Eating a healthy diet rich in fruit and vegetables gives you a more healthy golden glow than the sun, say scientists.
The new research, by psychologists at the University of St Andrews, suggests that instead of hitting the beach, the best way to look good is by munching on carrots and tomatoes.
The team at the Perception Lab at St Andrews found that people who eat more portions of fruit and vegetables per day have a more golden skin colour, thanks to substances called carotenoids. Carotenoids are antioxidants that help soak up damaging compounds produced by the stresses and strains of everyday living, especially when the body is combatting disease.
Responsible for the red colouring in fruit and vegetables such as carrots and tomatoes, cartenoids are important for our immune and reproductive systems.
Dr Ian Stephen, who led the research, commented, “Most people think the best way to improve skin colour is to get a suntan, but our research shows that eating lots of fruit and vegetables is actually more effective. We found that, given the choice between skin colour caused by suntan and skin colour caused by carotenoids, people preferred the carotenoid skin colour, so if you want a healthier and more attractive skin colour, you are better off eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables than lying in the sun.”
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