Good news: Earlier detection and better treatment options have significantly improved breast cancer outcomes. Even better news? Groundbreaking research from around the world proves protecting our breasts is easier than ever. Try these fun summertime tips to lower your breast cancer risk, and have a great time while you’re at it!
Flavor up your next burger.
Jazzing up meals with one medium onion and one clove of garlic daily could cut breast cancer risk by up to 67 percent. That’s the word from University at Buffalo researchers, who say compounds in onions and garlic known as anticarcinogens soak into abnormal cells and stop them from multiplying. More yum: Grill up thick slices of onion (sprinkle with minced garlic during the last minute of cooking) and use as a tasty topping for barbecued burgers, steaks, chicken, and even pizza!
Play a game of ring toss.
Just 30 minutes of playing ring toss, cornhole, or bocce ball four times a week lessens your odds of developing breast cancer by up to 30 percent, suggests research in Nature. Study co-author Alex Schmidt, Ph.D., says joy and relaxation tamp down the production of the stress hormone cortisol that makes cancer-fighting immune cells sluggish.
Lounge by the pool.
In a Boston University study, sun-lovers were five times less likely to develop breast cancer. Study co-author Michael Holick, M.D., says sun exposure spurs production of vitamin D-3, which latches on to precancerous cells and forces them to behave normally. Aim for 20 minutes of sun daily, or take 3,000 IUs of vitamin D-3 daily.
Try a jigsaw puzzle.
Challenging yourself in a fun way is a type of “good stress,” which can lower your risk of breast cancer by as much as 40 percent, research in the British Medical Journal reveals. That’s because it activates key hormones in the body that limit the growth of harmful cells.
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.