7 Natural Ways to Boost Breast Health

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7 Ways to Boost Breast Health Naturally- important info

It is no secret that breast cancer and other hormone related breast problems are on the rise. This time of year, grocery stores, car bumper stickers, and even NFL jerseys and cleats sport bright pink ribbons, packaging, and badges designed to “Support the Cure.”

What saddens me about the focus of most of this effort to find a “cure” is that in most cases, it doesn’t address the things women can do BEFORE there is a problem to help avoid it all together. (What angers me about many of these efforts are messages about stopping breast cancer on packages of food made from refined grains, sugars, and vegetable oils!)

The rising rates of breast health problems are certainly not caused by a single factor and there are a wide variety of internal and external factors that can contribute. Research is continuing to find new factors that seem to influence breast health, from big factors like Vitamin D levels and chemicals found in breast tissue to the small amounts of toxins and chemicals we encounter daily.

Hormones play a definite role in breast related problems, which is why hormonal contraceptives and abortion are both linked to higher rates of breast cancer.

A Natural Approach

While there are natural approaches to dealing even with breast cancer and I have personally spoken to several women who reversed their breast cancer naturally, a natural preventative approach gives the body a boost before a major problem arises. Certainly, factors like genetic predisposition contribute, but the research is continually showing how external factors and lifestyle choices can have a big impact on breast health.

Though it is often fighting an uphill battle in today’s world, the body naturally wants to be in a state of health and has an amazing capability to heal itself when given the right support. One thing is certain, a person doesn’t get breast cancer or other cancers from a deficiency in chemotherapy drugs, and while these are often used to treat the obvious problem, they don’t address the cause.

Fortunately, there are a variety of natural ways to boost breast health and these methods are non-invasive and also support the health of the rest of the body. Factors that can directly or indirectly contribute to breast health are…

Diet for Breast Health

It is logical that diet can affect breast health just as it affects many other aspects of health. Research on cancerous breast tissue shows a high amount of chemicals in many cases, including aluminum, parabens, and others. Eating a real food diet of whole, fresh foods prepared at home can greatly reduce chemical exposure from food.

Eating a freshly prepared, whole-foods diet will also help avoid estrogen like compounds that are found in food packaging, plastics, food additives, canned foods and drinks, and soy products. Even more disturbing are the rising rates of these estrogen mimicking compounds in the water supply that are a result of run off from factory farms and consumption of estrogen based hormonal contraceptives. Most water treatments do not remove these compounds and we (and our children) drink them daily.

Consuming foods rich in antioxidants has also been associated with a lower risk of breast problems.

Herbs and Supplements for Breast Health

Vitamin D is the most well known for its role in breast health. A study from the University of California reported:

“University of California researchers estimate 250,000 cases of colon cancer and 350,000 cases of breast cancer could be prevented worldwide by increasing intake of vitamin D. Sunlight spurs production of vitamin D in the skin, and people who don’t get much sun exposure tend to have lower levels of the vitamin.”

The most natural way to get Vitamin D is from moderate and safe exposure to the sun, which I only do in combination with a skin-supporting diet that maximizes Vitamin D production. Of course, in some places it isn’t possible to get adequate sun exposure daily. Personally, I take Fermented Cod Liver Oil year round as it has a very available form of Vitamin D balanced with necessary Vitamin A. This is the single factor that I have noticed the biggest health improvements from doing.

Omega-3 fatty acids have also been associated with a lower risk of breast problems. As one article explained: “Women with the highest amount of omega-3 fatty acids in their bodies, have a 500% lower incidence of metastasis compared to women with the lowest levels of omega-3’s”

The theory is that Omega-3’s work to reduce risk in several ways, from reducing the effect of estrogen-like compounds to decreasing inflammation. Fermented Cod Liver Oil also a good source of Omega-3s as are wild caught fish and grass-fed meats.

Curcumin, an extract from Turmeric, is a potent antioxidant that has also been found to help boost breast health. It is available in capsule form, or it can be obtained by adding turmeric to the diet in cooking or in a daily cup of Turmeric Tea.

There has also been some research on the link between proper iodine levels and breast health. The book, Breast Cancer and Iodine, covers this in depth and since iodine is also often tied to thyroid function, this is another reason that balancing hormones is so important for many aspects of health.

Deodorant and Breast Health

There has been debate in the past about the presence of chemicals in deodorants and antiperspirants and their link to breast health. One recent study found aluminum in cancerous breast tissue that had been removed during a mastectomy. The aluminum concentration was higher in tissue near the armpit.

“Aluminium is added to deodorants to prevent sweating. The metal has been shown to trigger cancer in animals but it is not known whether or not this could cause the same problems in humans.”

Many commercial deodorants also contain parabens and estrogen mimicking chemicals that may also impact breast health.

The great news is that there are natural, inexpensive, effective deodorant options that do not contain any of these chemicals.

Here are my recipes for homemade options:

Bras that support breast health

Clothing and Breast Health

Though controversial, several doctors and researchers have pointed to a link between bras (especially underwire bras) and increased risk of breast cysts and cancer. The theory is that regularly wearing  a snug fitting bra at this point of the body can restrict lymph flow and impede the body’s ability to remove toxins from this part of the body. As this article from Michael Schachter, MD explains:

Over 85 percent of the lymph fluid flowing from the breast drains to the armpit lymph nodes. Most of the rest drains to the nodes along the breast bone. Bras and other external tight clothing can impede flow.

