In the southern island of Japan, there’s a group of Japanese known as the Okinawans. The people that are renowned for their youthful complexions and not looking their age. So what is their secret to this fountain of youth? The secret is believed to be that diet. They feast on starchy root vegetables as part of their main diet, and one of these core vegetables is the sweet potato.

Sweet potatoes and other starchy root vegetables are anti-aging superstars. For years, nutritionists have advised us to fill plates with a variety of colors of vegetables – and not just the green variety. Conventional potatoes don’t provide the same kick. The sweet potato provides sugar but unlike sweets, to provide a slow release and sustainable source of carbohydrates, essential to our energy and vitality.

In fact a recent study from China demonstrated how the purple sweet potato contains a naturally occurring anthocyanin, (a super powerful antioxidant that has neuro-protective effects). The potato is also rich in vitamin A in the form of beta carotene. This element is essential for preventing rough and scaly skin. It also helps protect the skin against sun damage and helps to balance the pH levels and promotes softer skin complexions. The antioxidant levels contained in the potatoes are so high that they are excellent for cancer prevention. So if one of your loved ones is a smoker, feed them sweet potatoes!

Another reason why you would want to include sweet potatoes in your diet is for its high hyaluronic acid levels. As we get older, these acid levels drop. Our bodies depend on this to keep our skin moisturized and the joints in our body lubricated. It also helps to maintain levels of collagen in our skin without resulting to bovine collagen injections.

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