How Excessive Free Radicals Damage the Body and How Vegetables and Fruits Help Clean Them Up

Vegetables and fruit photoVegetables and fruits are full of antioxidants and phytonutrients that are literally a cure for excessive free radicals and oxidative stress in the body, which are one of the main known causes of cancer and heart disease among many other health challenges. In this article, I will give a brief overview of how you can maintain a healthy balance of these elements in your body.

Free radicals are unstable atoms that form in the body in relation to oxidation and can occur as a natural byproduct of many processes in the body. They can form in excess by external sources such as unhealthy dietary fats, stress, environmental toxins and more. A little exposure is actually good to build up your body’s internal strength, but too much causes a lot of trouble. In modern times, most of us have far too much exposure to these free radicals unless we are careful to take good care of our health.

When there are too many, free radicals can be extremely reactive and destructive to the body’s proper functioning. It’s important to be aware that our genes aren’t set in stone, they are highly susceptible to environmental factors like these. At the cellular level, free radicals can do serious damage to DNA, cell membranes, lipids, carbohydrates, and protein molecules. When the ratio of free radicals to antioxidants gets too high, along with other factors that help regulate them, oxidative stress can really get us into trouble.

Where do free radicals come from?

Some of the free radicals contributing to oxidative stress form from normal metabolic processes in the body. Even exercise can cause them to form. Some cooking processes can add to free radical production, like grilling meat. The blackened parts of grilled meats are chock-full of free radicals. In addition to the food-based free radicals relating to unhealthy fats (learn more about healthy fats here), we can get added exposure to them from environmental toxins, chemicals, water pollutants, radiation (like X-rays and air travel), cigarette smoke, pesticides, air pollution, and a whole host of other toxins. We are all exposed to these on a daily basis, to varying degrees.

Obviously, the more exposure you have, the more at risk you are of developing excessive free radicals along with their negative effects. It is of course important to minimize your exposure to these dangerous influences, but here is some good news. Antioxidants are the primary method of wrangling and neutralizing free radicals, thereby helping to shift oxidative stress.

Antioxidant molecules can safely interact with free radicals and terminate the chain reaction that causes oxidation before other fundamental and healthy molecules are damaged in the body. As such, they are essentially one of the body’s primary antidotes to disease-causing forces.

A natural solution for wrangling free radicals in the body

So, what is a primary source of antioxidants for our bodies? Yep, as I shared earlier, vegetables and fruit.

Since we know vegetables and fruit are full of antioxidants, then it goes to figure that the more vegetables and fruit we eat, the more hard work they can do to clean up free-radical damage in the body. If we get enough—depending on the toxic load, of course—antioxidants can stop damage before it even starts. This is why, in our modern life with so many toxic exposures, it’s so important that we eat as many vegetables (and some fruit) as we can, and in as many varieties as we can.

So enjoy a rainbow of vegetables and fruits in your diet to help maintain good health and keep those toxic forces in check!

Finally, a natural deodorant brand that works like a dream!

Primal Pit PasteHave you struggled with natural deodorants over the years, trying to be healthier but stopping because they didn’t take care of body odor well enough when the pressure was really put on them? I have a whole basket of them in my bathroom cupboard!

I’ve been wanting to share about this amazingly effective natural deodorant for some time, which has been working amazingly well, but needed to make 100% sure I tested it out in tough circumstances before doing so. I’m now about 9 months into using it and can say with certainty that it works like a dream!

Primal Pit Paste

The company is Primal Pit Paste brand deodorants. They can be found online on outlets like Thrive Market, Amazon, and in some health food stores.

My final test came this past week. I’ve been back home in Texas, in the almost 100 degree heat, working outdoors, helping my Mom move and clear out my grandparents old house. I had LOTS of sweaty, sticky moments (I’m sure you can all relate). But the great news: not even a hint of odor the whole time.

Many of the natural deodorants I’ve tried in the past have done fine in less strenuous circumstances but wouldn’t always hold up when I was really sweating it out. This is the natural deodorant I’ve been waiting for!

I know how many questionable chemicals are in the standard over-the-counter deodorants that have been shown by numerous studies to be problematic and even toxic to a number of our body systems (for background and ratings on thousands of skin care products, see Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database: – I’ve shared about this before). With as many outside negative environmental influences we are exposed to in the modern world, I don’t want to add in anything else of concern.

