With Covid-19 on our minds at all times, we unfortunately run the risk of neglecting our health in other ways. Many of us are stressing more, consuming more alcohol and moving a lot less.
That's why breast cancer surgeon & author of Breasts: The Owner's Manual, Dr. Kristi Funk, is sharing two things she does every day — even during the pandemic — to help improve her breast health and reduce her risk of developing breast cancer.
"Every day is another chance to get things just right," Dr. Funk says. "I capture the mornings to do two things that I know will set me and my family up for success."
1. Drink a Disease-Fighting Antioxidant Smoothie
"I've been perfecting my antioxidant smoothie recipe since 2012," Dr. Funk says.
She explains the benefits of some of the key ingredients:
Soy milk: "I always choose soy [milk], because it's been proven to lower hormone-driven breast and prostate cancers."
Ground flaxseeds: "[Add] ground flaxseeds for your anti-estrogenic lignans and healthy omega-3 fatty acids."
Black pepper: "[It] activates the anti-cancer curcumin in turmeric."
Liquid aloe tonic: "[It] unleashes the anti-inflammatory power of the aloe vera plant."
Ancient matcha green tea: [This will] send polyphenols coursing through your veins."
Amla: "Amla is the powder form of the Indian gooseberry, which contains more antioxidants than any other food on Earth."
2. Get active!
"The key to exercise is to automate it," Dr. Funk says. "It's not a choice. Just do it, no matter what your mood."
Dr. Funk rotates her family workouts. Either they run five miles, hike three miles on local trails or ride 15 miles on the beach bike path. If the weather is bad, they use their indoor bikes.
PLUS: Stay On Top of Mammograms & Necessary Procedures
"Covid, in my opinion, has become one of the biggest risk factors for breast cancer that we've ever seen," Dr. Funk tells Rach. "Screening — breast imaging — is down 62%. Breast surgery is down 21%. And the worst stat all is that new breast cancer cases — week after week versus pre-Covid numbers — is down 52%. Breast cancer rates actually go up a little bit every year, so it hasn't magically slashed in half. It's there, undetected, multiplying and dividing."
"If you are due or overdue, please postpone no more," she stresses. "We figured it out. It's been Covid for eons now. You can come in. Get a mask, put it on your face, get your mammo and then wash your hands. It is safer to do your screening than it is to sit at home and hope that there's nothing going on."