A new study shows that when it comes to getting a healthy glow, eating vegetables is more likely to give your skin a boost than spending time under the sun (or tanning bed). The study, led by Dr. Ian Stephen at The University of Nottingham, compared the skin of people who eat carotenoid-rich vegetables versus those who spend time tanning. Both habits cause a deeper skin color, but when participants were asked which type of “glow” was more attractive, most preferred the color caused by eating vegetables. “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,” Stephen said.
The researchers found that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables causes a more golden skin color, thanks to carotenoids – antioxidants that help protect against damage from stress and toxins. (Think: beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, lycopeine, and lutein.) And even better than giving you pretty skin, carotenoids also help maintain healthy immune and reproductive systems.
So what do you need to eat to get that “glow”? Here are the best fruits and vegetables to nosh for better skin color:
- Pumpkin and winter squash
- Sweet Potato
- Red Peppers
- Collard Greens
Now you’ll have to excuse us while we run to the store for some carrot juice and tomato soup.