While researchers normally focus on the health benefits of 5 plus a day vegetables and fruit, a research team from the University of St Andrews in the UK monitored fruit and vegetable intake for 35 individuals over 6 weeks to look at changes in skin tone and also to investigate what levels of skin colour change is required to increase the perception of healthiness and attractiveness.
The results were very positive. More servings of vegetables and fruit containing carotenoids resulted in increased skin yellowness and increased skin redness. Although this doesn’t sound very attractive, they found increased yellowess and redness actually contributes beneficially to the appearance of good health and attractiveness.
What are carotenoids and where do I find them?
Carotenoids are a group of pigments that give the yellow, red and orange colours of many fruits and vegetables. They are known for their antioxidant activity, promotion of good eye health, and one type of carotenoid is converted to the vitamin A. They are also important in cell communication, which is essential for maintaining proper cell function, one thing that is important in avoid cancer. And now, as well as these highly important roles, they can help your skin look amazing too. Bonus!
Vegetables and fruit high in carotenoids include:
- Capsicum (yellow, orange, red ones)
- Orange kumara
Eating 3-4 servings of vegetables and fruits a day is all you need to help change skin tone from the increased carotenoids in your diet.
Right, I’m off to make pumpkin soup and munch on some carrot sticks…
Image courtesy of vegetables.co.nz
Original research – here – PLoS one, “You Are What You Eat: Within-Subject Increases in Fruit and Vegetable Consumption Confer Beneficial Skin-Color Changes”. Authors: R.D Whitehead, D Re1, D Xiao1, G Ozakinci and D.I Perrett