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 Naturopathic Medicine: Healthy Breasts 
 
An important aspect of wellness and radiant health, which of course includes healthy breasts, is POSITIVE ATTITUDE. Some women have said to me, "I don't want to check my breasts for lumps every month; that seems very negative." The idea is not to set out to look for lumps, but to check in with your breasts, tenderly and regularly. Maybe after a warm bath, standing naked and admiring yourself in front of a mirror. Gently hold your breasts and start by a greeting, "Hey there, girls; just checking in. Anything you want to tell me?" This ritual is not only sensual and entertaining, but very helpful in giving your body the message that you care about yourself.

A diet for healthy breasts includes plenty of water, restful sleep, adequate intake of essential fatty acids, very limited intake of other fats, easy on the chocolate, and plenty of kale, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, collard greens, squash, organic carrots, seasonal fruit. All that good stuff. For young mothers or mothers to be, please breastfeed, or plan to. There is no better nutrition for your infant. Breast- feeding is an acquired skill for both mother and child; please contact your local La Leche League if it doesn't seem to be working right. Many women need coaching on this skill. Some women experience postpartum mastitis, a painful bacterial infection of the milk ducts. Maintaining the nursing schedule as much as possible is best for both mother and child, unless the mom needs to take a course of antibiotics. One of the very best treatments for mastitis is to apply a fresh carrot poultice to the infected breast, all the way up into the armpit, and leave on for an hour, covered with a hot water bottle. A fresh poultice should be applied several times daily until the infection is resolved.

Good health is dependent on a functioning immune system. Our immune system is designed to combat bacteria, viruses, fungi (such as Candida) and cancer cells. All of these pathogens cause genetic damage which lead to disease, from the common cold to the formation of tumors. However, our immune system will only work if we feed it the proper nutrients. When we eat the "right foods" we will have all of the ingredients to both nourish the body and maintain the strength of the immune system at an effective level. Is it possible for healthy women with a "normal" immune system to get cancer? YES! It happens all the time. "Healthy" women in the U.S. get breast cancer at a five times higher rate than healthy women in Asian cultures. When Japanese women move to the United States, their incidence of breast diseases increases, and in their daughters it increases even more.

The difference has been proven to be in the differing diets of the two groups. The immune system does not manufacture anti-cancer agents. The immune system uses anti-cancer agents that are within the foods we eat as "bullets" to both kill cancer cells and prevent the formation of tumors. For example, watercress, cabbage, brussels sprouts, spinach and horseradish contain compounds which have been proven to prevent certain kinds of cancer. In high doses, these compounds, known collectively as isothiocyanates, inhibit the production of cancer by 100% (according to Gary Stoner, director of pathology at the Medical College of Ohio). These compounds do not destroy growing tumors, but prevent the genetic damage that leads to the initiation of cancerous growth. Soybean protein also contains anti-cancer agents; in fact it contains five anti-cancer compounds. (See the work of Stephen Barnes, PhD, Research Scientist, UAB Cancer Center, Orlando, FL). In a 1990 study at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, laboratory rats given a soybean diet developed 70% fewer breast tumors than rats who got no soy in the diet. Soy flour, soy milk and tofu are higher in protein than most meats, and, of course, contain no animal fats.

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 About The Author
Emily Kane NDA graduate of Bastyr University in Seattle, she completed both the Naturopathic and Acupuncture/Oriental Medicine programs. Her preceptor work (similar to residencies) took place in Seattle, West Virginia and China,......more
 
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