Breast Cancer Risk Reduced by 34% with these Healthy Habits (+ Top 10 Ayurvedic Tips)

Breast Cancer Risk Reduced by 34% with these Healthy Habits (+ Top 10 Ayurvedic Tips)

In This Article

Adult Lifestyle + Adolescent Diet Dramatically Changes Breast Cancer Risk 

With 12% of American women diagnosed with breast cancer each year, researchers find certain lifestyle modifications can reduce risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women by 34%.3 

Digging deeper, researchers discovered a shockingly high risk factor seeded decades before a cancer diagnosis: the diets of adolescents and young adults!2 

Diet + Breast Cancer 

A new study in the Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention journal finds a strong link between poor adolescent and early adult diets and breast cancer.  A common adolescent diet is low in vegetables and high in sugar-sweetened and diet soft drinks, refined sugars and carbohydrates, red and processed meats, and margarine. This has been linked to high levels of inflammatory markers in the blood.  

The study followed 45,204 women from the Nurses’ Health Study II, who completed a dietary questionnaire in 1998 (when the women were between 33 and 52). From memory (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 four years for the next 22 years.2 

Out of the more than 45,000 women who completed the high school food frequency questionnaire, 870 were diagnosed with premenopausal breast cancer, and 490 were diagnosed with postmenopausal breast cancer.2 While these numbers do not seem extraordinarily high, when they plugged in the effect on the women who ate the highest inflammatory (junky food) diet, the results were shocking. 

The girls who had the highest inflammatory diet as adolescents saw a 35% increased risk of breast cancer before menopause. The young adult group with the highest inflammatory diet had a 41% increased risk of breast cancer before menopause.2  

lifespa image, breast cancer, white woman covering breasts

In another study published in the same journal, researchers found a high-fat diet (also common in adolescents) is linked to greater cancer risk.1  

Sadly, it seem the combination of a highly processed, high-fat, and high-sugar diet is the perfect storm for increased cancer risk later in life. “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.2 

For adolescents and young adults, when mammary glands are rapidly developing, this study concludes a healthy lifestyle and diet may provide long-term breast health protection. They recommend a diet rich in vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes, while avoiding soda and high intake of sugar, refined carbohydrates, and red and processed meats.2 

Healthy Lifestyle Decreases Breast cancer Risk in Postmenopausal Women by 34% 

This is not the first study suggesting that a healthy diet may lower risk of breast cancer. In fact, many 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, one study evaluated suspected breast cancer lifestyle risk factors.3 

We recommend "Methylation-Balancing Foods to Support Healthy Aging":

Suspected Breast Cancer Lifestyle Risk Factors 

  1. Obesity 
  2. Lack of physical activity 
  3. Smoking 
  4. Alcohol consumption 
  5. Shift work 
  6. Antiperspirants (observational studies) 
  7. Breast implants 
  8. Diabetes 
  9. Stress 
  10. Hormone therapy after menopause 
  11. Unhealthy diet 

This study concluded that avoiding these risk factors and replacing them with a healthier lifestyle could reduce risk of postmenopausal breast cancer by up to 34%.  

Study Finds Healthy Lifestyle Reduces Breast Cancer Risk Two-fold 

In one study, over 17,000 women were followed for nine years and evaluated for a favorable or unfavorable lifestyle. The study concluded that menopausal women who did not use hormone therapy and had an unfavorable lifestyle (compared with women who had a favorable lifestyle) had a twofold higher risk for postmenopausal breast cancer.4 

The study further concluded that breast cancer patients with an unfavorable lifestyle, compared with patients with a favorable lifestyle, had almost a two times higher overall mortality risk.4 

Keys to a Healthy Ayurveda Lifestyle 101 

Here are some Ayurvedic healthy lifestyle basics: 

  1. Go to bed early and wake up early. 
  2. Exercise daily and include yoga, breathing, and meditation. 
  3. Eat whole foods, not processed or sugary meals. 
  4. Eat a plant-based diet and reduce intake of animal protein.  
  5. Drink water as your primary beverage. 
  6. Don’t eat meals late in the evening. 
  7. Eat seasonal organic foods. 
  8. Serve, give, and care for others. 
  9. Eat while calm and relaxed—never while angry. 
  10. Don’t worry—be happy! 

What are you doing to protect your breasts? 

Thank you for visiting, where we publish cutting-edge health information combining Ayurvedic wisdom and modern science. If you are enjoying our free content, please visit our Ayurvedic Shop on your way out and share your favorite articles and videos with your friends and family.

Dr. John



10 thoughts on “Breast Cancer Risk Reduced by 34% with these Healthy Habits (+ Top 10 Ayurvedic Tips)”

  1. Good advice as always! Thank you, Dr. Douillard. I was glad to see “breast implants” on the list of possible risk factors. Women need to know implants and “enhancements” are not safe. As a former medical transcriptionist I typed reports of women with breast cancer due to breast implants. Other risk factors which are not popular to discuss include birth control pills, mammograms and abortions. A good thing for female breast health is to nurse your baby at least a year, which is great for mom and baby, if you are able and willing.

