Good breast health reflects your overall health condition.
Maintaining healthy breasts can help reduce the risk of having breast cancer and the diseases associated with the breasts.
Breast is an essential part of a woman. The parts of the breast are categorized according to their functions.
The parts of the breast that is responsible for milk production are lobes, lobules, ducts, nipple, and areole.
Each breast is made up of fifteen to twenty lobes, which interconnects with the nipple. Each lobe contains several lobules and each lobule contains milk-producing glands.
The lobules are connected with small tubes called ducts. Ducts are the passageways that help transport milk from the glands to the nipples.
The nipple is located in the center and is surrounded by the areola, a dark colored area. The areola has glands that produce fluid to give lubrication of the nipple during breastfeeding. Maintaining a good breast health can lead to better production of milk.
On the other hand, the parts of the breast responsible for breast support are fatty tissues, fibrous tissues, connective tissues, ligaments, blood vessels, lymph nodes and vessels, and pectoral muscle.
Fatty tissues and fibrous tissues provide soft feeling and support to the breasts. The fatty tissue surrounds the breast glands whereas fibrous tissue surrounds the lobules and the ducts.
The gap between lobules and ducts will contain fat. Breast contains no muscle, but pectoral muscle (located above the rib cage), connective tissues, ligaments (connected to the breast skin) help support the breast.
The blood vessels of the breast transport the nutrients to the breast and take away the waste products whereas the lymph vessels connect to lymph nodes and transports fluid called lymph to help fight against foreign organisms.
You can have breast changes starting from adolescence to menopause. This is due to the hormonal fluctuations with menstrual cycle, pregnancy [Pregnancy Information] and breastfeeding. The changes can be benign or malignant.
Benign breast changes are common and harmless. The common benign breast changes are fibroadenomas (painless and firm lumps), breast pain, breast lumpiness, cysts, fat necrosis, intraductal papillomas, breast infections, breast inflammation, breast tumor (benign), and nipple discharge.
On the other hand, malignant breast changes are breast cancer, cysts.
You can prevent all these breast changes by maintaining breast health. This can be done through lifestyle and dietary changes.
Always keep away from alcohol consumption, maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly for at least half-an-hour a day, self-massage your breasts, have mammograms and breast exams yearly once (if you are above forty), and clinical breast exam for every three years (if below forty).
Have a healthy balanced diet with lots of fruits, all vegetables, whole grain foods, nuts, soy, low-fat foods, low-fat dairy products, and high-fiber foods for breast health. Avoid hydrogenated fats.
Use supplements such as vitamins C, E, minerals and B-complex. Keep away from radiation. Try to get more sunrays. On the other hand, self-examination of the breast on a monthly basis can help maintain breast health by determining the lumps (if any) in the early stages.