Sweet Potato for a Healthy Body and Glowing Skin

When many people think of what it takes to have healthy, beautiful skin they may think they need expensive creams and serums. What they don't realize though is that many of these products are doing much more harm than good.

It can be easy to mistakenly think that what we put on our skin is separate from our internal body. But, consider the fact that your skin is actually your body's largest organ and everything that is applied topically is absorbed and ends up in your bloodstream. Harsh chemicals such as preservatives, dyes and synthetic fragrances are added to skincare products with little regard for the health of those who regularly use them. These chemicals build up in the body and can cause a number of different health problems including allergies, headaches, endocrine disruption, cancer and so much more. This may make you think twice before you use any chemically laden, heavily perfumed store brands.

Never fear though because for great skin, you really don't need to look any further than your own kitchen. Easy to find ingredients such as oats, lemon, honey, avocado and sweet potato all contain essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs to heal and nourish your skin. These ingredients in fact do double duty when you consider that you can apply them topically and eat them as well.

The importance of eating a healthy diet cannot be ignored when talking about skin health. Since the human body is in a constant state of regeneration, we have to be conscious of what we are putting into it. Our skin regenerates itself approximately every 27 days so by eating fresh fruits and vegetables, we are giving our body what it needs to build healthy, beautiful skin.

Sweet potatoes are a great choice for youthful, glowing skin and have so many health benefits. Not to mention they are affordable, easy to find and delicious! Here are three different applications to help you incorporate sweet potatoes into your skincare routine and your diet. After all beautiful skin starts from the inside out!

1. Anti-Aging Face Mask

They are also high in vitamin C which has anti-oxidant properties and stimulates the production of collagen.

Anti-aging Sweet Potato Face Mask

1/2 cup cooked sweet potato 1 tbsp honey

Boil and mash sweet potato, add the honey and mix well. Apply evenly to face. Leave on for 20 min and wash off with warm water 

2. Post Workout Smoothie

Their high potassium content can alleviate muscle cramps and makes them a great choice for a post workout snack. Try this smoothie after your next workout, you can also add some plant based protein powder if you choose.

Sweet Potato Pie Smoothie 1 banana, frozen

1/2 cup cooked sweet potato 2 cups almond milk

2 tbsp chia seeds

2 tsp raw sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract

optional: 2 tbsp plant based protein

Add all ingredients into your blender and blend until smooth

3. Healthy Lunch for a Busy Day

Sweet potatoes have a low glycemic index and with over 6 grams of fiber per cup, help to regulate and potentially improve blood sugar. Something like this would be perfect for lunchtime, when you need to fuel up for the rest of the day but want your body to burn that energy slowly so you don't get that 3pm crash. This is a perfect recipe to take to the office, gym, school or wherever else your day may take you.

Southwestern Stuffed Sweet Potato

4 small sweet potatoes

4 cups kale

2 cups cooked quinoa

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed 1/2 onion, chopped

1 jalapeño, chopped

1 tsp each, chili powder and cumin

1/2 tsp each, paprika and garlic powder Sea salt to taste

optional: Sliced avocado Garlic tahini dressing

2 parts tahini to 1 part water juice of 1/2 lemon

1 tsp garlic powder sea salt to taste

Preheat oven to 425, scrub the potatoes and pierce several times with a fork. Place directly on the oven rack and bake until tender, about 30 - 40 min.

While your potatoes are in the oven, cook your quinoa according to package instructions. Place the quinoa into a bowl with the black beans, onion, jalapeno and spices and mix well When the potatoes are tender, take them out of the oven and let rest for a few minutes Make a small slice in the top of each potato and pinch the ends to make an indentation, fill

with the black bean mixture

Serve over a bed of kale. Top with sliced avocado and drizzle with tahini sauce

Give thanks and enjoy!

~Kathryn Farrugia

Kathryn is a plant based cook and lifestyle consultant with a passion for health and the human body.  Her own personal health journey has inspired her to help others on their quest.  Combining her love and appreciation for nature with her creative spirit, she creates dishes to nourish the mind, body and spirit. She shares her knowledge and experiences through her blog ZENutrition, various social media channels and with private clients.  She is available to work one-on-one and is always excited to help someone on their journey to a plant based diet. Please check out her website zenutrition.wordpress.com, and follower her on Instagram, @ZENutrition