we encourage all women to eat a healthy diet, maintain a healthy body weight, stay physically active every day, and reduce stress levels.
"Brisk walking has been shown to reduce body fat, lower blood pressure, increase high-density lipoprotein and even reduce the risk of bone fracture."
What Research Shows
Current research underscores the importance of a healthy lifestyle in cancer prevention and recovery:
- Obesity can increase the risk of developing and dying from cancer, including breast cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute.
- Walking just 2.5 hours per week can reduce breast cancer risk by 18%, and increasing this to 10 hours per week can further decrease the risk, as per the Women's Health Initiative Study.
- The American Cancer Society recommends women maintain a healthy body weight, engage in at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily, and eat a nutritious diet emphasizing plant foods for both breast cancer prevention and recovery.
While there is no single nutrient, dietary supplement, or diet that can entirely eliminate the risk of cancer, these lifestyle modifications can significantly contribute to overall health and cancer prevention.