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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 March 13, 2019

      How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

      How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

      Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

      You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

      Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

      1. Work on the small tasks.

      When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

      Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

      2. Take a break from your work desk.

      Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

      Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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      3. Upgrade yourself

      Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

      The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

      4. Talk to a friend.

      Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

      Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

      5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

      If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

      Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

      Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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      6. Paint a vision to work towards.

      If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

      Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

      Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

      7. Read a book (or blog).

      The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

      Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

      Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

      8. Have a quick nap.

      If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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      9. Remember why you are doing this.

      Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

      What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

      10. Find some competition.

      Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

      Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

      11. Go exercise.

      Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

      Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

      As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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      Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

      12. Take a good break.

      Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

      Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

      Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

      Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

      More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

      Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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