Anti-Cancer Foods: Cherries and Estrogen

anti cancer cherries in snow

Cherries from Chili spotted in Canada in January. Worth breaking the “eat local” guidelines?

Next time you need a nibble on something sweetish, grab a handful of fresh tart cherries. They could help control your estrogen levels.

As you likely know, estrogen is a fuel for many cancers, and if your liver is sluggish (too much alcohol or fat perhaps?), you could be producing an excess.  The liver works to break down estrogen and clear it from your body, and to do this, it uses glucarate, or glucaric acid.  Cherries are a little-known source. (Apples, oranges, strawberries, raspberries, legumes and crucifers are also sources, but today we’re talking cherries.)

Fresh is best; dried, too sweet; canned and jarred, usually drowning in sugar. Tart ones are better than sweet ones.  And because we’re following the golden rule of controlling carbs and other sugars, don’t bother with pies or cobblers.

Depending on which expert you listen to, you can have between 2 to 4 half-cup servings of fresh tart cherries daily (or other fruits that aren’t very sweet), assuming that’s your sweets ration for the day and you don’t have a problem with fructose. If you do have cancer, follow the other golden rule and err on the side of caution.

Wash cherries well, and avoid them on an empty stomach. Eat for dessert or with other foods that contain fiber, protein and/or fat to slow down absorption of the sugars. A Brazil nut or two, perhaps? 

And here’s the cherry on top of today’s verbal sundae:  If you’re cooking burgers at a high temperature, adding cherries to the mixture will help reduce the formation of carcinogens.  I realize it’s winter in the Northern hemisphere, but surely you can find some grass-fed beef from Argentina.

 Why grass, not grain? Stay tuned for that one.     


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