Carcinogen 101: Protect Your Body

Carcinogens are the substances that cause cancer in our bodies. Carcinogens can come in many different forms, but all can cause cancers and severly affect your health. However, there are many foods that can improve your health by protecting you against the damages done by carcinogens.

What Is a Carcinogen?

A carcinogen is any substance that is directly involved with the emergence of cancer in the body. Carcinogens can cause cancer in different ways, including affecting the DNA or causing an unhealthy rate of cell division. Carcinogens are usually in the form of chemicals, which can be found in common household items. Bath and beauty items, as well as foods such as meat and whole milk, have been found to contain certain carcinogens. Additionally, tobacco smoke is a common carcinogen and excess UV light can cause skin cancer.

Common Carcinogens

Three of the more common carcinogens are chlorine, radon and arsenic. Chlorine is one of the most commonly used chemicals. It is used in drinking water and swimming pools to kill bacteria and can also be found in many household items. Radon is produced by uranium decay and can be found in poorly ventillated places, such as cellars and attics. Radon has been associated with lung cancer. Arsenic can be found in such things as alloys, electriacl devices, medications, herbicides and fungicides. It is a common cause of lung and skin cancer.

Carcinogens in Food

Prepared food can contain carcinogens. When foods are cooked at high temperatures, it can lead to the formation of certain cancer causing substances. One trick to avoiding this is to precook any food in the microwave, which shortens the time on the heat source.

Exposure to Carcinogens

Carcinogens can be found in many of the items we use everyday including the food we eat. But don’t worry, carcinogens do not cause cancer after every exposure. Usually, carcinogens need high-level, prolonged exposure to have any effect. Furthermore, carcinogens are influenced by a person’s DNA, meaning that exposure of carcinogens may mean less than a person’s genetics.

Antioxidants

Incorporating antioxidants into your diet can be extremely beneficial for your health. Antioxidants are vitamins and minerals found in food, which can prevent or slow the damage to our body. Fortunately, many foods contain anitoxidants, especially fruits. Try to add more fruits to your diet in order to protect your body. Some high antioxidant fruits in blueberries, strawberries, grapes, and cranberries.

Other Foods

Tomatoes, spinach, and avocados are other foods that are high in antioxidants. Some more foods  that have been shown to help protect against cancer include olive oil and garlic. Olive oil can help reduce cholesterol, but has also been associated with reducing your risk of colon cancer. Garlic, in normal consuption, has also been shown to guard against cancer.

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