Rainbows and Cancer


Seared Halibut with Purple Coconut Sweet Potato and Sauteed Rainbow Chard

The other day I came across these gorgeous purple sweet potatoes. Now, I have seen purple potatoes but never a sweet potato—thank you heirloom movement!

A purple sweet potato is the perfect way to diversify your diet. The variety of vibrant colors means vegetables contain different vitamins, phytonutrients, flavanoids, and antioxidants. It’s important to eat the rainbow for many reasons, but today let’s focus on the benefits of antioxidants related to cancer.

The standard antioxidants are vitamins C and E, carotenes, selenium, and zinc. They combat free radicals, which are atoms within cells that are missing an oxygen molecule. Free radicals enter your body, seek out a strong healthy cell and take an oxygen molecule from it, damaging your healthy cells and turning a healthy, alkaline body more acidic. They also mutate cells’ DNA, which throws off cells’ natural rhythm of division and causes cells to divide at a rapid pace. This is the beginning of a tumor and cancer.

How do we stop this? Avoid fried foods, sugar, and alcohol. But when that’s not realistic, aggressively consume antioxidants. Antioxidants carry an extra oxygen molecule, which they can donate to a damaged cell. They may actually repair past damage to cell DNA and stop rapid cell divisions, ultimately helping to alkalize the body and rid it of unstable cells. Foods with antioxidants are the only way to reverse the damage of free radicals!

Keep in mind that antioxidants work as a team. In fact, there can be negative effects if only one antioxidant is consumed at a time. So rather than relying solely on supplements, eat dark leafy greens high in zinc, plus veggies in red, orange, and yellow, which contain all kinds of carotenes, and consume fat-soluble vitamin E and the trace mineral selenium. These antioxidants work as a team to prevent everything from your common cold to cancer.

Eat the rainbow and vary your diet with all kinds of foods. Mix it up and rather than your standard green lettuce, try red lettuce, arugula, spinach, or kale. Choose a tart green apple over your daily sweet gala. Take a break from an orange carrot and go for yellow, purple or white. Or even replace carrots with sweet parsnips. And if you see a purple sweet potato, go for it!

Varying your diet is important for all of your senses. A macrobiotic principle says that you should have bitter, sour, sweet, savory, and umami tastes every day. In the western world, sour and bitter are not looked upon favorably. We sweeten our bitter morning coffee with cream and sugar, and rarely do we eat pickled veggies or drink lemon water—unless there’s a sugar-laden pickle jar or sweetened lemonade on hand. Varying your diet is important on all levels from color to flavor—and from a common cold to cancer. Isn’t that more exciting anyway?

Purple Sweet Potato Coconut Mash

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 2 medium purple sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 tbsp organic coconut oil
  • 1 can organic coconut milk
  • 1 can filtered water


  1. In a heated pot on the stove, drizzle in coconut oil. Add sweet potatoes and sautee until some are slightly browned.
  2. Then pour in the coconut milk and water. The liquid should just barely cover the sweet potatoes. Allow to simmer until sweet potatoes are fork tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed.
  3. With a potato masher, mash the potatoes to desired texture. If you would like them even smoother. Place in a food processor and pulse a couple times.
  4. Serve with a cold water fish like Halibut and sautéed dark leafy greens.

    Enjoy all of these antioxidant benefits!!!

If you enjoyed this recipe I would love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below and be sure to share with family and friends.


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