Colon or colorectal cancer is one of the deadliest types of cancer around the world. Doctors call the diseasethe “silent killer” as it doesn’t cause any specific symptoms – it is very hard to detect and people don’t notice it until it’s too late. The usual treatment is radiation, chemotherapy or surgery, but you should know that there is a natural remedy which can fight colon cancer – purple potatoes.
Latest studies from the USA show that purple potatoes are indeed powerful colon cancer fighters thanks to their high anthocyanin content, which has been demonstrated in both in vitro and in vivo studies.
The color purple
Purple potatoes are a variety of potatoes with purple-colored skin and flesh. They are usually larger in size and have oblong shape. Their taste is earthy and nutty and differs a bit from regular potatoes. They originated from Peru, but have since spread to every part of the world. Purple potatoes are usually consumed boiled and mashed with some butter and salt, or added to salads.
The purple color of the vegetable is due to the presence of anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants that can fight the proliferation of cancer cells and stop their growth. According to a recent study conducted at Penn State, cooked purple potatoes can destroy colon cancer stem cells, which are more powerful and more resilient that common cancer cells and are rarely destroyed by chemotherapy and radiation. The scientists in the study fed purple potato extracts to animals with colon cancer in in-vivo and in-vitro studies, and the results were amazing.
According to K. P. Vanamala, one of the leaders of the study, cancer stem cells are just like the roots of weeds. “You may cut the weed, but as long as the roots are still there, the weeds will keep growing back and, likewise, if the cancer stem cells are still present, the cancer can still grow and spread,” he says. Besides, purple potatoes, anthocyanins can also be found in cherries and plums.
What about the starch?
The type of starch in potatoes is called resistant starch and is not immediately digested in the body. Although it can be found in most types of potatoes, resistant starch is present in big amounts in purple potatoes. This vegetable also contains chlorogenic acid which can fight tumors and cancer just as good as anthocyanins.
“Resistant starch is found in peas, beans and other legumes, green bananas, and also in cooked and cooled starchy products like sushi rice and pasta salad. You have to consume it at room temperate or below — as soon as you heat it, the resistant starch is gone. But consumed correctly, it appears to kill pre-cancerous cells in the bowel,” Janine Higgins from the University of Colorado says about resistant starch. This is why it’s best to eat the vegetable raw.