You Are What You Eat…Or Can You At Least Look Like It?
The right foods could give you a food tan
Have you ever wondered if what you eat makes a difference for your skin? It turns out that eating fruits and vegetables can change the skin’s glow.
One study found that the consumption of regular fruits and vegetables over six weeks led to a healthier glow with a 21% increase in the red tint and a 16% increase in the yellow tint of the skin. This reddish yellow tint was due to the extra carotenoids in the skin, which impart a reddish and yellowish color to fruits and vegetables. It seems that these same carotenoids are responsible for the skin’s extra glow.
You might be wondering what fruits and vegetables to eat in order to achieve this effect. Aim for those that are rich in carotenoids such as lycopene, alpha-carotene, and beta-carotene. Lycopene can be found in fruits with a red hue, such as tomatoes and watermelons. Pumpkins and carrots contain both alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, and sweet potatoes and spinach provide an additional source of beta-carotene.
The next time you want to add some more color to your skin, think about adding color to your diet. The age-old adage “you are what you eat” may have some some truth for your skin too!
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1. Whitehead RD, Ozakinci G, Perrett DI. Attractive skin coloration: harnessing sexual selection to improve diet and health. Evol Psychol.2012;10(5):842-854; PMID: 23253790.
2. Whitehead RD, Re D, Xiao D, et al. You are what you eat: within-subject increases in fruit and vegetable consumption confer beneficial skin-color changes. PLoS One.2012;7(3):e32988; PMID: 22412966.