The nature of the bra, the tightness, and the length of time worn, will all influence the degree of blockage of lymphatic drainage. Thus, wearing a bra might contribute to the development of breast cancer as a result of cutting off lymphatic drainage, so that toxic chemicals are trapped in the breast.

A book written on the subject, Dressed to Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras, explains that from the authors’ research:

  • Women who wore their bras 24 hours per day had a 3 out of 4 chance of developing breast cancer
  • Women who wore bras more than 12 hour per day, but not to bed, had a 1 out of 7 risk
  • Women who wore their bras less than 12 hours per day had a 1 out of 52 risk
  • Women who wore bras rarely or never had a 1 out of 168 chance of getting breast cancer

Dr. Mercola explains that this effect may be caused by other bra-related factors as well:

Another group of Japanese researchers discovered that wearing a girdle or bra can lower your levels of melatonin by 60 percent. The hormone melatonin is intimately involved with the regulation of your sleep cycles, and numerous studies have shown that melatonin has anti-cancer activities. (8) It’s also a powerful antioxidant, and can prevent DNA damage and bind to T-helper cells. Furthermore, researchers in Spain published a study detailing the possible use of melatonin in breast cancer prevention and treatment.

While this topic has been surprisingly controversial, my personal take is that removing tight-fitting under-wire bras may have a positive benefit and wearing them may have a negative effect. Since I don’t find underwire bras the least bit comfortable anyway, this is a change I’m happy to make. While some women are fine not wearing bras at all, my DDs don’t like that idea…

At the suggestion of a friend, I tried Coobie bras, which are wire-free, not tight fitting and have removable pads (which I use and also replace with nursing pads while nursing. I was able to find them locally, but the price was quite a bit cheaper on Amazon, and there were a lot of color options. I’ve found that they provide enough support without being tight at all and work to nurse in, work out in, and to keep nipples from being visible under shirts (TMI?).

While the link between bras and cancer continues to be debated, I’m definitely more comfortable!

Hormones and Breast Health

Hormones play a tremendous role in breast cancer, which is why HRT, contraceptives, and procedures that un-naturally change hormone levels can increase risk of breast problems. As I mentioned above, excess estrogen and estrogen-mimicking compounds have been linked to higher rates of breast cancer.

While we go to great lengths to avoid chemicals in our food, toiletries, and environment, many people are exposed to large amounts of these chemicals willingly in the form of hormonal contraceptives.

Hormonal contraceptives, by their nature, work to alter the normal hormone function of the body in order to prevent pregnancy. As the packaging of any hormonal contraceptive will explain, this puts the user at higher risk of cancers, heart disease, blood clots, stroke, bone loss, and more.

The link between contraceptives and cancer has been well documented and injectable contraceptives seem to carry an increased risk with one study showing that they double breast cancer risk. Hormone replacement therapies, which utilize some of the same artificial hormones are also correlated with a higher risk of cancer.

Additionally, taking medications that alter hormones (like contraception or HRT) can mask symptoms of hormone-related problems and make them harder to detect.

As Dr. Angela Lanfranchi, a breast surgical oncologist,  explains:

“This stuff is not new, it’s not magic, it’s in the literature,” she said, linking pill use to the 660% rise in non-invasive breast cancer since 1973. “Women want to know, and women have a right to know, what researchers have known for over 20 years.”

She compared media treatment of the pill’s cancer risk to that of hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which was found to be carcinogenic in 2002. Once word got out, 15 out of 30 million women in America taking HRT stopped; by 2007, invasive breast cancer in women over 50 for estrogen-receptive positive tumors dropped 11 percent.

Meanwhile, she noted, hormonal contraception – essentially the same drug as HRT and with a similar cancer risk, about 25-30 percent – continues to be touted as harmless and even healthy. And yet, the International Agency on Research of Cancer, a branch of the World Health Organization, classified hormonal contraceptives in 2005 as a group one carcinogen along with asbestos and radium.”

This is a topic I highly encourage women to research themselves as the increasing presence of these chemicals in the water supply is leading to problems in animal life and even in children.

Personally, I suggest and use the Sympto-Thermal method of natural family planning, a natural option for spacing/achieving/delaying pregnancy. There are some great resources for using these natural methods of naturally family planning and these methods don’t alter the natural hormone responses of the body. In fact, many people become more aware of their specific hormone cycles by using these methods and I’ve worked with people who were able to identify hormone imbalances and problems through these methods. Statistically, couples who practice these methods also report happier relationships and lower divorce rates.

The book, Taking Charge of Your Fertility, provides a good starting point for learning about these methods and it might also be helpful to talk to a Natural Family Planning instructor in your area if this is something you are considering.

Easy ways to boost breast health naturally-share with women you love

Exercise and Breast Health

Exercise is important for beast health for several reasons. Exercise helps maintain a healthy weight and obesity has been linked to an increased risk of all cancers, including breast cancer.

Additionally, exercise increases circulation and Lymph flow which help the elimination of toxins in the body. Exercise helps encourage proper hormone production and function, which can help balance the presence of excess estrogen in the body.

