Cancer is one of the leading causes of deaths worldwide with close to 9 million succumbing to the debilitating ailment every year across the globe. While the exact cause of cancer is still not known to the medical world, the disease is characterized by the formation of cancerous cells in a part of the body that begin to multiply at a great pace, killing and outnumbering the 'healthy' cells in the body.
- New study claims that purple potatoes may help reduce the risk of cancer
- Scientists suggest following a 'rainbow' diet
- Purple foods is rich in disease-fighting antioxidants
Purple foods have been trending this season and a lot of scientists and health experts have spoken about their miraculous health benefits. Keeping up with the trend, a new study conducted by Pennsylvania State University, finds that colourful foods such as purple potatoes, broccoli and red grapes may provide some amazing health benefits. It specifically claims that eating purple potatoes may reduce the risk of contracting colon cancer. Colon cancer is a type of cancer where malignant tumours develop in the inner wall of the large intestine.
The study was carried out using an animal model. The team conducted experiments on pigs and they found that animals who were fed more vegetables were six times less prone to contract inflammatory bowel diseases. Through the study, researchers tried to understand how the certain compounds in purple potatoes work and could be used to created drugs for cancer and other chronic ailments.
They chose to experiment on pigs as they have a similar digestive system to humans. They found that purple potatoes reduced the spread of colon cancer stem cells – even when they were given as a part of a high calorie diet. They found that the pigs fed with purple potatoes had six times less of a damaging protein called IL-6 (interleukin-6) that is known to fuel tumours in comparison to a control group that was given a normal diet.
According to Dr. Sheela Krishnaswamy, a renowned Bengaluru-based Nutritionist, 'Colours in a fruit or a vegetable reflect an important antioxidant in them. These foods are naturally pigmented and have certain health benefits added to them." Purple foods are known to be rich in antioxidants that fight disease-causing free radicals. Purple foods have this natural purple pigment due to an antioxidant called anthocyanin. The darker the colour, the higher is the amount of this antioxidant that it contains.