Healthy Tips to Avoid and Combat Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer is the 5th highest cancer killer among women and is responsible for more deaths than any other reproductive system cancer. It’s estimated that one out of every seventy-three women will develop ovarian cancer in their lifetime. With Ovarian Cancer Awareness month this fall, know the facts, spread awareness, and get healthier by taking measures to prevent this deadly cancer. Here are some tips and tidbits to improve your overall health and lower your risk of developing ovarian and other cancers.

As with other cancers, prevention and early detection are important. Ovarian cancer begins in the ovaries and fallopian tubes and can potentially spread to other organs in the lower abdomen and pelvis. Female hormones, when out of balance, can cause a host of overlapping issues, so the more balanced your hormones, the healthier you’ll be. Some red flags of a hormone imbalance are mood swings and PMS and inconsistent menstrual cycle which can be characterized by painful, irregular, or lack of periods, or heavy bleeding, clotting, or cramping. Other signs might include thyroid dysfunction, breast tenderness, lumpiness, or fibrocystic breasts, low libido, or decreased fertility. Your doctor can check hormone levels to help pinpoint imbalances. If your hormones are out of whack, don’t worry. There are natural ways to help balance your hormones and get healthier to help lessen your risk of developing ovarian and other cancers.

Several drops of beneficial hormone-balancing essential oil combinations can be added to a carrier oil like jojoba, apricot kernel, olive, coconut, argan, or avocado oil.  Choose combinations of thyme, rosemary, clary sage, sandalwood, frankincense, ylang ylang, geranium, bergamot, and/or lavender. Add essential oil drops to a roll-on or squeezable bottle to carry with you on-the-go. Tag-team both health and beauty benefits as you moisturize your skin, add shine and tame frizzy hair and flyaways, nourish dry and cracked cuticles, while balancing hormones at the same time.

Detoxing to keep your liver healthy can help balance estrogen and other hormones. Helpful herbs to consider, some which are also stress-combatting adaptogens, are milk thistle, dandelion root and leaf, ashwagandha, schisandra, burdock root, and artichoke.

Alleviating anxiety of your adrenals, known as your body’s fight or flight “stress gland,” can impact blood pressure and cortisol. Try relaxation and stress-relieving techniques such as meditation; guided imagery and positive visualization; deep, diaphragmatic breathing; aromatherapy; reflexology; and massage therapy. Body conditioning (including tai chi, yoga, and Pilates) and energy healing practices (like qigong and reiki) can help balance hormones while aligning the mind, body and spirit.

Opt for a nutrient-rich diet with lots of cruciferous vegetables including cauliflower, cabbage, kale, garden cress, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and leafy greens. Studies suggest that cruciferous veggies help suppress inflammation and activate immune defenses.

Instead of refined white flour and white rice, opt for more nutrient-dense whole grains such as quinoa, buckwheat, millet, oats, and brown rice. Instead of sugary treats and artificially flavored fruit sodas, get your sweet fix from antioxidant-rich fresh fruits like a bowl full of berries, pomegranates, melons, or mangos.

Focus on getting your protein and good fats from oily fish, legumes, soy-based foods, nuts, and seeds. Try fish like salmon, herring, sardines, mackerel, and trout. Try a diversity of legumes and lentils like chickpeas/garbanzo beans, peas, pinto beans, lima beans, black beans, and kidney beans. Add foods such as edamame, tempeh, and fermented soy products like miso and natto. Nuts and seeds make ideal energy-sustaining snacks, including whole, unsalted raw walnuts, almonds, cashews, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds.

Amp up your smoothies with antioxidant-rich and anti-inflammatory ingredients to boost your health. Smoothies are a great way to get your greens (spinach, kale, and fresh herbs) down by drinking them. You can boost your smoothies with flax seeds/flax meal, chia seeds, spirulina, maca root powder, moringa powder, ginger root, turmeric root or powder, black pepper (which enhances absorption and magnifies health benefits), fresh mint, coconut flakes, and cinnamon.

Make informed decisions about your lifestyle and eat well to stay healthy and thriving while reducing your risk of developing ovarian cancer.

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