Why Purple Potatoes May Help Prevent Colon Cancer

by Paige Brettingen ; Updated March 14, 2018

Purple potatoes are not only delicious, nutritious and beautiful to look at, it turns out they might also help ward off colon cancer.

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Researchers at Pennsylvania State University conducted a study on pigs by dividing them into three groups, with each group following a specific diet for 13 weeks: a high-calorie diet, a high-calorie diet that included the purple potatoes (both raw and baked) and a standard control diet.

At the end of the 13 weeks, researchers screened the pigs’ colonic tissue and discovered that the pigs consuming the purple potatoes had remarkably lower levels of IL-6, the inflammatory protein linked to colon cancer — six times lower, in fact, compared to those who subsisted on just the control diet. Meanwhile, the pigs eating the high-calorie diet without the potatoes had even higher levels of IL-6 than the control group did.

Researchers believe that purple potatoes may be particularly helpful in staving off colon cancer because they contain high concentrations of anti-inflammatory antioxidant compounds, which have been known to have cancer-fighting properties. They expect purple spuds to have similar effects on humans, although further research will need to be done.

Colon cancer is one of the more prevalent cancers in the U.S., affecting one in every 20 people and also on the rise in young adults. According to the American Cancer Society, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains is recommended for colon cancer prevention, while red meat (beef, pork or lamb) and processed meats (hot dogs and some luncheon meats) should be avoided.

So go ahead and incorporate some purple potatoes into your diet — starting with this delicious recipe for purple potato and poultry chorizo tacos!

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What Do YOU Think?

Will you add more purple potatoes to your diet in the name of colon cancer prevention? Will you rethink any other parts of your diet to decrease your colon cancer risk? Tell us in the comments!