Exercises like walking, light jogging, and bouncing on a trampoline or rebounder appear to be beneficial due to the lymph-stimulating activity they promote. Exercises like stretching, pilates, and weight training help improve hormone responses and lower cortisol, blood sugar and other factors which can affect hormones.

An exercise that is particularly touted for it’s Lymph and circulatory affects is the T-Tapp System, which is low-impact and very gentle on the muscles and joints. I’ve been trying this system lately for a review and I’ve been amazed by how much a simple 15-minute basic T-Tapp workout increases circulation and works the muscles, yet it doesn’t make me sore (supposedly from the lymph-draining aspect).

Kettlebells are another of my personal favorite ways to get an effective workout in a short amount of time.

Exercise has a host of other benefits besides breast health, so there is nothing to lose!

Lifestyle Factors and Breast Health

Other lifestyle factors have been correlated with an increased or decreased risk of breast cancer. Factors that are commonly associated with a decreased risk of breast cancer are:

Lifestyle factors correlated with an increased risk of breast cancer:

  • Exposure to chemicals, especially hormone-mimicking chemicals through contraceptives, foods, plastic, and chemicals
  • Having first child after age 30 or not having children
  • Being overweight
  • Having multiple pregnancies but not breastfeeding
  • Smoking
  • Low Vitamin D levels
  • Excess alcohol consumption
  • Light exposure at night (decreases malatonin production- tips for optimizing sleep here)

How to Boost Breast Health

  1. Eat a healthy diet composed mostly of whole, real foods and avoid processed foods like grains, sugars, vegetable oils. Check out this recipe index for a list of healthy recipes sorted by topic.
  2. Drink plenty of filtered water (reverse osmosis will remove hormone disrupting chemicals) and herbal teas.
  3. Especially if you have deficiencies, consider supplements like Fermented Cod Liver Oil (Vitamins A, D and Omega-3s), Curcumin, Iodine, etc.
  4. Get a comfortable and non-restrictive bra. This is my favorite.
  5. Carefully research any medications, contraceptives, or other factors that can impact hormone levels and consider natural options.
  6. Exercise regularly, preferably with an exercise that supports lymph health.
  7. Don’t stress, sleep well, and work to naturally balance hormones (which will improve many other aspects of life as well!)

This is obviously a very complex subject with many factors that contribute. Above are a few of the ways I’ve chosen to support healthy breasts. It is by no means an exhaustive list, and certainly not a replacement for self-exams, screenings or advice from a medical professional.

So, I’m comfy in my coobie bra, sipping a cup of herbal tea and jumping on a mini-trampoline occasionally… do you do anything natural to help improve the health of your breasts? Share below!

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Reader Comments

  1. Great article. Gonna go home and burn my bras!! I love the comment about nipples under t-shirts. Haha. If it weren’t for that I wouldn’t ever wear a bra.

  2. You did an excellent job at covering a very controversial topic. I hope and pray women begin looking at this research seriously. We owe it to ourselves, our children, our husbands and our entire ecosystem. So proud of you! 🙂

  3. You have DD and use these bras? I’m hesitant to believe that my DDs wouldn’t swing around or flop right out of one of those. What are your thoughts on sports bras? I’m an HIIT instructor, and practically live in sports bras….

    • It took a little adjustment to get used to them not being “pushed-up” like Victoria’s secret used to do, but these bras do support them. When I’m not nursing, I find they actually fit better without the pads. For exercise, I wear them without a problem, or have also added a support tank or worn two if I was doing a lot of running…

      • I have to admit I am skeptical, they don’t look supportive at all! Do they just squish you, or actually support and hold things up (not pushed up, but I don’t want my bra just sitting on top of my breasts, if you know what I mean)? My baby is 4 mo. old and I still haven’t found a bra in my size that I’m happy with. Right now I wear something that looks like a coobie but I got it at Target. It’s comfortable, but I don’t like the thin material and it does nothing to support me; just covers them. I did my measurements yesterday and found out I should wear a 30G or GG. I may give this bra a try!

        • Try the “Beauty by jeunique” bra. I’m a double F and they are the only bra that I can find that fits comfortably and can be used as a nursing bra. It is wireless and it gives you lift, but won’t constrict the flow of you milk.

      • I don’t wear a bra and am a 38c. I nurse my daughter and I like to run. I really don’t care what it looks like to others. I care more about getting my exercise.

        • I have a question about exercising braless. I have recently decided (since last summer) to go braless. But I still wear a sports bra for martial arts only (I am a C cup).. But when I do stretching, lifting weights etc…is a bra really necessary? What is your experience with this?

  4. I ditched the bra about six months ago and haven’t looked back. I have already had bilateral breast cancer and do not care to have another go round. Haven’t tried the Coobie bras, but do use a product called Bust Free to deal with the ‘obviously braless’ aspect. Has been working fine.

  5. Interesting about the bras, but did they correct for breat size? People with larger breasts would be more likely to wear bras, and the increased risk of cancer could be due to larger breast size.

    • True, but even in cultures where women are busty, they have the same breast cancer rates as men if they aren’t eating processed foods and wearing constricting clothing.

