Breast Cancer Awareness Month – Love Your Melons

October: a month when leaves change color, Halloween festivities abound and pumpkin spice lattes re-enter our morning routines. But, that’s not all October is known for. It’s the time of year for breast cancer awareness, and at Tsamma, we want to remind women to love their melons. When breast cancer is detected early, in the localized stage, the five-year relative survival rate is 100%. Creating an early detection plan is a great way to prevent breast cancer, or at the very least, catch it early.

Staying at a healthy weight, being physically active, and limiting how much alcohol you drink can help reduce your risk of breast cancer. Regular screenings can help women catch the illness early, at a stage when treatment is most likely to be successful. Personal choices are integral to preventing many types of cancer – have a smoking habit? There’s no better time to quit than today. And ahem, ladies, “smoking socially” still constitutes smoking and increases your risk of developing breast cancer and a slew of other nasty illnesses. But some risk factors have nothing to do with personal choice. Being a woman is the main risk factor for developing breast cancer, due to the fact that progesterone and estrogen (which us gals have plenty of) can promote cancer cell growth. Sixty-six percent of invasive breast cancers are also found in women who are older than the age of 55, so it’s important that we screen for cancers as we age.

A healthy lifestyle is crucial for all sorts of reasons, and the bottom line is that we all need to implement the right choices when it comes to exercising, eating nutritious foods and reducing stress. Well, Tsamma-lovers, you’re all ahead of the game. Watermelon is one of the healthiest and most hydrating foods on the planet, with tons of lycopene, L-citrulline, potassium, vitamins and antioxidants. It is free of fat and cholesterol, and also is known for being a “cleansing fruit.” Watermelon is the fruit of choice for anyone who is looking to relieve stress. It has high amounts of vitamin B6, which is used by the body to produce brain chemicals that relieve stress, anxiety and panic attacks. Fondly referred to as the “wonder fruit,” watermelon relaxes blood vessels without the side effects of drugs.

Watermelon is delicious, but can be inconvenient to consume on a daily basis. To get the great health benefits of the melon, just chug a bottle of Tsamma juice, which contains one and a half pounds of fruit. And get this, Tsamma-lovers: cucurbitacins, compounds found in watermelon, have been shown to induce cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in human breast cancer cells. The high carotenoid levels found in watermelon are also likely to offer protection against breast cancer.

So this October (and every other month of the year), remember to love your melons. Create your early detection plan, self-screen for potential tumors and schedule your annual mammograms. Be safe, be healthy, be breast cancer-free.