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Are Japanese Potatoes the Fountain of Youth?

PureWow logo PureWow 5/23/2018 letters@purewow.com (Alexia Dellner)
a piece of fruit © This Week For Dinner

We’re no stranger to using food in the pursuit of beauty. But when we heard that X-Men star Olivia Munn eats a Japanese potato every day to maintain her youthful complexion (wait, what?), we were seriously intrigued. So we turned to registered dietitian Robin Barrie Kaiden for her take on the tubular trend. 

First, some background: Native to Japan (but also grown in the U.S.), these purple potatoes have a texture similar to okra and can be cooked just like your standard spud. Munn revealed that she likes to roast hers with olive oil and cinnamon and enjoy it as a dessert. (Here's an easy recipe from the blog This Week for Dinner.) But will chowing down on one a day, like she does, give us that Hollywood glow?

“Japanese sweet potatoes are high in fiber,” says Kaiden. “Fiber improves digestion, helps rid the body of waste and decreases inflammation, all which is great for the skin,” she adds. They’re also nutritional powerhouses when it comes to vitamin C, which “protects the skin from environmental pollutants and toxins, as well as aids in collagen production.” 

And that’s not all. Kaiden also tells us that these purple tubers contain almost 400 percent of your body’s daily needs of vitamin A, which helps promote cell turnover and prevent acne. (But since vitamin A is fat soluble, you’ll want to eat these guys with a healthy source of fat, like olive oil or avocado, to aid absorption.)

“But this all being said, Japanese potatoes are not a ‘magic bullet’ that will make your skin perfect,” Kaiden explains. Like any skin-boosting food (looking at you, omega-rich salmon and antioxidant-loaded berries), what you eat is only part of the puzzle.

Bottom line: A nutritious, balanced diet that’s high in fruits and vegetables (including Japanese potatoes) can definitely help with skin health. Don’t expect any miracles, but hey—if it works for Olivia, it might be worth a shot.

Slideshow: 6 surprising things that are actually aging you (Courtesy: PureWow) 

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