  6. Great article I didn’t know about the bra and after reading it I have just ditched the bra. I have 5 kids and nursed them all the last 2 were twins I hope that helps a little to prevent breast cancer. I agree with another reader we own it to ourself and our children to get educated and stop with the fashion I have read that coloring your hair is also associated with breast cancer.

  7. I am huge and I use the Jenneva bra that gives you support without the wire. When you get really busty, wire bras are very painful. I’m glad I read this article, I had know Idea that bras could be linked to breast cancer.

    • what is your source for this brand? google returns nothing about this bra.

      • Oops! I didn’t get the brand name right the first time. The bra that I use is called “Beauty by Jeunigue”. It gives you the lift and the comfort that you need without the wire . It also makes you look like you have lost 10 to 15 pounds by wearing it. It is also works well for breast feeding moms. You might be able to order it online, but I can be wrong. You will need a fitting so that you can get the right size that fits you. I am Huge (DDF) and these are the only bras that I found that are comfortable and fits correctly. Also I am pregnant and the lactation stores do not sell any bra size larger than a H cup, which don’t fit my body anyway. I got mine through a lady that sells these bras for a living (her business is like may-kay make-up, only she sells bras instead). Hopefully you can find the nearest sells rep. near where you live. Hope this helps!! Let me know if you have anymore questions.

        • Also these bras are expensive, but they are so worth it. The bigger you are the more expensive the bra is. I will have to buy new bra when my milk comes in.

  8. WOW…Awesome article. I found the part on bras very informative. I am a DD too and live in a sports bra. So these bras you linked us to really work for you?….I think I am going to try them. Amazon says best for A/B cups. Obviously you must like them if you said so…but just want to make sure before I buy for my DD’s! Thanks so much for the link to the bras!!!

    • I was shocked how much I liked them. I bough the first one on a recommendation from a friend but didn’t have high hopes for it. The material is very form fitting without being tight, if that makes sense. I’ve had trouble with regular sports bras in the because in order to be big enough to cover my breasts, it is almost always too loose around my bust line… These are stretchy enough that they do both without being too tight… I haven’t actually tried the plus ones, but if anyone has, I”d love to hear how it worked for them…

      • I’d love to go wireless (and cheaper!!) and these look like they’d be great for nursing, but to be specific, I wore a 32G pre-pregnancy and now I’m almost halfway through and wearing a 32I or J. I found the Coobie plus size but it says the band size fits a 38-42, which means my ribcage will drown and my breasts will have zippo support! Does anybody know of comfy bras like the Coobies that might plausibly fit that size range?

      • Thank you so much for introducing me to this bra…I just bought the NEW!!! FULL Size Coobie Seamless Bra from the Coobie website. It says it fits 38A to 42D-DD. Yeah-Ho….This just made my day…The little things.

  9. Awesome post! Thank you for sharing your research. So helpful!

  10. Wow, both helpful and not helpful for me today. This is the 4th day I’ve been having breast pain radiating towards my right nipple. It started from my sternum to my nipple, but yesterday my armpit was included. My armpit is incredibly tender as well. I follow pretty much all of these directions, except I’m overweight and don’t exercise a ton, and while I still use deoderant, I don’t use much or everyday and haven’t for two years, so I have no idea what is going on and obviously it’s easy to get scared. I can’t afford to go to a doctor for another week and I guess I hope it resolves on its own in the mean time.

    • I just found this site recently and I’m extremely happy about it! While reading through these comments, I could not skip yours. I have been having a pain very similar to what you are describing. I wouldn’t freak out about it yet. Actually, it is rare that pain is initially associated with a tumor. I have had pain, as you describe. It increases with deep breathing, coughing and use of that arm. It sometimes shoots into my armpit. I went to the ER. I was so worried. My mom had breast cancer twice. Long story short, they did an x-ray and an ultrasound. Both came back negative. I did some research and then went to the doctor. She diagnosed it as costochondritis, as I suspected. Look it up. It is an inflammation of the cartilage where the ribs and sternum meet. I actually have a lump there. There isn’t much to be done for it, if that’s what you have. It is mostly unexplained and untreatable, unless you want the usual handout of meds. Chiropractic may help you. It’s not fun either, but better than our other concern! I wish you the best. Hopefully, you will find out what is wrong.

  11. Great article and you bring up many good points! Sure wish I could find a safe deodorant that actually works, though. Have tried your homemade, the crystal, several health food store brands, and on up to Lavera and Lavanilla pricey ones, but none help enough for a day where I’ll be out in public. I take magnesium as well as I remember you mentioning that can help with BO.

    • What can help internally to balance pH and regulate BO is to simply ingest more lemon juice. I was doing it for digestion in the morning, but found my BO was gone as well so found this to be responsible for the miracle. I just would squeeze half a lemon into a mug, then pour hot water over it every morning when I first woke up. Hope this helps!

  12. Breast-safe deodorant: use the crystal mineral deodorant! The key is that, after wetting it you need to keep applying it for 7-10 seconds on each side. That’s like 20-30 strokes. It works amazingly – that’s me saying so after trying homemade clay, baking soda and coconut oil, Jason and Tom’s and others that did not work half as well. It actually works even better than my last ‘normal’ Degree aluminum anti-persp deodorant. Sweat smells like ocean sand or beach and that hardly at all. But you need to really rub it in.

