Boost Your Breast Health for Summer

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Recipes and Strategies to Reduce Your Risk of Cancer

The World Health Organization has reported that breast cancer is by far the most frequent cancer found among women, with an estimated 1.67 million cases diagnosed worldwide in 2012, comprising 25% of all female cancers.[1] Approximately 23,420 of those women were from Canada. In 2012, about 522,000 women worldwide died from the disease, almost 5,000 of them from Canada.[2] These numbers are staggering and the collective toll on women and their families has been devastating.

Now that the myth “mammography screening prevents breast cancer deaths” has been debunked, it’s time to focus on real prevention. The Canadian National Breast Cancer Screening Study, published in the British Medical Journal on February 10, 2014, studied almost 90,000 women aged 40 to 59 from across Canada. The findings revealed that the number of women who died from breast cancer was the same whether they received mammograms annually for five years or had annual physical breast exams only. During the five-year screening period, 666 invasive breast cancers were diagnosed in the women who were screened using mammography, while 524 were found in those receiving physical breast exams. Both groups received the usual medical treatment for breast cancer. Out of all of these women, 180 in the screening mammogram group and 171 in the physical exam group died of breast cancer during the 25-year follow-up period. Surprisingly, early detection through mammography did not reduce deaths due to breast cancer.[3]

If early detection does not reduce breast cancer deaths, then where might we focus our attention and health care dollars to decrease the psychological, familial, social, financial and global burden of breast cancer? I think it’s time for real breast cancer prevention.

Although breast cancer is a disease that could happen to any of us, there is much we can do to help prevent it. Being personally, politically, and globally proactive with prevention is the way forward. We know a lot about many of the causes of breast cancer. Knowing the causes guides us toward solutions. A good place to start is by incorporating the following breast-friendly foods into your diet on a regular basis:

  • freshly ground flaxseeds
  • broccoli sprouts
  • red clover sprouts
  • garlic, onions
  • rosemary, pomegranate
  • shiitake mushrooms
  • brassica family, including: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale
  • tomatoes, watercress, legumes, seaweeds
  • extra virgin olive oil, brazil nuts



Sat Dharam’s Green Smoothie

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This green drink has become a staple for me as well as my patients. It decreases sugar cravings, alkalinizes the body, supplies easily digested protein, and helps cleanse the liver and kidneys. It makes a great morning meal, and can be sipped throughout the day.

  • 1 medium avocado
  • 2 cups fresh spinach or kale
  • 3/4 cup cucumber (1/2 cucumber)
  • Few sprigs parsley   
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger root
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tbsp hemp seed powder
  • 2 tsp ground flaxseed         
  • 2 tsp ground chia seed
  • Juice of 3 limes         
  • ¼ tsp cayenne
  • Pinch sea salt            
  • 2 cups water


Super Golden Milk

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Try this delicious drink in the evening. It will help to prevent cancer by decreasing inflammation and infection, while providing beneficial antioxidants.

First make a paste that can be stored in the fridge by mixing the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup turmeric
  • 1/2 cup ginger juice (extracted from 10 inches of whole ginger root)
  • 60 cardamom pods (roll under rolling pin and take seeds, discard pods)
  • 4 Tbsp raw honey
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cloves ground
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns, ground


Breast Cleansing Tea

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This herbal blend cleanses the lymphatic system, kidneys, and liver while supporting the immune system and assisting in cancer prevention.

Use equal parts of the following dried herbs:

  • burdock root
  • red clover tops
  • dandelion root and leaves
  • cloves
  • peppermint
  • licorice root
  • fennel seed
  • juniper berries
  • milk thistle seed
  • pau d’arco

Love Your Liver Tonic

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This yummy blend of vegetables will have your liver smiling in no time – a great way to welcome summer!

  • 1 pound organic carrots
  • 6 stalks organic celery
  • 1 small beet
  • ½ cucumber
  • 15 leaves of kale or Swiss chard
  • Thumb-sized piece ginger root
  • 2 cloves of garlic

Golden Spicy Split Pea and Pear Soup

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This delicious soup has become a celebrity at my house, taking its place at the table with guests, and loved by everyone (yields 6 servings).

  • 3 cups chopped onions
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp ground cumin            
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander                   
  • 1 Tbsp grated ginger root
  • 1 cup dried yellow split peas          
  • 7 cups water
  • 2 cups peeled and cubed sweet potato
  • 1 cup peeled, cored and cubed pear
  • 3-inch cinnamon stick                     
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • ½ cup chopped tomatoes   
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp Bragg liquid aminos            
  • minced cilantro


Lifestyle Strategies for Breast Cancer Prevention

Here are 11 things that women can do to prevent breast cancer:

1) Exercise at least 40 minutes each day or 4 hours a week, outside of your normal activities (walk, jog, swim, dance, cycle, rebound, use an elliptical machine, etc)[4]

2) Reduce or limit alcohol to no more than 2 beverages per week.[5]

3) Adopt a primarily vegetarian diet. Minimize or avoid meat and animal fat, using instead legumes (lentils, chickpeas, split peas, mung beans, etc), plus nuts and seeds. Reduce or avoid sugar, other than in fresh fruit. Choose organic food whenever possible.[6]

4) Sleep in a dark room, with no light from the street, alarm clock, or cell phones in your bedroom. Use a night light in the washroom. To keep melatonin levels high and your biological rhythms intact, avoid turning on any bright lights at night.[7]

5) Spend 15 minutes outside exposing your arms and legs to sunlight daily when the weather allows it. Monitor vitamin D levels in blood annually, and if it is low, take 1000 to 5000 IU of vitamin D3 daily, especially during winter months.[8]

6) Avoid use of the birth control pills[9] and/or hormone replacement therapy.[10]

7) Avoid cosmetics, nail polish, toothpaste, shampoo, and other personal care products containing parabens (methyl, propyl, butyl, and ethyl paraben) or phthalates. Read labels and choose brands that are paraben- and phthalate-free. Both of these chemicals act like the hormone estrogen, and may stimulate breast cancer cell growth. See https://www.cosmeticsdatabase .com for safe cosmetic recommendations.[11]  (Editor’s note: An excellent local source for safe skin care and cosmetics is Pure+Simple Spa. See ad on page 45.)

