5. Reduces cancer-causing carcinogens
Substances in tart cherries can reduce the formation of carcinogens that develop from the charring of meat, like hamburgers. But carcinogens in any form has the potential to cause cancer. Carcinogen exposure can come through inhalation, ingestion or absorption. Carcinogens affect DNA, causing dangerous changes at the cellular level. These changes can lead to abnormal cell growth with the potential to metastasize or spread to other parts of the body.
Interestingly, researchers at Michigan State University decided to add tart cherries to ground beef patties. Adding cherries to hamburger meat not only retards spoilage but also reduces the formation of suspected cancer-causing compounds. These compounds are known as HAAs (heterocyclic aromatic amines). Researchers found that burgers containing 15 percent fat and 11.5 percent tart cherries had “significantly” fewer HAAs when pan fried. Meanwhile, cherry burgers have become increasingly popular on school lunch menus in 16 states throughout the U.S.