    • I use the Crystal mineral deodorant too. I love it! I also made a solution I keep in a small glass dish to dip the stone in after I apply like you instructed. The little dish contains an organic carrier oil, like coconut oil, jojoba, or vitamin e, then 7-8 drops of each of organic lemon oil and tea tree oil, as they are natural antiseptics and smell really good and fresh.

    • I use it too – I dissolve the stick in water, and spray it on from a spray bottle. It is effective, lasts “forever”, and this makes it easy to apply.

  13. I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 42 and finished active treatment a little less than a year ago. I had none of the typical risk factors but do feel that my hormones were totally screwed up for years before that for whatever reason. I wish that I’d realized just how screwed up. I ended up having a total hysterectomy with ovaries and everything and actually feel better in many ways. (Not that I’d recommend that for anyone–it comes with its own set of problems).

    We are bombarding our bodies with so many hormonal influences that it’s no wonder cancer is on the rise. FWIW, I asked my oncologist about the pill and she said that my daughter should never take it. It’s too much of a risk.

    I’m doing my best to cut back on many of the things that were a part of our lives and in our home for years. Before this, I really had no idea that it was even a problem. It’s a slow process and I am still learning. I appreciate this post and think there are lots of good things to try here–many of them I’ve already incorporated into my own life 🙂

    • Congratulations to you I am glad you are okay I lost one of my dear friends to breast cancer at age 38.

  14. You recommend the Coobie but link to Anemone bras on Amazon. Have you used this brand as well? I love the price and need new bras and would love to find a healthier alternative. Thanks!

    • Yes, I’ve used both. The Anemone bras are actually almost exactly the same from what I can tell, but I changed the link for the coobie one… thanks for the catch!

  15. Lots of comments on the braless thing! I don’t wear bras myself, because my shape is off the charts. I need 32B or 30C for the underwire/width, but only fill about half the cup. I don’t appreciate the moving around or gaping that bras do on me, and I don’t exactly need support (not that a bra which barely touches my breasts is supportive!), so I’ve quit trying. Bras actually make me feel claustrophobic, if that makes sense. It has taken me a while to come to terms with it and to not want a bra to make me feel like I’m female. I am very self conscious about the nipple issue though.
    Is there anyone else who has a solution for ‘nippleage’? I have tried the stick on covers but those are far more curved than my breasts, and are therefore very obvious. The BustFree things someone mentioned look like they’d have the same problems I have with bra cups. So far my best solution is “wear patterns or dark colours and choose fabrics wisely”, which frankly is a pain.

    • Have you tried a double layer tank top under shirts, or even just a sleeveless shirt of some kind? The bras I mentioned above might be comfortable enough for you, and since your bust line is thin, they shouldn’t feel tight at all. They have padded cups built in that will hide the nipple issue but feel more like a shirt than a bra…

      • That reminds me of something that I didn’t see mentioned: temperature. I don’t layer if the weather doesn’t call for it, both because it’s hot enough already in one layer, and because I actually get breast pain if overhot. My left breast has a small cyst (yes, I’ve had it checked) which acts like an internal thermometer, telling me when I badly need to cool off.
        Aside from that personalised reason, I do believe I have heard that too much heat is bad for breasts. Is that true?

  16. This is really great! I wish all my friends and family knew the risk involved in taking the pill. I took it for a few months then read that it was potentially dangerous- after my doctor told me it was completely safe! I haven’t touched hormonal bc since. I’ve never had a consistent period and I have a hormone imbalance, so I really need to try and get that under control! But I’m 23, had my first sweet baby girl eight months ago, and exclusively BF her until last month. We’re hoping for our next pregnancy soon, but that’s all up to the Lord at this point 🙂 I’m smaller chested and wear a fairly loose bra, but only out of comfort. I’m glad to know it’s good for me too!

  17. I did’t see anything about self Breast Massage and Lymphatic Breast Massage..both very beneficial..I would put that on the list. Great info! Thanks 🙂

    • Those are both be great… I’m actually planning a post specifically on that. I figure since October is breast health month, I’ll address all the natural angles in more depth… 🙂 Thanks for the suggestion!

  18. What an enlightening post! What do you recommend about the chemicals in the water? Is there a particular water filter that will remedy this or do you buy a certain type of water? I’ve been thinking about the water our family drinks recently, and would greatly appreciate any advice you have for us! Thx for the wonderful blog!

    • So far, the reverse osmosis filter has been the best for us, and I add a drop of trace minerals to get the minerals back in. The link above in the article is the filter we use in our house.

      • Have you any experience with a berkey filter? Ro seems somewhat tedious/wasteful. I’m weighing options currently and will probably go with the berkey filter.

  19. Thanks, all of my living female relatives outside of my nuclear family have breast cancer. It is scary for my sisters and I. I have been making many life style changes to live healthier. This post gave me more things to examine in my life. Thanks!

  20. We have reverse osmosis, and I’m so glad that we do. Almost every time that I read about crap in the water, it can be removed through reverse osmosis.

  21. What angers me about those pink ribbons is that the funds raised goes to a company that pushes birth control and abortion (also linked to breast cancer). It’s not just that they are packaged in unhealthy food, but they are almost actively seeking to destroy women’s health.

