Photo of cornucopia of fruit and vegetables
Indulging in more fresh fruit and vegetables boosts healthy skin tone [Image: Jina Lee - Wikimedia Commons]

Eat more fruit and veg to give skin that healthy glow

13 March, 2012

Natural Health News — It sounds like a no-brainer but…we really are what we eat.

A new UK study confirms that  eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is not only good for health but can also add some healthy colour to your skin.

According to  researchers at St Andrews University in Scotland, two extra daily portions of fruit and vegetables can change the skin colour within six weeks. Their research is published online in the journal PLoS One.

The small study recruited 35 students and followed their diet and changes in skin colour over 6 weeks. Their findings showed that even a small increase in daily share of fruits and veggies had an observable influence on skin tone.

As participants ate more fruits and veggies, their skin tone looked healthier — and were judged to be more attractive.

A golden glow

“People who eat more fruit and vegetables have a ‘golden’ skin tone that looks healthy and attractive,” said co-author Ross Whitehead.

“Our latest research finds that even small improvements in diet produce visible benefits to skin colour. We were very surprised by how quick the changes were.”

The improvement is down to the naturally present pigments in fresh produce. Beta carotene, a precursor to vitamin A which gives carrots the orange colour, helps giving a yellowish-orange tint to the skin while lycopene that gives tomatoes and red peppers their vibrant hues brings skin a red tint, researchers added.

These pigments  of course, are also powerful antioxidants which are also beneficial for skin.

This study builds on earlier work by the same team, published in the journal Evolution and Human Behaviour, which found that people whose skin was improved by eating more healthy fruit and veg were judged to be more attractive than those who had suntans.