Eating fruits and vegetables is good for our health. This much we know already, but can eating these foods also help with our overall appearance? Now let me be the first to say, I understand that ‘looks’ are subjective and shouldn’t be our main concern in life, but nonetheless what fresh produce can do for our overall skin appearance is not just healthy but can be visually pleasing as well.
A study conducted at the University of Nottingham had researchers get students to eat five extra portions of fruit and vegetables a day over a period of two months. Pictures were taken before and after the experiment. After the two months, they examined photos of themselves with different skin pigments and discovered that fruits and veggies provided the most attractive results. What causes the transformation in skin tone? Carotenoids.
Dr. Stephen explained: “Eating five more portions [of fruit and veg] ups your carotenoid levels giving your skin golden tones.” Carotenoids are antioxidants which soak up damaging compounds that the skin encounters in daily life. “In humans, the more red and yellow tones found in the skin, the more attractive the people were found to be,” he added.
In the image sequence above we see three faces of the same subject. The middle picture is of the subjects natural skin tone, on the left is her skin tone after tanning, and on the right is her skin tone after the two months of eating the extra fruits and veggies each day. We can see the clear difference between the three pictures, and how the diet based changes produced a natural glow along with the color change. While personally I’m a sucker for pale skin, there is certainly a beauty in the very natural glow that comes with healthy skin tones of any color.
Carotenoids are organic pigments that are found in the chloroplasts and chromoplasts of plants and some other photosynthetic organisms like algae, some bacteria, and some fungi. The big benefit there was once again the carotenoid antioxidants found in those types of veggies — particularly carrots. When we consume diets rich in carotenoids from natural foods, like fruits and vegetables, we are healthier and have lower mortality from a number of chronic illnesses.
It’s safe to say that a fruit and veggie-focused diet is great not only for your health, but can be for our looks, too. This is not the first time that those who eat great quantities of produce are seen to have a healthy glow to them. Of course vitamin D is great for us when we get it from the sun, but when you are looking for a bit of a tan to your skin and don’t have the time to sit out in the sun, try adding more fruits and veggies to your diet and see how it transforms.
If you are looking to add more fruits and veggies to your diet, allow the health benefits to be your number one reason to do so. This helps you feel the benefits and stay on top of caring for you body vs. trying to alter your appearance. Often times appearance motivated changes are not sustainable due to the lack of connection that we may have with our body and health. I always like to recommend eating organic produce as much as possible as it contains much less chemicals and more nutrients. Organic produce is also not GMO. If you are tight on cash and are looking to buy organic produce but can’t afford to go fully organic, check out this list of items to make sure you are buying organic where it matters most.