Cancer-fighting Cherries Add to Presidential Celebration

The American Institute for Cancer Research suggests that cherries contain many natural substances that can help fight cancer.

George Washington was probably not thinking of his health when he cut down his father's cherry tree.

However, cherries contain many natural substances that can help fight cancer, a national cancer group reports.

The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) suggests that a Presidents' Day cherry pie is a way to celebrate the national holiday, and the disease-fighting potential of cherries.

"We are calling on all Americans to celebrate today by eating a piece of cherry pie -- a lower-fat version of course," said Jeff Prince, vice president of education at AICR.

"It's a great way to get a strong dose of cancer-fighting phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals during the cold winter season," he added.

Cherries contain fiber, a substance that helps lower cholesterol and may reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, and potassium.

Other beneficial substances include perillyl alcohol, which may inhibit the growth of tumors and anthocyanins, compounds that help the body get rid of cancer-causing substances.

Of course if you are watching your weight, cherry pie might not be the best choice for getting these helpful cancer-fighting nutrients.

Dried cherries can be tossed into salads or sprinkled over yogurt or cereal, and added to breads.

The natural things always works as well, too. However fresh, sweet cherries are available in most areas only from May through August.

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