Risk factors for developing breast cancer include being female, obesity, lack of physical exercise, drinking alcohol, hormone replacement therapyduring menopause, ionizing radiation, early age at first menstruation, having children late or not at all, older age, and family history. About 5–10% of cases are due to genes inherited from a person’s parents, including BRCA1 and BRCA2 among others. Breast cancer most commonly develops in cells from the lining of milk ducts and the lobulesthat supply the ducts with milk. Cancers developing from the ducts are known as ductal carcinomas, while those developing from lobules are known as lobular carcinomas. In addition, there are more than 18 other sub-types of breast cancer. Some cancers, such as ductal carcinoma in situ, develop from pre-invasive lesions. The diagnosis of breast cancer is confirmed by taking a biopsy of the concerning lump. Once the diagnosis is made, further tests are done to determine if the cancer has spread beyond the breast and which treatments it may respond to.
The balance of benefits versus harms of breast cancer screening is controversial. A 2013 Cochrane review stated that it is unclear if mammographic screening does more good or harm. A 2009 review for the US Preventive Services Task Force found evidence of benefit in those 40 to 70 years of age, and the organization recommends screening every two years in women 50 to 74 years old.
Foods listed below ( with progesterone in them) must be consumed in moderate amounts only.
Excess levels of progesterone may disrupt hormonal balance in the body. Menopausal women, women on HRT must eat these foods only after consulting their doctor.
Progesterone is an important female reproductive hormone. It performs various functions in the female body. It is required to regulate menstrual cycle along with estrogen, another important female reproductive system hormone. Progesterone is also required to initiate and maintain pregnancy. Insufficient amount of progesterone may lead to several issues regarding the reproductive health of a woman. Infertility is a common problem amongst women who cannot produce sufficient amount of progesterone. These women are often prescribed progesterone supplements to regulate the menstrual cycle or as a treatment for infertility. Such women can benefit from eating foods with natural progesterone.
Foods With Natural Progesterone
Progesterone is naturally secreted by the woman’s ovaries. Every month, it signals the uterus to thicken its lining so that a fertilized egg can implant there. In the absence of fertilization, the uterus sheds its lining, leading to menstrual flow. Progesterone regulates the menstrual cycle by reducing the dominance of estrogen in the body. It also increases the body’s immunity. Women suffering from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome benefit from progesterone treatment.
Progestin or synthetic progesterone is used to treat menstrual problems such as amenorrhea, abnormal uterine bleeding etc. It is also used for treating endometriosis, loss of appetite and weight loss related to AIDS and cancer. However, synthetic progesterone has numerous side effects, which may hamper your health in the long run. Hence, natural progesterone is preferred over synthetic one for Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT).
Progesterone is essentially an animal hormone. The only food source of progesterone is placenta! Certain animals eat their placenta after birth which gives them the required progesterone surge. Earlier, attempts were made to derive natural progesterone from the placenta of pig. However, this method proved to be very expensive and tedious. Eventually, a progesterone like substance was found in certain plant sources. Although, this is not progesterone similar to natural one found in humans, it certainly mimics the properties of progesterone inside the body. The following food sources of progesterone given below contain both animal and plant progesterone.
Eggs contain progesterone in abundant amounts. Egg yolk especially is very rich source of progesterone. Women with progesterone deficiency should definitely eat eggs.
Dairy products such as milk, cheese made from cow’s milk contain high amounts of progesterone. Cow’s milk is especially rich in progesterone.
Consume growth (synthetic) hormone-free dairy and meat products from Trader’s joes, farmer’s market or organic health food stores.
White meats such as chicken also contain progesterone hormone in small quantity. However, these days, poultry are artificially impregnated with hormones. Consuming such meat may not be the best idea to increase your progesterone levels.
Zinc Rich Foods
Red meat, shellfish, turkey can contribute to increasing the levels of progesterone in the body. However, beware of hormone impregnated beef or pork.
Foods With Phyto Progesterone
Phyto progesterone can overcome progesterone deficiency in the body and maintain progesterone-estrogen balance. It is found in some of the following plant sources.
Yam or wild yam contains certain phytochemicals which act like progesterone when inside the body. However, these yams are not to be confused with sweet potatoes, which are also called yams in some areas. FDA requires you to mention both names yam and sweet potato on the packaging. Hence, make sure you read the label carefully while buying yams.
Vitamin B6 Rich Foods
Foods rich in vitamin B6 such as walnuts, whole grains, fortified cereals and soy milk are good sources of phyto progesterone.