Des Moines, Iowa (NAPSI) - There are ways to reduce the risk of breast cancer and take charge of your health. According to the American Cancer Society, research has shown that a poor diet and inactivity are key factors in increasing cancer risk.

Make breast cancer screening and regular checkups a part of your healthy lifestyle.

To help, consider these five ways that soyfoods can help reduce your risk of breast cancer:

1. Understand that you are what you eat. Soyfoods can help you make healthy choices, with a focus on eating more plant-based foods. Not only do soyfoods provide complete protein, they’re cholesterol-free, low in saturated fat and offer other health advantages as well. On its informative website, The Soyfoods Council offers details about how soyfoods can be an important part of your family’s healthy lifestyle. Regarding ways to reduce the risk of breast cancer, the free “Soyfoods and Your Health” brochure explains that while healthy behavior throughout your life span can impact breast cancer risk, diet and lifestyle habits during the first 20 years appear to be especially impactful.

2. Help the young girls in your life get a healthy start. Evidence suggests that there are big advantages to consuming soy during childhood and adolescence. Studies indicate that eating just a little bit of soy each day when young may offer significant protection against breast cancer. This exciting research found that just one serving of soy a day—such as a cup of soymilk or ⅔ cup edamame—may reduce the chances of developing breast cancer later in life by as much as 50 percent. Current thinking is that consuming soyfoods—likely because they contain very unique compounds—causes changes in the developing breast cells that make them permanently less likely to develop cancer.

3. Keep current on diet and health information if you have had breast cancer. Recent comprehensive research involving nearly 10,000 breast cancer patients found that over a seven-year period, soyfood consumption actually reduced risk of recurrence by 25 percent. According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer patients can safely consume soyfoods.

4. Maintain a healthy weight. The Soyfoods Council can help with nutrition information and recipes, like Calico Beans, that satisfy your hunger and provide a protein boost. Because higher-protein diets may aid in weight loss, healthful protein sources like soyfoods can play an important role in a healthy diet.

5. Promote physical activity for the whole family. The Soyfoods Council, a nonprofit organization created and funded by soybean farmers, offers tools to help you understand the important link between diet and exercise. For example, the free brochure “Kids in the Kitchen: 50 Soy Snack Ideas” provides healthful snack suggestions for active children—snacks that make it easy for girls to consume at least one serving of soyfoods per day. Help the kids in your life to learn more about the diet and exercise connection with the free smartphone app Soy Pals. This virtual friend game is a learning tool for making healthful choices.

Updated research information, new recipes and fun videos are frequently updated on The Soyfoods Council website: