All breasts, big or small, are unique. But when it comes to health, our girls all function the same. If you are struggling with fibrocystic breasts, soreness from PMS or menopause, or want to lower your chances of breast cancer, consider these 5 foods and drinks, which enhance breast health, as described in the new book Eat for Extraordinary Health & Healing. Read on, eat up, and give your breasts the best.
Research shows that women who regularly get lots of daidzein and genistein, two compounds found in soybeans, tofu, tempeh, and miso, have a lower incidence of fibrocystic breasts. Studies also suggest that soy can help ease the side effects of menopause, including osteoporosis and heart disease. And one study of 9,514 breast cancer survivors found that soy consumption helped prevent recurrence of tumors.
Wheat germ extract has been shown to reduce a variety of PMS symptoms, with breast tenderness topping the list. One study followed 100 women with a PMS diagnosis for two consecutive cycles; one group received 400 mg of wheat germ extract, and the second group received a placebo. Wheat germ reduced physical symptoms by 63.6%, psychological symptoms by 66.3%, and general PMS symptoms by 65%. The women who took the wheat germ extract also saw a decrease in fatigue, irritability, heart palpitations, headaches, sleep problems, increased appetite, and food cravings. To reap the benefits, sprinkle wheat germ over a salad or blend it into a smoothie.
Blueberries and blueberry extracts have been shown to decrease breast tumor cell growth. Eat one single 6 oz serving of blueberries daily for the cancer-fighting benefits. Or buy blueberry powder, which can be used in smoothies, added to granola, stirred into yogurt, sprinkled onto oatmeal, or used in baked goods.
Beta-carotene, the pigment that gives most vegetables their bright orange or red hues, is vital to reducing the risk of the lumps that occur as a side effect of fibrocystic breasts. Studies show that consuming foods like squash, which are rich in beta-carotene, have significantly positive effects on breast health. And while technically not squash, pumpkins and sweet potatoes offer similar benefits. Roast butternut squash in olive oil with cumin and black pepper for a treat.
Excessive sweating isn’t life threatening, but it can be uncomfortable—especially if you deal with sweat in embarrassing places, like your breasts. Sage tea, which is high in antioxidants, is often recommended as a natural remedy to those who sweat more than normal. While drinking sage tea or adding fresh sage to your dinner might suffice, some sources suggest taking a 1,000 mg dried sage capsule twice a day for maximum sweat prevention. (Note: Pregnant women should not take sage because it can cause uterine contractions).