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This Purple Food Has Been Found To Help Prevent Cancer

This Purple Food Has Been Found To Help Prevent Cancer

Some of you have probably never heard of a purple potato before. They’re widely used in South American cuisine, and have their origins in Bolivia and Peru. I urge you to go buy one just to see for yourself. These potatoes are really purple. I mean vivid, beautiful, outrageously purple. “And they beat cancer,” you ask? Yes. At least, that’s what recent research has shown. The experiment targeted colon cancer, so it’s unknown how effective purple potatoes are in treating other forms of cancer. But the research looks promising.

What’s in Purple Potatoes?

purple-potato
    (FlavorBoulevard)

    Researchers discovered several substances in the colorful root vegetable that function to kill cancer stem cells. Attacking stem cells is key, explains Jairam K.P. Vanamala at Penn State. Vanamala uses the analogy of the weed to explain the importance of getting at the stem cells. He says that, “you may cut the weed, but as long as the roots are still there, the weeds will keep growing back.” Like the roots of weeds, he elaborates, “if the cancer stem cells are still present, the cancer can still grow and spread.”

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    Anthocyanins, found in purple potatoes, belong to the flavonoid family of phytochemicals. They’re water-soluble pigments, the substances that give purple potatoes their color. Anthocyanins are found in flowers, fruits, vegetables, and cereal grains, giving them purple, red, and blue hues. Not just pretty, this flavonoid fights cancer at its root.

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    The resistant starch found in purple potatoes plays an important anti-cancer role too. It sustains the health of gut bacteria. In case you haven’t heard, gut bacteria is a hot topic in the health world right now. It’s getting a lot of attention for the wide impact it has on mood, cognitive function, immunity, and all kinds of diseases from Crohn’s disease to diabetes. The bacteria then converts resistant starch to short-chain fatty acids, which work to decrease inflammation, one of which is butyric acid. Resistant starch is present in white potatoes as well as purple. Chlorogenic acid is another anti-cancer agent, and is a chemical compound found in resistant starch. It’s received attention from another food source – the coffee bean.

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    Will It Make My Skin Turn Purple?

    No, your skin won’t turn purple! And you don’t think you have to eat an all-purple diet either. Anthocyanins from purple potatoes destroy colon cancer stem cells, but that’s just one type of cancer. Instead of focusing on one cancer, and one food, Vanamala recommends eating the rainbow when selecting vegetables and fruits. Eating plant sources in a variety of colors is important because, “instead of one compound, you have thousands of compounds, working on different pathways to suppress the growth of cancer stem cells.” We’ve heard this before – that we should eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. So this isn’t really news. The salient information, though, is that variety isn’t just key for general health. Eating an assortment of colorful fruits and vegetables is smart because it helps combat cancer. Vanamala confirms that because “cancer is such a complex disease, a silver bullet approach is just not possible for most cancers.”

    How Do You Eat a Purple Potato?

    purple pie
      (Flickr/arndog)

      Purple potatoes are similar in texture to the plain-looking russet potato, so you can really use them in any potato dish. Bake them, mash them, but use some caution if you’re combining purple potatoes with other less colorful ingredients, especially if you’re cooking food to share.  If you’re making potato salad, for example, you’ll have an extremely colorful dish that may shock your guests. Do a quick online search and you’ll find tons of recipes. There are some creative cooks out there like Smitten Kitchen who create gorgeous purple potato dishes with other bold-colored ingredients. Check out her fork-crushed purple potato recipe and start fighting cancer with food today!

      Featured photo credit: photo by iris on flicker.com via flickr.com

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      Last Updated on January 21, 2020

      The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

      The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

      Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

      your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

        Why You Need a Vision

        Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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        How to Create Your Life Vision

        Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

        What Do You Want?

        The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

        It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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        Some tips to guide you:

        • Remember to ask why you want certain things
        • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
        • Give yourself permission to dream.
        • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
        • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

        Some questions to start your exploration:

        • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
        • What would you like to have more of in your life?
        • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
        • What are your secret passions and dreams?
        • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
        • What do you want your relationships to be like?
        • What qualities would you like to develop?
        • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
        • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
        • What would you most like to accomplish?
        • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

        It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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        What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

        Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

        A few prompts to get you started:

        • What will you have accomplished already?
        • How will you feel about yourself?
        • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
        • What does your ideal day look like?
        • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
        • What would you be doing?
        • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
        • How are you dressed?
        • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
        • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
        • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

        It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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        Plan Backwards

        It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

        • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
        • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
        • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
        • What important actions would you have had to take?
        • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
        • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
        • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
        • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
        • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

        Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

        It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

        Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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