    • I am in conflicted territory with this because I am 50 years old have been a health and wellness instructor for 15 years, twelve of them as a yoga instructor with almost 500 hours with Prajna Yoga in Santa Fe, NM. Eat very consciously, don’t smoke, don’t have breast implants, did not eat a processed food diet as a young person because my mother cooked most of the meals we ate. Had a normal pregnancy have had normal pap smears, had baseline mammograms, I am not a diabetic, have not been overweight, had normal sleeping patterns, have not had any heart, cholesterol, or high blood pressure issue. Barely took any medications and in October was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer that presented itself in a lymph node. I am asking myself everyday what the hell happened. I have had to accept it, and get treatment. Since I did have a healthy lifestyle, I have withstood it very well. I am still conflicted because I think I was very aware and very was proactive every day in making good decisions about my health. I also did regular cleansing and take supplements, drink lots of water and anything else that this research suggest. I also nursed my son for a year and have not taken birth control pills since my 20’s.

      • cancer is a manifestation of your emotional state. there are things you could have supressed in your unconscious for years…even since childhood. breast cancer is an imbalance of the heart chakra. also eating healthy doesn’t mean you in turn are healthy. you are as healthy as the foods you assimilate and digest. this is where Ayurveda comes into play as a lifestyle.

        • also eating meat and dairy cause cancer as well as using toxic cleaning products in the home and body care as well…

          the Gerson Therapy is the best Cancer treatment to date and has been since its inception in 1930. videos about the treatment on youtube.

          also watch the “C Word” on Netflix…explains a lot of why people get cancer

      • Tandra,

        I know exactly how you feel and I am a man! Well I’m partially speaking for my wife who is in the same boat as you. Similar diagnosis in March at the age of 35 and similar life characteristics. You can’t help but wonder why even though you will never know.

        You have a tough year ahead but you will be well. This is a highly treatable condition and I wish we were told this from the start to at least boost our confidence more. I suggest you take an integrative approach: western/eastern, mediation, exercise, consult a Naturopath, see a thearpist, acupuncture, Reiki, etc. Try it all and see what works for you. I also can’t recommend having a good support staff/system enough. Friends/family cooking meals, house cleaning, running errands, etc. will be a huge help.

        Take all recommendations with a grain of salt (Gerson Therapy, “cancer is a manifestation of your mental state”, “correct” diet, etc.) and do your own research People are trying to help and mean well but seek out the truth (proof, studies).

        We had a consultation with Dr. John and feel free to contact me if you want to hear about it.

        I have to say as a nutrition buff for many years now the nutrition part has been the most confusing to me.

        When times are tough think of all the women before you who have gone down this path and how much more difficult it was for them not too long ago when the western medications they have now were not available.

        I know it’s very overwhelming right now but take it one day at a time, stay positive and healthy throughout your treatment.

        • Hello Matthew, my name is Matylda and I just saw your reply. I am also in a similar boat. Healthy, eat organic, don’t use chemicals and don’t drink or smoke. I was diagnosed with stage to breast cancer in May and I am currently having complications post my second surgery which was supposed to fix the complications from the first surgery. I am 42. I would love to hear about your wife’s consultation for I am debating having one of my own. I wish all the best to your wife and I am so glad that you are there for her. An amazing support is so important at a time like this. I also understand how difficult this is for you because you love your wife and you worry about her. If you have time, would you give me a call or text me at 505-699-5768? Thank you. Blessings

      • Hi Tandra,
        I realize that you posted your comment three years ago, but this article just got re-post it and I just saw it. I am in a similar situation as you in so many ways. I also live in SF, lead a healthy lifestyle and don’t drink, smoke. I’m not overweight and I don’t use chemicals in my home or personal products. I was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer in May of this year and I am currently undergoing a treatment plan with some complications. I’m 42. I was wondering how you are doing and if you’re still teaching yoga in SF?
        Many Blessings,

  2. Modern women like to much cosmetics. US cosmetics is really under regulated when looking Europe. Toxins. Toxins.
    Junk food doesn’t contain much fiber, witch will escort chemicals and heavy metals out of body. But it contain Glyphosate, witch together with heavy metals( specially Mercury), will make permeable intestines ( leaky gut) for toxins to go thru. Of course, Pharma doctors on Ford production lines (5-7 minutes for patient interviews) aren’t interested in foods, liver, oxalates, chemicals, heavy metals, radiation, parasites..etc. Maximize profits, or scam?
    I had detox pathways problems, since I was born, but so many other unknowingly people in this unnatural world. So, what you did or eat 50 years ago is important as yesterday. Body accumulate. Men’s aren’t so lucky to lose at least some radical Iron thru Menstruation. Or got bitten in the butt from lions.
    When Iron in the blood suddenly drop, electromagnet( circulation of Iron thru twisted Heart) get weaker, so storages of accumulated iron in liver( for emergency, severed leg?) get not so strong hold anymore and it will enter bloodstream to supply lost necessary carrier for oxygen. Funny machine engineering?
    Thermography is very good prevention. Can it get better?
    Yes, but not for women love and health first.
    Sensor with 100,000 times higher sensitivity could bolster thermal imaging
    Better detection of microwave radiation will improve thermal imaging, electronic warfare, radio communications

    Gerson therapy is halfway.

  3. Matilda,

    I hope you are able to reach out to Health Spa as you go on this unexpected journey. I also watched portions of Chris Waks summit on cancer. He is a survivor of colon cancer – stage four.
    Here is a link for you.

    Also, look up HeartMath and take their free $29.00 course on breathing with heart to create a vibrational coherence. This is also based on evidence.

    Be well and hopeful and know you are not alone!

    My thoughts of love are with you,


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