Eating Fruits and Veggies = A More Attractive You?
Posted by Katie Ostoich on March 9, 2012 at 11:20 AM
“You are what you eat.”
“Eating pizza and cookies will make you break out.”
“Eat more carrots and become more attractive?”
Maybe so! Eating lots of fruits and veggies may not only improve our general health and make us feel better, but may actually make us more attractive, according to a new study published in the journal PLoS ONE.
That's because the yellow-red pigments found in fruits and vegetables, called carotenoids, are associated with changes in skin color, the authors found. They also found that the skin pigment changes may be viewed as healthier and more attractive.
Increasing consumption of carotenoids is associated with a more yellowish skin tone, and the authors also found that eating more fruits and vegetables correlated with skin that appeared to have a healthy tone.
The effects on skin color required only a moderately increased intake of fruits and vegetables, they said. So don’t worry, you won’t turn bright orange overnight!
And previous studies have found that high levels of carotenoids offer protection against ultraviolet radiation by decreasing the skin's sensitivity to redness caused by UV light. Bonus!
But it's the perception on attractiveness that the authors think could potentially be the key to getting us to eat more fruits and vegetables, something that adults in the U.S. and the U.K. don't do very much.
"Such inadequate intake is estimated to precipitate 2.6 million premature deaths per year worldwide," they wrote. "Fruit and vegetable consumption affects skin carotenoid levels; this may lead to skin color change in a fashion that is known to contribute to the appearance of health. It follows that dietary change may be motivated by illustrating to individuals these beneficial effects on appearance."
So how can you add extra fruits and veggies in your diet? Add berries to your cereal in the morning, throw in some extra veggies at the salad bar, and curb mid-afternoon hunger pangs with a snack of carrots and hummus. Remember just a few extra helpings can go a long way in increasing your attractiveness!