It may play to their vanity, but if it gets people to eat more veggies and fruits, then it’s worth it.
We already know that eating enough fresh veggies and fruits is key to keeping us healthy and energetic—even though most Americans don’t eat the five to nine servings a day that they should.
Not eating enough veggies and fruits may be a trend that changes soon, however, especially if people learn that they can quickly have glowing skin and be labeled as “attractive” as a result of consuming these amazing foods.
That’s what research recently published in the American Journal of Public Health indicates. A study was conducted that followed the dietary patterns of 35 students over a period of six weeks. Additionally, the group studied didn’t use any makeup, didn’t have any sun exposure or anything else that could affect the coloring of their skin. The scientists’ focus was on the correlation of veggie and fruit consumption and skin coloration and resulting levels of attractiveness. (Potatoes, by the way, did not count as a veggie.)
During the study, researchers recorded changes in skin color and perceived attractiveness of the students as well as how long it took before others noticed a change in their skin color. At the close of the six weeks, students who ate more vegetables and fruits had healthy golden skin. Those who consumed the least veggies and fruits looked “less attractive” by the close of the study.
It didn’t take a ton of vegetables and fruits to get these positive results, either. Adding nearly 3 portions a day had dramatic results. Specifically, the scientists found that eating an additional 2.91 portions a day led to golden, glowing skin, while adding an additional 3.3 servings per day led to looking “attractive.”
And just what is responsible for these “golden” and “attractiveness” benefits? Carotenoids. They are the red, yellow and orange pigments found in vegetables and fruits. Lycopene, a carotenoid found in foods such as tomatoes and red peppers, contributes the red pigment. Beta carotene, a carotenoid found in foods such as carrots and green, leafy veggies, adds the yellow-orange pigment. These carotenoids literally “get under the skin” to provide these benefits.
But wait! There are even more skin perks logged from previous studies. Veggies and fruits contain several vitamins and minerals which improve skin health and can slow down the natural aging process—and that’s a tasty way to get more vitamins and minerals and to defy aging.
Co-author of the study, Dr. Gozde Ozakinci, said, “Appearance can be a powerful motivator. Our research points to different benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables on a healthy skin appearance.” He adds, “We hope that by highlighting the rapidly achievable benefits of a healthy diet on our attractiveness will be a stronger incentive 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.”
So, eat those veggies and fruits—even if it’s for vanity’s sake.