We go to impossible lengths to improve our relationship with the important people in our lives. But we often forget one true fact of life: the most important relationship we have is the one we have with ourselves and well—our breasts.
Yes, Mother Nature’s gift has got to be looked after well and should not be taken for granted. After all, these beautiful and unique features of the female body deserve it. So, here’s how you can start looking after them better:
1. Remember, healthy breasts come with a healthy lifestyle
Reaching your body-mass-index-dictated healthy weight and more importantly maintaining it is the key to getting healthy, cancer-free breasts. This isn’t just a part of our endeavour to motivate you to be a fitter version of yourself. A study published in the journal Cancer found that obese women and those with fluctuating weight are at a greater risk of oestrogen-sensitive breast cancer.
So, ditch your sedentary lifestyle and start exercising 30 to 45 minutes a day, five days a week, as doing so can boost your immune function and keep breast cancer at bay according to a study published in the journal Current Oncology Reports. Not to mention, consuming a balanced diet full of green vegetables and fresh fruits can help you a great deal as well.
2. Sweat it out, but with caution
Incorporating kickass workouts in your routine can be a blessing for your overall health and obviously, for your breasts. However, it can backfire if you don’t change your bra after each workout or wear a tight, non-breathable one while you’re sweating it out in the gym.
While the tightness can reduce blood circulation in your breasts, continuing your day in a sweaty bra can lead to bacterial growth and infections in your bosom.
The only thing that can save you here is a refreshing post-workout shower, a breathable cotton bra, and changing into a fresh bra post-workout.
3. Pay extra attention to your vitamin D intake
The best source of vitamin D is definitely sunlight, that nature has so generously provided for all us to soak up. We know, excessive sun exposure can be disastrous for your skin, but what are sunblocks for? Use them and get the recommended exposure time of 10 to 30 minutes to midday sunlight, three to five times a week and you’ll be just fine.
In case you’re sensitive to sunlight, a vitamin D supplement recommended by a health professional can help you a great deal as well. Because you know what? Deficiency of this vital nutrient isn’t just detrimental for your bones, but can also up your risk of getting breast cancer.
4. Stop smoking and drinking
Surely, a few drinks after work or those drunken night outs with friends can make you have hell a lot of fun. However, you’ve got to limit your alcohol intake for the sake of your breasts, ladies. Because according to a 2011 study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, women who drink more than one glass of alcohol a day are at a greater risk of developing breast cancer.
Additionally, you’ve got to QUIT smoking at all costs. After all, cigarettes are called cancer sticks for a reason—a goddamn solid reason: they are proven to make you prone to cancer of all kinds—breast cancer included.
5. Dare to go bare
If you’re one of the countless innocents fooled by the myth about the need for support and bras for your breasts, let us make one thing clear: Both you and your lady jugs are just about enough for themselves and need no support. Yup, there’s absolutely no concrete scientific proof about going braless leading to saggy breasts.
So, let go of the bras and the uncomfortably tight corsets as much as you can. In fact, letting your tatas free at night is an absolute must in order to let the lymphatic fluids inside your breasts flow freely.
Not to mention, torturing yourself by wearing clingy, tight, and non-breathable bras has also got to stop right here, right now. According to a study published in the Journal of Oncology Research and Treatment, wearing tight bras for long is associated with an increased risk of developing breast cancer and you defo don’t want that, right?
6. Be your own doc sometimes and do a self-breast examination
Remember how we just told you, you’re enough for yourself? Well, you can use this strength of yours to nurture your relationship with your breasts by regularly examining them yourself.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine recommends taking a self-breast exam three to five days after getting your period by lying on your back, placing one hand behind your head, and firmly pressing your entire breast with the middle finger of your free hand using small motions.
Next, stand or sit in a position that allows you to feel your armpit as the breast tissue extends till there. Don’t forget to gently squeeze your nipple and check for any discharge after checking for any lumps in the previous steps.
You must also look at your breasts in the mirror and check for any changes in the skin texture such as dimpling, puckering, indentations, or skin that looks like an orange peel and see if your nipples are turning inwards.
If all this seems like a task or if you notice any abnormalities, you must visit a doctor without any delays.
7. Say no to negative breast talk
You know how they say that good communication is the key to building a healthy relationship? Well, the same rule applies to your relationship with your breasts too.
So, communicate with them—positively, we mean. Small, big, firm, loose—those are your precious gifts from Mother Nature and are bound to be unique. So, accept them, appreciate them, and stop criticizing them.