    I honestly worry a lot about my family, there is a high rate of BC in extended family members and immediate family isn’t very interested in this stuff. I was able to pull my sisters on board with wheat, and my mom was finally convinced Vitamin D was good for here when a skin condition was linked to taking it.

    Although I’ll have to consider the bra thing, I’m between an A and a B and I find the bras with underwire more comfortable than the ones without because it gives a shape and supports without flopping around. I do braless at home though and don’t wear antiperspirant (although sometimes deodorant – but I only need that about one day a month).

  22. Love this post! Thank you so much. I just ordered the Coobie bra from Amazon in the leopard print…I really hope I like it! I 100% agree that hormonal birth control is something to be avoided and Taking Charge of Your Fertility is an awesome resource!

    • I ordered one too, after reading this article. OMG – most comfortable bra ever! My only complaint is that it’s a bit of a boob-squisher,which isn’t ideal for someone who’s already pretty small to start out with (like me!). Totally comfortable though – I love it!

  23. I am new to your blog and I am so glad to have found you! Excellent info throughout your posts. Thank you. I have found vitamin D3 and magnesium citrate to be very beneficial to my own health.

  24. The vitamin B17 is highly beneficial to the prevention of all cancers. The FDA tried to ban it because they could not put a patent on food, as it is said to actually cure cancer. V17, or also called laetrile, is found in raw apricot kernals that can be purchased online. I have only recently started seeing them in health food stores. and of course…BUY ORGANIC! they stay fresh in the fridge for a year. Eat 5-8 kernals a day for prevention.

  25. what about someone who has taken the genetic testing (due to all woman on one side of the family dieing from b/c or other factors, most recent her cousin at age 34 survived b/c and died of brain cancer last month), she’s told me nothing she does health wise would reduce her risk from 80% and she is having a preventative mastectomy next month which will take her to 1%? I want to be a support but I doubt so much of the medical world that it sometimes is so hard for me, as she says all of my natural living won’t make a difference!! Any tips, direction, articles, etc would be appreciated.

    • That is tough! I’d encourage doing research on it as even medical science has linked some things like smoking, being sedentary, exposure to certain toxins, etc to an increased risk of breast cancer. If things like vitamins or medicines which only go into the body occasionally in small amounts can make such a drastic difference in the body, it is logical that what a person eats (daily, multiple times, larger amounts) would also directly impact the health of the body. Good luck to you and her!

  26. We want to add a MAJOR contributor to breast health, dental health. Yes, there is a HUGE correlation between breast cancer and oral health (or disease really). A German study conducted found that 95% (95%!) of breast cancer cases had a dental connection.

    Josef Issels, a very famous oncologist (cancer specialist) is quoted to have said that 97% of cancer has a CAUSAL relationship to oral health! That means that a major breakdown in oral health causes cancer, at least according to who was a leading cancer specialist of his time!

    Stay tuned for the HealThy Mouth World Summit to learn a lot more!!!

    • Thanks for mentioning that! I was actually going to talk about this in another article soon (care to contribute!?) and can’t wait for the heal thy mouth summit!

  27. Thank you so much for talking about all of this!! Especially about the Sympto-thermal method and the risk that contraceptives pose to our health. My husband and I also have been using the sympto-thermal method to postpone and achieve pregnancy (for both religious and health reasons). Without this natural family planning method and the information about my cycles that it provided to my doctor, I would not have been diagnosed and treated for a fertility disorder and would not have my beautiful 1 yr old baby boy! BTW, for anyone who is interested/struggling with hormonal or fertility issues, I really recommend finding a doctor who is specifically trained in naprotechnology. They’re awesome and highly effective!!

  28. I wish you and I were neighbors. You are awesome!

  29. Thank you for doing such an excellent job with this article. There doesn’t seem to be anything you missed. I have passed this on to family and friends. -Abby

  30. Great article! Natural armpit hair is also a great way for sweat (i.e. toxins) to leave the skin and not be reabsorbed by the body. Cold showers with a armpit/breast massage also work wonders for the lymphatic system. Any ideas about natural fibers vs synthetic? I try to wear cotton as much as possible. Thanks!

  31. The advice about prevention on this post is great! I definitely will look into changing my deodorant.

  32. I find it interesting that some women would go to such great lengths for their “breast health” and yet think nothing of injecting their bodies with large foreign objects (impants) to augment those same breasts. How do you reconcile that? by the way – I’m not talking about cancer survivors.

  33. Middle aged women have variety of breast related issues.The problems are mainly related to hormonal imbalance.The estrogens & histrogens responsible for breast health and other vital femaly physiology are found in less quantities in women aged between 35-50.This is mainly because of loss of desire and sexual activity in this agegroup of women.

    Nearly all the hormones responsible for women’s health are secreted during sexual intercourse.
    Therefore leading a normal sexual life goes parallel with women health.

    In America nearly 55% of women face this problem and undergo sexual counciling to avoid future risks of abssesses,fibroids, cysts and even cancer.

    Dr. Zuschik Scanchez
    University Of Ohama.,
    Illinos,USA.

