Eat Your Way to a Healthy Glow

Most people can agree that a little color in one’s complexion looks good. However, the harmful effects of tanning beds and sun exposure may make you think twice about going for that bronze glow. You don’t have to pray for the revival of pasty look. Turns out that there are foods you can eat that will add a little color to you skin.

Foods rich in carotenoids, like cantaloupe, apricots, carrots, peppers and spinach, reportedly help increase the appearance of a tan. According to a study performed by Ian Stephen, an experimental psychologist at Bristol University, carotenoids—which are found in many plants—afford in part the appearance of a tan.

When it comes to the complexion, there are two types of pigments that affect the yellowness of fairer skin: melanin (affected by UV exposure) and carotenoids. Stephen studied whether betacarotene—a type of carotenoids—can actually alter one’s skin tone. The study found that a diet rich in betacarotene, which is found naturally in green and orange produce, could make the skin appear more attractive in just one month.

During the study, volunteers were asked to judge the before and after photos of Caucasians who consumed a carotenoids. The volunteers consistently chose the golden glow of the after pictures over the paler before pictures.

Not only that, the volunteers preferred the golden glow to the skin tanned by the sun. “We found people always preferred the golden effect from diet to the darker effect from the sun,” said Steven.

This is just another great study supporting the healthy benefits of certain vegetables and another good reason to avoid those tanning beds. Not only that, foods rich in carotenoids are also powerful anti-oxidants.

To Your Health & Beauty,

Vipul R. Dev, M.D.


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