Want great skin that looks like you spend hours outside every day basking in the sun? We do, too. But you don’t have to become a beach bum and run the melanoma gauntlet.
You can do it by eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. And you may even appear more attractive than if you had just spent the day in the sun. In fact, one study shows that the glow you get from fruits and vegetables is more attractive than a tan. According to the UK research teams at the Carmen E. Lefevre of Leeds University Business School and the David I. Perrett of the University of St. Andrews, facial attractiveness has a lot to do with your skin coloration.
Foods That Give You Great Skin
Researchers found that there are two ways to get skin coloration. The first is by tanning. The second is by eating lots of carotenoids, or the pigments that are found in fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, apricots, oranges, mangos, and spinach, that gives them their spectacular colour.
Highlights of the study, which were published in the The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, are as follows:
- 86 percent of participants within the study rated the digitally-created face with a high-carotenoid content as being more attractive than the face with a low-carotenoid amount
- 75.9 percent of participants rated the face with a carotenoid glow as being more attractive than the face with a melatonin glow, or a glow that is achieved from tanning
The Superpowers of Carotenoids
Carotenoids have been shown to protect skin against UV exposure, which can help prevent some types of skin cancer. Consuming green leafy vegetables, olive oil, prunes, apples, legumes, and tea has been shown to prevent and protect against skin wrinkling while meat, dairy, and butter appeared to have adverse effects.
Furthermore, consuming a high amount of fruits and vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables, has been associated with a decreased risk of skin cancer by up to 54 percent.
When it Comes to Diet, Go Low
To get great skin, go low. Or low-glycemic. Diets that are low-glycemic and consist of mainly fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean protein have been associated with a lower risk of acne. Specifically, there has been a link between dairy products and acne, so if getting clear skin is on your to-do list, you may want to put down the ice cream and large latte.
Foods To Include In Your Skin-Care Regimen
Other vitamins that are necessary for optimal skin health include vitamins C, D, and E. Try incorporating the following foods into your diet, which are high in carotenoids as well as vitamins C, D, and E:
- Sweet potatoes
- Spinach, kale, chard and collard greens
- Romaine lettuce
- Butternut squash
- Red Peppers
- Brussels sprouts
- Shitake mushrooms
- Salmon, herring, oyster and trout
- Sunflower seeds
- Blueberries and blackberries
Go forth and eat yourself pretty!
image credit: istock.com