According to a recent study, adding purple potatoes and other colorful fruits and veggies into your diet can help lower the risk of colon cancer.
Professor Vanamala and her team were able to come to these conclusions by studying the effect of these foods on pigs.
The researchers fed the pigs one of three diets for 13 weeks straight. The three options include: a high-calorie diet (HCD), a high-calorie diet including supplements of either raw or baked purple potatoes, and a standard diet (the control).
According to the researchers, purple potatoes have many more nutrients than their white counterparts.
“Specifically, purple-fleshed potatoes are rich in phenolic acids and anthocyanins,” the researchers note. “[…] white potatoes may have helpful compounds, but the purple potatoes have much greater concentrations of these anti-inflammatory, antioxidant compounds.” Previous studies have shown that these compounds have anti-cancer properties.
After the 13 week process of intervening in the pigs’ diets, the researchers began screening the colon tissue of each of the animals.
When evaluating the results, the researchers found that the pigs that were fed the HCD (without potatoes) had an increase of interleukin-6 (IL-6). IL-6 is a pro-inflammatory protein that is believed to create colon cancer.
However, the group of pigs that were fed the HCD with supplements of purple potatoes had levels of IL-6 that were six times lower than the control group.
Thus, the researchers have come to the conclusion that including purple potatoes (and other colorful fruits and vegetables) in the average diet will help reduce the risk of developing colon cancer.
Fruits and vegetables have been known to reduce colon cancer. However, it is encouraging that we now know we can add purple potatoes to this category.