Also, for awhile, I had really sensitive arm-pits. I was getting a lot of break-out reaction and itching with even many natural deodorants. The ones I didn’t react too didn’t always work. (This has changed a lot for the better since I’ve changed my diet, but I still want to be careful). Primal Pits doesn’t irritate at all. And as I said, it’s amazingly effective.

Ingredients: Organic Shea Butter, Non-Aluminum Baking Soda, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Beeswax, Organic Arrowroot Powder, Organic Sunflower Oil, Ylang Ylang Essential Oil, Jasmine Absolute Oil, Gardenia Absolute Oil, Bergamot Essential Oil, Non-GMO Vitamin E (sourced 100% from sunflowers).

Seems almost crazy that such natural stuff would really work, right!?! Well, I have yet to have any odor, so I know it works for me. I’d urge anyone to try it out. It’s a little pricey but lasts a long time. Worth every penny.

Plastics Are Far More Toxic Than Most Realize: Tips On How You Can Reduce Exposure

There are numerous known toxins found in the vast majority plastic products we are exposed to everyday. Those related to food and our bodies are particularly worrisome, as these chemicals can leach out into our foods, beverages and onto our skin, and are unfortunately easily stored in the body where they can do significant damage over the long-term. Especially when combined with numerous other environmental toxins we are exposed to constantly.  It all adds up.  Every area we can cut back, the better our body will hold up.

Some of the primary plastic toxins include: formaldehyde, phthalates, BPA and toxic flame retardants to name just a few. When stored in the body, they have been linked to obesity, infertility, endocrine disruption, asthma, heart disease and even cancer.

A recent study released by Environmental Health Perspectives showed that most plastic products, from sippy cups to food wraps to water bottles, can release chemicals that act like the sex hormone estrogen. Yikes! This is of course not what most of us want our babies exposed to. The rest of us don’t need it either.

It’s easy enough to reduce at least some of our exposure (even in a plastic filled world). Knowing that some things are unavoidable, below are some good tips.

Tips for reducing your Plastic exposure:

  • Avoid heat: Plastics are known to leech out trace chemicals, especially when heated. Avoid touching when you can and don’t use plastic to reheat (like in microwaves, especially in plastic or plastic coated take-out containers! By the way, most take out containers are now coated in plastics, so be mindful). And when you go to Starbucks to get that piping hot coffee, be aware that all the cups are lined with plastic. Yikes indeed! Might be good to bring your own real cup and ask them to make it in that (or save money in the long haul and buy a nice coffee/espresso device to make yourself). And, how many times have you left that plastic water bottle in the hot car for days (weeks) and it tasted funny, yup, those are likely various leached chemicals. At least you don’t have to worry about storage or shipping of the water cases to stores, I’m sure they air condition all those semi-trucks that deliver the water bottles in the scorching summer heat?!!? (Not likely.)
  • Drink liquids out of glass, ceramic, uncoated metal or other less toxic materials. If you like to carry a water bottle, same goes. I always keep one with me to avoid plastic water bottles (which are the cheapest material and have been shown to leach some of the toxins mentioned above). My favorite is glass that has a silicone mesh cover to protect it from breaking.
  • Silicone is a better replacement. Silicone is believed by many to be far safer. If you buy plastic coated products, especially cooking utensils, consider swapping out for heat resistant silicone.
  • Use glass for food storage. Glass containers are much better than plastic. They don’t leach. For some bulky things, like my cleaned lettuces, I use zip lock bags but line them with unbleached paper towels first to minimize exposure.
  • Buy food staples stored in glass instead of plastic. I buy most of my staple items, like mayonnaise, beverages, etc. in glass jars. There are plenty of good options.
  • Skip the receipts! Almost all receipts now are printed on thermal paper which are lined with BPA and other harmful chemicals. Research has shown even touching these can cause BPA to leech into your skin and it shows up in urine and blood tests. If you don’t need it, ask them to toss it.
  • Metal cans are coated in plastic. Almost all metal cans that store foods in the grocery store (tomato sauce, beans, soups, etc.) are lined with plastic coatings, often with BPA. There is not really much you can do on this front except to prepare whole foods.
  • BPA alternatives may not be any better. I always look for non-BPA products. That being said, there is emerging data showing that the alternatives may not be much better. The jury is still out, but best to be cautious and just avoid plastic as much as possible.

This and more information will be part of my upcoming book Eat Your Way to Awesome: 3 Most Impactful Steps To Feel Amazing. You can sign-up to make sure you are alerted upon its release.