Eating at least three portions of fruit and vegetables daily – including carrots, cabbages and kiwi fruit – gives your skin a “healthy” radiance akin to a tan after just a few weeks, a new study has revealed.
Psychologists from the University of St Andrews analysed the impact fruit and vegetable consumption had on perception of skin colour.
Pictures were taken of men and women to analyse their skin tone before and after the test period.
Researchers found that increased fruit and vegetable consumption led to a deepening of natural red and yellow skin colouration, the Daily Mail reported.
They calculated that 2.9 portions of fruit and veggies a day over a six-week period are enough to make people look more healthy, while 3.3 portions will boost attractiveness.
In a second project, participants were asked to “judge” the pictures to rate how attractive the faces were. Those with the “healthy glow” were deemed most desirable.
Carotenoids – the nutrients responsible for the colours in foods, including carrots and sweet potatoes – are thought to be responsible for the effects. Carotenoids are also present in all layers of human skin.
There are several hundred carotenoids, but beta-carotene and lycopene are among the most studied and are associated with a number of health benefits.