  34. Hi, great article, very informative…I would love to stop using my birth control(NuvaRing) but I’ve had very irregular periods since I started when I was eleven, and birth control is the only reason I have a monthly period. I know a lot if women who are fine with not having a period but it makes me uncomfortable and it just doesn’t feel right…do you know of any ways that I can regulate my periods naturally? Cancer is unfortunately common in my family and I’d like to try my best to avoid it..

  35. Be very careful with birth control! I got a DVT on a low dose and I will never use it again.
    I just ordered three of the bigger Coobie bras and they have a “buy three, get $20 off) deal right now, woohoo!

  36. The links posted to the Coobie bras don’t work 🙁
    Any advice on choosing the correct one? I have a small frame (30-32 inch) but am large in the chest (DD or much larger when nursing). Need something good for every day and something for exercise.
    Thanks to anyone for help!

  37. I love your site and a lot of your information but I am offended that you are promoting the research that blames women who choose not to have children or who have children when they are over 30 for getting cancer! You did not site that, but I am sure that is plenty of research saying that. Kinda like how they are also blaming so-called-older women for having a child with autism spectrum by making a correlation there. I am hurt to see that 🙁

    • Thank you for the compliment. I see your objection, but frankly, I would not classify my passing mention of the research (which is unbiased, and simply observed data) as “promoting” or “blaming”. I don’t blame women who don’t have kids until later in life, but I want them to know that it is a risk factor associated with cancer. Information is powerful and empowering, and I want everyone to be informed! If every woman who read this article smiled to herself, knowing that she had never done anything to increase her risk, nor neglected anything to decrease it, I wouldn’t be helping anyone. *That’s* called preaching to choir. I want to preach to uneducated who have no idea! Maybe one of my readers didn’t start having kids until after she was 30, and wears a bra 24 hours a day. She can’t go back and change when she had her sweet babies, but she can change her clothes, and maybe seeing that there is an elevated risk in one area of her life might motivate her to make a change for the better that she might otherwise have neglected! I am sorry that you feel offended, but I would rather offend and educate than leave out important information!

  38. Thanks to your posts, I started making my own deodorant and stopped wearing under wire bras about a year ago! I have smoothies and try and eat as little prossesed food as possible! I hoping to undo any potential damage from my less informed earlier years! Thank you, I love reading your post 🙂

  39. There is an alternative to mammograms called thermography that has no radiation! This kind of imaging is usually offered through naturopathic docs.

  40. Great article, Katie!! I was wondering what type of mini trampoline that you have. Also, what are your thoughts on the Berkey water system?

  41. Spot on article, as usual. There was an article in the Lancet a few years ago that indicated the younger a woman had children and the longer she breast fed, the less likely she is to get breast cancer. This make sense as BC is uncommon in third world countries.

  42. Thanks for all of the well thought out information! I just ordered a twin pack of Coobie bras, and do hope that you get the appropriate credit for referring me to them. I have been an on again/off again reader of your site for years, but now that my husband and I are going to be trying to conceive in the next year, I am reading through your blog, buying up all the things and trying to make all the changes.

    I truly appreciate the knowledge that you share with your readers! I think the reason I kept going off your site is because I was getting so overwhelmed…everything I eat, the cups I drink from, my shampoo, my sheets…good gosh was anything safe?! It was easier not to know! So now I am rereading, learning, and taking one step at a time (helps with getting overwhelmed-no one can change everything overnight!)

    I have ditched the unhealthy versions of shampoo, soaps, make up, deodorant, poisonous oils-this one has been tough…so much food to replace, who knew there was soy and canola oil in everything?!

    I am starting on breast health by replacing the underwire bras and just ditched the bc pills last week.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you for all that you do in making a difficult, confusing, frustrating and expensive transition easier for us! 😀 You rock Katie!!

    • Thanks for your kind words, Kirstie! I agree, it’s very easy to get overwhelmed, and you’re right, taking it in baby steps is the only way to begin making natural changes. It’s been a long process for me…over 9 years now. Best wishes!

  43. I love your site, thank you for all you do! I visit you daily and am always impressed 🙂

    I know we can only do what we can do to decrease BC risk, I just feel like it’s a losing battle (for me), which is a very negative attitude I realize.

    I follow all this protocol with diet and try to use all natural products etc., however, I have PCOS and it seems even going strict paleo hasn’t improved my health. I’ve been eating this way for 5 years now and while I won’t go back to grains and sugar, I don’t feel it has really helped me with health issues which is disappointing!

    I grew up in the 70’s and 80’s, probably one of the worst eras for food, with low fat and hydrogenated “food,” and then became a vegetarian/vegan for most of my 20’s and early to mid thirties. Maybe I’m being too dire but I feel like this lifestyle must have seriously damaged my health even though I thought I was “healthy.”

    As for fertility, I had a lot of trouble conceiving and did not have my only son until I was 39, plus 2 miscarriages beforehand. The fact that that increases my BC risk is really depressing to me. I know I can’t go back in time and tell my 23 year old self to have babies :), which by the way would have gone TERRIBLY! 🙂 But what a bummer that age is a risk factor.

    I have no family history except for a second cousin but I am of Ashkenazi jewish heritage and that’s an increase in risk factor too, plus, dense breasts.

