An Anti-Cancer Holiday Gift: Cranberries to Enrich your Poop

anti-cancer diet: cranberries

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You don’t know what a healthy poop is until you’ve added some cranberries to your anti-cancer diet.  

And what’s a hearty poop got to do with cancer? 

Fiber, we’re now realizing, may be the most important waste known to human kind. 


For one, it binds estrogens and other carcinogens and takes them out of your body along with the rest of the garbage. If you’re not pooping well and regularly, toxins sit around too long in your intestines and can get reabsorbed into the blood. 


Immunity begins in the gut, scientists often say. The lining of your intestines acts as a barrier to keep harmful compounds from moving out of the intestines into the bloodstream (and vice-versa). Cranberries’ fiber gets fermented in your gut into fatty acids that help enrich the lining. 


Those fatty acids also help control appetite, blood sugar and inflammation, an underlying cause of much modern disease.  


See how that cranberry sauce gets all thick and gooey? Scientists think that compounds in cranberries can actually stick to harmful microbes and help transport them out of your body. And the latest research–which has berry scientists all buzzing– shows that cranberries seem to produce the good gut bacteria that fight the bad.


(For the full poop, with links to sources, check out the new piece on Zester Daily.) 


The dilemma with crans is that they’ve got very little sugar. You really do have to sweeten them. If you have cancer or are watching your sugars for other reasons, try using one of the following:
  • erythritol, the sugar substitute touted by health expert Dr. Michael Greger
  • stevia (Has anybody found a brand with a decent taste?) 
  • glycine, an amino acid with some sweetness


Now it’s your turn to send me your anti-cancer holiday gift. Send in a recipe by December 15 for cranberry sauce using one of those three sweeteners. (Just reply to this post.) The best recipe will be featured in the guidebook, “Eat and Beat Cancer: How to Create Your Anti–Cancer Kitchen”– coming soon, I promise. 


4 thoughts on “An Anti-Cancer Holiday Gift: Cranberries to Enrich your Poop

  1. Yours is the one blog I read and reread each post, and refer others to read as well. Thank you.

    Let me question one statement please: “You really do have to sweeten them.” Actually, you don’t. In the Western diet, we’ve created a narrative of preference for low fibre, fatty, sweet food. Here’s my cranberry recipe, and, like air popped, unsalted, unbuttered popcorn, it’s an acquired taste. Now, when I have theatre popcorn, it tastes like a greasy salt lick. Now, when I have sugared cranberries, it’s too sweet a taste.

    Boil cranberries, fresh or frozen, in the liquid of unsweetened cranberry juice (9 gms of sugar per glass).
    When the berries are soft enough for your taste, squeeze in some lime to taste, and let it cool.
    Add nuts and/or raisins or other embellishments you and your friends, family like, such as unsweetened coconut.

    Yes, it will taste a bit puckery at first. What’s wrong with that?
    happy turkey season to all.


    • Thanks so much for your comments and recipe, Deborah. You’re so right. We’ve developed a self-destructive taste for all things sweet.

      My friend, a dietitian, compared the canned cranberry sauce with the recipe in that Zester Daily article. Here’s what she found:

      for a 1/2 cup (125ml) serving

      commercial bought cranberry sauce
      221 kcal
      1.5g fiber
      55g sugar

      Zester Daily recipe (sweetened with maple syrup)
      3g fibre
      12.3g sugar
      10 DFE Folate (That’s Dietary Folate Equivalent.”This is interesting”, she says.)

      I can’t wait to get back in the kitchen and embrace your suggestions for a “puckery” treat–your word, and what a good one!


  2. It’s so true, we’ve really come to expect that everything will taste sweet. I make applesauce with, um, apples, add a touch of honey and to me it taste soooooo good, just the right amount of sweetness. To my roommate, the sugar queen, she just doesn’t like, although she likes the homemade stuff better than the unsweetened commercial kind, which has taken out everything in the processing, the taste and the added sugar.

    I’m definitely going to try Deborah’s recipe. it’s also simple, love collecting recipes like that! Thanks for sharing!


  3. Stevia as delivered by Cargill, Coca-Cola and Pepsi (Truvia, Purevia, etc.) are highly suspect if for no other reason than the companies making them. True information on this subject seems to be elusive as well as the involvement of GMO corn in its derivation. I’m doing my best to change my desire for sweet; so far it’s working.


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