The bust way to stay healthy (Thinkstock photos/Getty Images)
Lifestyle choices and diet go a long way in deciding the health of your breasts. Read on...
Women have long complained about saggy breasts and crinkly cleavages — but it is far from a storm in a D-cup. According to Steve Horvath, a geneticist at UCLA's medical school in the US, different parts of the body age at different rates and the breasts do indeed take the brunt of it. "Healthy breast tissue is about two to three years older than the rest of a woman's body," he explains.
So how can you keep your breasts young and healthy? We asked the experts...
Food for thought
Dietitian Nichola Whitehead says: "Our bodies are made from the nutrients that we consume, meaning a diet lacking in essential vitamins and minerals may show in the condition and look of our skin. "Sweet potato, spinach, kale and butternut squash are rich in vitamin A and can help nourish the delicate skin in the breast area and other parts of the body. Vitamin C is good for collagen production and vitamin E is great for skin production."
Cut down on booze
It's not just food you should be thinking about — that wine habit could also affect your breast health. Alyssa Burns-Hill, holistic hormone health specialist and author, explains: "Alcohol can triple the oestrogen levels in a woman's body. A lot of breast cancers are hormone sensitive and having higher oestrogen levels could cause cancer cells to multiply. By minding oestrogen levels you reduce your potential risk of oestrogen-related cancers."
Alyssa recommends cutting down your alcohol intake and eating broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts and greens as they contains indoles — believed to aid the body in reducing oestrogen levels and helping fight cancer.
The wrong bra size?
With around 80% of women believed to be wearing ill-fitting lingerie, we could be inadvertently contributing to sagging breasts, bad posture, back pain or even abrasions, rashes and irritable bowel syndrome.
Julia Mercer a lingerie fit expert, says, "Many factors, including weight loss or gain, medication, contraceptive pills, the menstrual cycle, pregnancy and menopause can affect breast size. It's important to buy new bras every year to make sure you have the correct size." Get an in-store fitter to measure you. And don't forget a sports bra for exercise!
"Knowing the signs and symptoms of breast cancer and what your breasts are normally like could save your life," says Kristin Hallenga, of a breast cancer awareness charity.
A wrinkly decolletage can really age you. TV beauty expert Hayley Sparkes says: "The bust is an area we often neglect as we focus on our face. But boobs are exposed to friction from clothes and underwear, which can end up chaffing the delicate skin. It is worth investing in products to help combat that.