Women’s breasts or mammary glands are made up of milk-producing glandular tissue, milk ducts that transport breast milk to the nipples, and fatty tissue on the inside. In reality, the amount of fat impacts breast size. The female breast also contains blood arteries, lymph tissue, lymph nodes, and a complex system of nerves, connective tissue, and ligaments that support and form the breast.
Although women’s breasts vary greatly in size and shape, they are all composed of the same components. Breasts are covered with skin on the outside, which contains the areola (the pink or brown circle that surrounds the nipple), the nipple, and the Montgomery glands. [1, 2]
Breasts are composed of fatty, fibrous, and glandular tissue that is located in the front of the chest wall.
- Breasts are shaped and enlarged by fatty tissue.
- The breast is supported and structured by fibrous tissue.
- The glandular tissue of the breast generates and transports milk.
Breasts originate while the unborn infant is still growing in the mother’s uterus. This explains why men and women both have nipples and breasts. The distinction is that men’s breasts lack the milk-producing tissue known as lobes.
The average female breast weighs between seven and ten ounces and is made up of 12 to twenty lobes that extend out from the nipple like spokes on a bicycle wheel. Each of these lobes has a central duct that opens at the nipple and allows milk to leave. [1, 2]
Breast Health Maintenance
By practising proper breast self-care at any age, you may help keep your breasts healthy. Here’s what one does to keep their breast healthy:
1. Promote Breast Cancer Awareness.
Even though you look at and touch your breasts every day, performing a monthly breast self-exam will help you become acquainted with the appearance and feel of your breasts, making it simpler to detect abnormalities. The National Breast Cancer Foundation teaches how to perform a breast self-exam in the following ways:
- In the Shower: Check the entire breast and armpit area with the pads or flats of your three middle fingers, pressing down with mild, medium, and firm pressure. Every month, feel both breasts for any lumps, thickening, stiffened knots, or other breast changes.
- In the Front of a Mirror: Examine your breasts with your arms at your sides, and then raise them high above your head. Examine the form and skin for any alterations, as well as any swelling or changes in the nipples. Then, with your fists on your hips, contract your chest muscles strongly. Examine for any alterations, especially on one side.
- Lying Down: Breast tissue distributes uniformly throughout the chest wall when lying down. Position a cushion beneath your right shoulder and your right arm behind your head. Gently move your fingers over your right breast, covering the entire breast area and armpit with your left hand. Then repeat with your right hand on your left breast. 
2. Get a Clinical Breast Exam Once a Year.
Women can now receive a yearly “well woman” visit that is covered by insurance, according to the Affordable Care Act, which includes a Clinical Breast Exam (CBE). A professional health provider will carefully feel your breasts, underarms, and the area just below the breastbone for any changes, such as a lump, as part of this assessment. If a CBE is not available at your check-up, inquire with your clinician about the exam. [1, 2, 3]
3. Maintain Proper Skin Care.
Breast skin care is equally as important as skin care for your face and other regions. The skin on and around the breasts is some of the most sensitive on the body. Breast health groups advocate putting a thick moisturiser on breast skin on a daily basis, wearing sun block with an SPF of 15 or higher to any regions exposed to the sun, and using moisturising soaps, cleansing creams, or bath or shower gels with additional moisturisers instead of drying soaps.
4. Maintain an Active Lifestyle and a Healthy Diet.
The American Cancer Society established nutrition and physical exercise suggestions to help prevent cancer, which also apply to breast health. Among these suggestions are:
- To help maintain a healthy weight, engage in regular physical activity and limit your intake of high-calorie meals and beverages.
- Increasing your intake of fruits, veggies, and whole grains
- Reducing your use of processed foods and red meat
- Just one drink of alcohol per day.
5. Wear the Right Bra.
If the breasts are not adequately supported, connective tissue called ligaments in the breast will overstretch and sag. Selecting the right bra will help you avoid overstretching and sagging.
Women’s health doctors advocate a bra that moulds the breasts, keeps them pressed against the chest wall, and has properly positioned cups, especially for ladies with larger breasts. It’s also crucial to remember that your bra size might change from year to year, so measuring before you go to the store or order online is essential for finding the appropriate fit. If you can’t comfortably secure a bra on the second or third hook, the bra is too small. [1,3]
6. Drink Plenty of Water and Consume a Well-Balanced Diet.
Every day, eat at least five to eight servings of fruits and vegetables. Furthermore, cancer-fighting foods include broccoli, cabbage, kale, watermelon, and healthy grains. Increase your consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in walnuts, salmon, soybeans, and pumpkin seeds. Avoid processed sugars and fats because they are renowned for not only adding weight to your waistline but also increasing your chance of breast cancer. 
7. Get a Good Night’s Sleep.
Staying up late can expose you to more light at night, which inhibits melatonin levels. This can be problematic because studies indicate that melatonin may help regulate estrogen. Another incentive to go to bed early and obtain seven to eight hours of sleep. 
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