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A new study published in the Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention journal found a strong link between a poor adolescent and early adult diet and high levels of inflammatory markers – which may increase the risk of breast cancer before menopause by 35 and 41 percent respectively. (1)
“A diet high in sugar, refined carbohydrates, and red and processed meat makes it more likely that you may experience early onset breast cancer,” said study senior author Karin Michels, chair of epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health in Los Angeles.
In an attempt to find out why breast cancer has been steadily on the rise – now affecting 12 percent of American women – Dr. Michels investigated the link between an inflammatory diet early in life, inflammation and breast cancer risk. (2)
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The study followed 45,204 women from the Nurses’ Healthy Study II, who completed a dietary questionnaire in 1998 when the women were between the ages of 33 and 52. From memory, which is the biggest weakness in the study, these women recorded the diets they ate in High School and as early adults. The diets of these women were evaluated every 4 years for the next 22 years. (1,2)
Out of the more than 45,000 women who completed the High School food frequency questionnaire, 870 of them were diagnosed with premenopausal breast cancer, and 490 were diagnosed with postmenopausal breast cancer. (2)
This is not the first study suggesting that a healthy diet may lower the risk of breast cancer. In fact, there are many that suggest a healthy, non-processed diet high in fruits and vegetables and low in red meat may decrease breast cancer risk. (3)
In a comprehensive article on breast cancer risk, this study evaluated the suspected lifestyle risk factors, which include the following: (3)
- Lack of physical activity
- Alcohol consumption
- Shift work
- Antiperspirants (observational studies)
- Breast implants
- Hormone therapy after menopause
- Unhealthy diet
In the same study, they concluded that a healthy lifestyle could reduce the risk of breast cancer by up to 35 percent!
Ayurveda Lifestyle 101
Here are some Ayurvedic healthy lifestyle basics:
- Go to bed early and wake up early.
- Exercise daily and include yoga, breathing and meditation.
- Eat whole foods, not processed or sugary meals.
- Drink water as your primary beverage.
- Don’t eat meals late in the evening.
- Eat seasonal foods.
- Serve and care for others.
- Make an effort to show and express love.
- Eat calmly and relaxed — never while angry.
- Don’t worry — Be happy!