In all material mass there are radio-isotopes as a trace elements. These radio-isotopes release electrons in the form of free radicals which , in the body, often causes little damage, but occasionally has a carcinogenic effect. In fact, a free radical is released 6 times every second in an average sized human. In places where there has been uranium misuse this problem is greatly increased. However, there are organic compounds (carbon based) that are the answer to this minor threat. They are found in plants, and they are called phytochemicals.
The plant uses the phytochemicals as part of their immune system, protecting them from fungal and bacterial infections. They also add flavour and colour to the plant. The phytochemicals are non-nutritive, but they can save lives.
Here is a list of foods that one can eat or use that have phytochemical action.
Broccoli, Aloe vera, Cabbage, Ginseng (Western and Korean), Brussel Sprouts, Clary Sage, Tomato (best cooked), Common Mallow, Garlic, Cornsilk, Acai, Dandelion, Almond, Ground Ivy, Bilberry, Hawthorn, Black Raspberry, Hop, Blackberry, Hyssop, Cranberry, Indian Cress, Grape, Lemon balm, Guarana, Lemon Verbena, Hazelnut, Marigold, Mangosteen, Milfoil, Maqui Berry, Milk Thistle, Noni, Red Clover, Olive, Rooibos, Orange, Rosemary, Leeks, Pomegranate, Sage, Red Raspberry, Schizandra, Sea Buckthorn, Stinging Nettle, Wild Strawberry, Sweet Clover, Wolfberry, Tea, Wild Carrot, Wild Pansy, Woodruff, Soy, Cacao, Comfrey, Common Broom, Echinacea, Ginkgo, Goat's Rue, Lesser Celandine, Lungwort, Opium Poppy (not recommended), Passion Fruit, Periwinkle, Red Byrony, Valerian, Wintergreen, Vanillin, Cinnamon, Tumeric.
Although that is a substantial list, there are others of course, some that are yet to be discovered and understood. They all have anti-cancer properties. Here is a few examples of which phytochemicals are in which plans and what their effect is.
Antioxidants (the most fashionable phytochemicals) such as allyl sulfides are found in onion, garlic and leeks). Carotenoids are found in fruits and carrots. Flavonoids are found in fruits and vegetables. Polyphenols are found in tea and grapes.
Isoflavones have a hormonal action and have a estrogen effect helping with menopause symptoms and preventative towards osteoporosis. It is found in soy beans, red clover, licorice and garbanzo.
Indoles stimulate enzymes. Cabbage indoles disaffect estrogen, thereby reducing breast cancer risks.
In soy and beans there are protease inhibitors. Terpenes are found in citrus fruits and cherries.
Some phytochemicals interfere with DNA, thereby reducing cancer multiplication. Saponins found in beans do this.
Allicin in garlic has antibacterial properties.
Proanthocyanidins in cranberries have the physical action of binding to the cell wall, preventing pathogens from doing the same thing. Cranberries have this compound, and is good for reducing urinary tract infections and are good for dental health.
If you want to do further research or play match the chemical to the plant, here is a list of other phytochemicals.
Alkaloids such as caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline. Anthocyanins such as cyanioin and malvidin. Carotenoids such as beta-caroene, lutein, and lycopene. Coumestans, and Flavan-3-Ols. Flavonoids such as epicatechin, hesperidin, isorhamnetin, kaempferol, myricetin, naringin, proanthocyanidins, quercetin, resveratrol, rutin, and tangeretin. Hydroxycinnamic acids such as chicoric acid, coumarin, ferulic acid, and scopoletin. Isoflavones like daidzein and genistein. Lignans as silymarin. Monophenals as hydroxytyrosol. Monoterpenes such as geranoil and limonene. Organosulfides such as allicin, glutathione, indole-3-carinol, isothiocyanates, and sulforaphane.
The pith (the white stuff) in fruit has a lot of phytochemicals and vitamin C.
If you extend the logic of using phytochemicals to reduce the effects of free radicals upon the body to an external level, as in the enviroment, it could be that living in an area that has a large biomass (has a lot of plants and animals living in it, mostly plants), the environment around the body is absorbing a lot of free radicals and other carconagens (like radiation). This would in turn reduce the amount of work that the bodie's internal workings has to expend in stabilising and removing these damaging particals. Also, areas with little biomass have very little insulation from free radicals as well as a tendency to have a higher degree of free radicals, carconegens, and heavy metals etc. that can stay that way for longer periods with the only changes being a larger extreme in temperatures.
Anyway, I personally think that a lot more research could be done in the area of phytochemicals and the naturally derived carbon based compounds in plants as solutions for all sorts of medical, social, industrial and primary industry problems. There are medicinal plants known and unknown all around the world that have yet to be experimented with and understood for their greatest potential. I'm sure that random exploration of the phytochemicals in our wilderness, with the help of "primitive" forest, and desert, peoples (including other primates) could be most lucrative for both the people, microbiologists and other scientists (like anthropologists), herbalists and general (primary, farmers and secondary, pharmaceutical) industry.