    I think I just find it frustrating as my relatives who ate terribly and drank and smoked and didn’t exercise did not get cancer and lived to be 96. And my young friend died at 46 of BC. Why?

    I guess you do what you can do but frankly I’m terrified, certainly more as I get older (I’m now 42). Of course I will continue to eat paleo, exercise, go bra free 🙂 and deodorant free but honestly if it were an easy route I would have a double mastectomy and remove my uterus and ovaries Angelina Jolie style in a heartbeat if only to not have to worry about this crap disease anymore. I know I have an extreme attitude about it but I’m a worrier, what can I say?

    Oh and I TOTALLY agree with you about “pink ribbon” propaganda. Drives me nuts when you see it on all the unhealthy food and wine bottle (!), I just want to grab it and yell “THIS CAUSES CANCER!”

    Anyway, thank you for the post, going to eat a handful of turmeric now…:)

    Lauren

  44. Hi Katie! Thanks for another great article! I see that you are still recommending Green Pasture’s FCLO. My family has taken it off an on for several years but now I am worried by the controversy that it might be rancid. Have you done any research on the controversy? I value your opinion!

  45. Thanks Katie! Another change i have made in my life thanks to you. Tried the crystals two decades ago without control of odour and wanted to find a replacement to the aluminium but there wasn’t much around back then. Now there are more options. I have changed to a natural deodorant and also use magnesium oil at times, the natural deodorant is based more on lemon oils and it works better from my experience in terms of odour. Breast feeding for 6 months and hope to make a year. Can’t change having my babies in my 30s and 40s but aim to keep fit and eat well.

  46. If your not supposed to wear bras at night what do you do when nursing? If j wouldn’t wear one at night with a pad my sheets would be wet!!!!

  47. I tried the cooby with no success. I am a 36 c but it gave me no support. I am currently wearing underwire, and using an amazing healthy deoderant called Tahitian breeze roll on. I am 24 years old and terrified of wearing Underwire. my sisters don’t, they get theirs from Kohl’s but i guess i care too much. I am still trying to find a better alternative!
    Thanks so much for your amazing site!
    love it!
    sara

  48. I ordered 2 cooby bras and love them. I’m a 32C and was still wearing my underwire nursing bra even though I’m not nursing my 16 month old anymore. None of my other bras fit right. The Coobys are so comfortable and support me plenty. I’m so thrilled with them that I told all my girl friends! I also gave up Depo-Provera because it killed my libido, and now use natural family planning (can’t stand n-9 spermicides!). I’ve gradually phased out antiperspirant, store bought shampoo, and lotions. We use essential oils now as our first resort for beauty and wellness. I need to try the cod liver oil (ew!) and we’re always working on eating healthier. your site is great!

  49. Hey,
    It’s been a while since you put this up. How are you liking the Coobie bra now?
    I have been having tender breasts for a while and recently switched to natural deodorant similar to your recipe. That helped. But a couple weeks ago, “the girls” were tender again so I ditched my bra and let my 32Ds roam free under a cotton cami. Talk about freeing! I felt like everybody was staring, then realized that they totally should NOT be staring at my breasts, so SO WHAT? Anyway, I was looking at different cami options and picked up a seamless Bali no wire bra that looks similar to the Coobie. Feels like my ribs are being squished after going BRALESS for just 2 weeks. Might try the Coobie, or just stick to camis.

    • I still love the coobies but I’m also using camis right now (easier to nurse the baby in)

  50. After several years of back pain and rigidity, migraines and shoulder tension, poor posture, and unfocused balance due to an unnatural center of gravity…I took matters in my own hands and Googled how to do my own bra fitting. Turns out I’m a 34H. No wonder.

    So when I got a bra that truly fit and actually lifted the girls off my chest, I was able to stand up straight. Those who don’t have H cups on slender ribs like a 34 band don’t get it. For me to just walk the dog or do the dishes, I need major support. Does this Coobie bra offer that? I like these massive wires as much as anyone (not much) but I don’t hurt or feel like I’ll break anymore. When I take my bra off at night my breasts HURT from the dragging weight, and I can no longer stand up or sit straight. It’s so important to find out what size you really are and deal accordingly. I thought I was a 36c or 36d for like 15 years!

    Most women are wearing the wrong size. I too thought I was just fine. But when I looked up how to take my measurements and put them in online calculators, I learned that I knew nothing about breast size. One if the worst things about boobs this big? The bras cost $80. And you don’t run. Yoga is way uncomfortable. Exercise is difficult, you have poor balance, dancing gets obscene. I’d take DD any day over an H cup. Just saying.

    I did find that getting fluoride out my water intake made a huge difference in the feeling of rigidity, though. Highly recommend doing that if you can.

  51. I was told by my physical therapist (who specializes in myofascial release) that women should gently massage their breasts and gently pull on their nipples for 2 minutes. It may be worth researching.
    The goal is to help lymphatic flow, and clear the nipples of any clogged ducts.

  52. This is a great article. I love your website and you are my go-to for health, beauty, and food advice!! Thank you for what you do!
    However, I’m wondering about breast enlargement? Is there a safe way to increase the size? I have read a lot about herbs and supplements (saw Palmetto, fenugreek, wild yam, etc) but wonder what your thoughts are on the subject.
    Thanks!

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