In my last blog post, I discussed how over-production of free radicals can lead to cancer. Anti-oxidant benefits are our friends in waging the fight against cancer, but as we get older, we have fewer and fewer anti-oxidants in our bodies. Therefore, it’s important to help with proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle.The following are some most identified causes of free-radical overproduction and things to avoid to help you increase your chances of staying cancer-free:

Cholesterol

Every cell in the body contains cholesterol and contrary to popular belief, cholesterol isn’t ‘bad’ for you. In fact, it’s helpful; especially for proper brain function. Where we get into trouble and what causes the damage is the oxidized cholesterol which has been exposed to free radicals, such as with rancid butter and cold milk.

Fat

You definitely want to limit your intake of polyunsaturated fat, since it is more prone to oxidation that will eventually increase production of free radicals and possible risk of colon cancer. This kind of fat is found on vegetable oils, fried foods and meat (beef, lamb and chicken).

Red Meat

Red meat contains iron, which in excess causes free radicals in the colon and also produces carcinogens.

Mental Distress

When we are under tension, stress, anger or anxiety, stress hormones such as cortisone and catecholamines are secreted. These molecules will react with the cells and create free radicals. Read my blog posts series on Stress Relief, Effective Stress Management and The Effects of Stress on Health.

Alcohol

Aside from its ill effects on health such as heart and liver damage, alcoholic drinks are the major producers of free radicals. Red wine can actually help due to its anti-oxidant content, but this is a bit of a moot point when looking at the effects of alcohol.

Smoking

This habit opens a door for free radicals to come in and create direct damage to your lungs. Smoking has been shown to be an important risk factor for at least 25 different types of cancer.

Food Preservatives and Pesticides

As the pests are killed by pesticides, the plants are then chemically contaminated. We in turn eat the plant that has been damaged through accumulated free radicals.

Environmental Pollution

One of the most unavoidable channels of free radical build-up is our daily inhalation of exhaust fumes from cars and other gasoline-fueled vehicles.

Sunlight

Although sunlight is a great source of Vitamin D, too much exposure to it will create skin aging problems as free radicals react speedily and damage the skin cells.

Chemotherapy and Radiation

This immediate cancer treatment kills great deal of tumor cells through a massive production of free radicals. For the aim of exterminating cancerous cells, the normal ones are sacrificed for collateral damage.