One of the world’s healthiest and cheapest vegetables on the planet and most certainly off the planet since NASA has chosen it for their space missions are sweet potatoes! A recent study by the University of Washington tried to prove which vegetables provided the most nutrients per dollar. The video below will show you a graph of affordability versus nutrition for different foods. The healthiest foods, like dark green leafy vegetables, may also be the cheapest, and the highest nutrient-rich food scores per dollar were obtained for sweet potatoes.
Sweet potatoes among all of their nutrients also have special cancer-fighting properties. In 1931, scientists discovered a unique protein in sweet potatoes. 80% of the protein in sweet potatoes is a type of protease inhibitor with potential anticancer effects. These proteins were originally tested against leukemia and appeared to suppress the growth of leukemia cells in a petri dish.
You’ve maybe read that as soon as most proteins hit our stomach, they start getting digested, so researchers tried sweet potato protein against tongue cancer cells because sweet potato proteins certainly come in contact with our mouth. Tongue cancer is often treated with chemotherapy, and most of the chemo drugs for tongue cancer have adverse effects. Some people most certainly try different and more natural therapies. Sweet potato protein rapidly diminished the viability of cancer in vitro within a matter of days, leading the researchers to propose that sweet potatoes may be useful for human tongue cancer! So, we ask ourselves is it possible that they can also help in other types of cancer?
One astonishing fact is that this special class of proteins doesn’t just survive digestion, but may also be absorbed into the bloodstream intact. This was tested on at least two of the nine women with advanced cervical cancer.
Most recently, sweet potato proteins were tried on colorectal cancer cells, one of the most common and deadly cancers. In these cases, doctors usually surgically remove the colon, but that only works in the early stages since there are often “micro-metastases” outside the colon that can subsequently lead to cancer recurrence and death. Not only does sweet potato protein slow down the growth of colon cancer cells, but it may also decrease cancer cell migration and invasion.
Sweet potato consumption has also been associated with lower gallbladder cancer rates, but it has never been directly tested.