Fruit and veg makes you more attractiveBoosts skin tone within weeks
Eating more fruit and vegetables can make you more attractive within weeks, by giving your skin a healthy glow, according to a new study.
Researchers from the University of St Andrews say they hope the findings will encourage more people to eat their five-a-day by appealing to their vanity instead of highlighting the health benefits of fruit and vegetables.
The study, published in the journal PLoS One, looked at the effect of eating carotenoids, the orangey-red pigments found in many fruits and vegetables, on skin tone.
Some 35 students were questioned about their fruit and vegetable consumption over a six week period. They were also told not to use fake tan, make up or sunbeds during this time.
Eating just two extra portions of fruit and vegetables a day created a 'detectable change in skin tone' within the six weeks, the researchers said.
At the same time, the researchers measured how big a change in skin colour needs to occur before it is noticed by others.
Ross Whitehead, a researcher at the school of psychology said: "People who eat more fruit and vegetables have a 'golden' skin tone that looks healthy and attractive.
"Our latest research finds that even small improvements in diet produces visible benefits to skin colour. We were very surprised by how quick the changes were."
The researchers said that larger or more prolonged dietary changes are likely to make the skin look increasingly healthy over time.
Mr Whithead added: "Most of us know we should eat plenty of fruit and veg, yet we are not sufficiently motivated to actually go ahead and eat a healthy diet.
"Government strategies aimed at improving diet typically only offer information about why a healthy diet is good for us. These strategies have, so far, had no real impact on the nation's eating habits.
"We hope that highlighting the rapidly achievable benefits of a healthy diet on our attractiveness will be a stronger incentive for people to eat more healthily. Knowing you are going to look more attractive in a few weeks may be more persuasive than the promise of health benefits later in life."
Professor David Perrett, who worked on the study concluded: "Although skin colour varies markedly across the world, we find similar effects across different cultures - for Asians and Europeans alike a good diet is associated with an attractive skin tone. The message that a good diet improves skin colour could improve health across the globe."
This article was published on Thu 8 March 2012
Image © Elenathewise - Fotolia.com
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