October is breast cancer awareness month and, if you’re like most people, you’ve either been personally touched by it or know someone who has. I’d like to take this opportunity to remind you (and myself!) about the importance of a healthy lifestyle and how it can go a long way in helping to reduce your chances of developing many diseases, including breast cancer.
The right nutrition is important in the prevention of disease and a huge part of a healthy diet is the inclusion of fruits and vegetables. In fact, a study released last month states that a diet high in fruit and vegetable intake is linked to a lower risk of specific types of breast cancer. In addition, another study published in July, states that phytochemicals found in cruciferous veggies like broccoli and cauliflower are shown to target and kill cancer cells. I already love my veggies, but reading these reports gave me even MORE reason to load my plate with them!
Fruits and vegetables have also been shown to play a key role in helping people reach and maintain a healthy weight. I know they are a crucial part of my own diet in that sense. Studies show that people who maintain a healthy weight have less likelihood of developing some common health problems like Type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure. Making half your plate fruits and vegetables keeps the calorie, sodium and fat content down while adding more vitamins and minerals.
Physical activity goes hand in hand with a healthy diet. It’s something else we can control in our fight against cancer and disease. Think about how good you feel when you get out and get moving. Even a brisk walk gets your heart pumping, fills your lungs with air and works your muscles and joints. I know when I’m regularly exercising it also helps me manage my daily stress levels and get a better night’s sleep.
The bottom line is that, while we can’t control everything that puts us at risk for developing breast cancer (think genetics) or other diseases, we can take steps to live healthier lives. I’m all for doing something that is so simple and makes me feel so much better in order to reduce my own risks.