8) Keep drinking water and any leftover food stored in the fridge in glass, ceramic, or stainless steel, NOT plastic. Many plastics leach bisphenol A or phthalates, both of which mimic estrogen.[12]

9) Add 2 tablespoons of freshly ground flaxseeds to your cereal, juice, fruit smoothie, salad, or bean dishes. (Use an electric coffee grinder to grind them. Eat them within 15 minutes of grinding.) Also use 2 tablespoons of cold-pressed flaxseed oil daily in salad dressing or drizzled over rice, pasta, baked potatoes, etc. Never heat it. Buy it in glass and keep it refrigerated when not in use.[13] [14]

10) Eat 2 teaspoons of turmeric daily, cooked with your food, or take 1000 mg of curcumin in capsule form daily.[15]

11) Use the following herbal teas regularly to help prevent breast cancer: rosemary[16], red clover[17], taheebo[18], holy basil[19], chai, and green tea[20].


[1] International Agency for Research on Cancer. Globocan 2012: Estimated Cancer Incidence, Mortality and Prevalence Worldwide in 2012.

[2] International Agency for Research on Cancer. Globocan 2012: Estimated Cancer Incidence, Mortality and Prevalence Worldwide in 2012.

[3] Miller AB, Wall C, Baines CJ, et al. Twenty-five year follow-up for breast cancer incidence and mortality of the Canadian National Breast Screening Study: randomized screening trial BMJ 2014; 348:g366.

[4] Kruk J, Czerniak U. Physical activity and its relation to cancer risk: updating the evidence. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2013; 14:3993-4003.

[5] Scoccianti C, Lauby-Secretan B, Bello PY, et al. Female breast cancer and alcohol consumption: a review of the literature. Am J Prev Med. 2014 46; (3 Suppl 1):S16-25. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2013.

[6] Ko KP, Kim SW, Ma SH, et al. Dietary intake and breast cancer among carriers and noncarriers of BRCA mutations in the Korean Hereditary Breast Cancer Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013; 98:1493-501.

[7] Stevens RG, Brainard GC, Blask DE, et al. Adverse health effects of nighttime lighting: comments on American medical association policy statement. Am J Prev Med. 2013; 45:343-6.

[8] Nair Lopes, Joana Paredes, Costa JL, et al. Vitamin D and the mammary gland: A review on its role in normal development and breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res. 2012; 14: 211.

[9] Ehsanpour S, Neiad FS, Raiabi FM, Taleghani F. Investigation on the association between breast cancer and consumption patterns of combined oral contraception pills in the women of Isfahan in 2011. Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res 2013 May; 18: 186-90.

[10] Brand JS, Czene K, Eriksson L, et al. Influence of lifestyle factors on mammographic density in postmenopausal women. PLoS ONE. 2013 8: e81876.

[11] Wrobel AM, Gregoraszczuk EL. Differential effect of methyl-, butyl- and propylparaben and 17 beta-estradiol on selected cell cycle and apoptosis gene and protein expression in MCF-7 breast cancer cells and MCF-10A non-malignant cells.  J Appl Toxicol 2014; 34: 1041-50.

[12] Soto AM, Brisken C, Schaeberle C., Sonnenschein C. Does cancer start in the womb? altered mammary gland development and predisposition to breast cancer due to in utero exposure to endocrine disruptors. J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia 2013 June 18: 199-208.

[13] Flower G, Fritz H, Balneaves LG, et al. Flax and Breast Cancer: A Systematic Review. Integr Cancer Ther 2014 13: 181-92.

[14] Truan JS, Chen JM, Thompson LU Flaxseed oil reduces the growth of human breast tumors (MCF-7) at high levels of circulating estrogen. Mol Nutr Fod Res 2010; 54:1414-21. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.200900521.

[13] [14] Liu D, Chen Z. The effect of curcumin on breast cancer cells. J Breast Cancer 2013; 16:133-7.

[16] Ngo SN, Williams DB, Head RJ. Rosemary and cancer prevention: preclinical perspectives. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 2011; 51: 946-54.

[17] Chen J, Zeng J, Xin M, et al. Formononetin induces cell cycle arrest of human breast cancer cells via IGF1/PI3K/Akt pathways in vitro and in vivo. Horm Metab Res 2011; 43: 681-6. doi: 10.1055/s-0031-1286306. Epub 2011 Sept. 19.

[18] Mukherjee B, Telano N, Wong GY. Growth inhibition of estrogen receptor positive human breast cancer cells by Taheebo from the inner bark of Tabebuia avellandae tree. Int J Mol Med 2009; 24: 253-60.

[19] Nangia-Makker P, Raz T, Tait L, et al. Ocimum gratissimum retards breast cancer growth and progression and is a natural inhibitor of matrix metalloproteases. Cancer Biol Ther 2013; 14: 417-27.

[20] Yu SS, Spicer DV, Hawes D, et al. Biological effects of green tea capsule supplementation in pre-surgery postmenopausal breast cancer patients. Front Oncol 2013; 3: 298.

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