- Eating more fruits and vegetables is linked to having healthier skin.
- Just one additional serving of fruits and vegetables can improve skin appearance.
- Different types of fruits and vegetables contain different substances that change skin tone.
According to a new study, eating more fruits and vegetables is a natural way to have a healthy skin hue. Researchers suggest that the different shades of red and yellow noticed in the skin of white people are based on the number of servings of fruit and vegetables they eat daily. Fruits and vegetables contain abundant antioxidants and plant pigments which seem to affect the tone of the skin.
In this study data collected from 35 college students at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, with an average age of 21 years was analyzed. Researchers conducted three study sessions for all the participants over a six-week period. During each of the sessions, the students completed questionnaires regarding the eating habits. On an average, each of them had 3.5 servings of fruits and vegetables in a day. The researchers measured the skin tones in the cheek, forehead, shoulder, and upper arm before the start of the study and after 3 and 6 weeks of the study.
The results of the study published in the online journal PLoS ONE, show a noticeable increase in the redness and yellowness of the skin in people who had increased intake of fruits and vegetables. Increased intake of just one portion of fruits and vegetables was linked to a healthier and rosier skin. According to the researchers, the color changes in the skin linked to the diet happened within a short period of time and these changes were made with a relatively small change in the diet. They report that it is the carotenoids, the colored pigments in fruits and vegetables, which play an important role in the change of the skin tone. Carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, spinach and kale, and apricots are rich sources of beta-carotene, while tomatoes and pink grape fruits contain the carotenoid, lycopene.
The study does not explain whether such a change in skin tone will be seen in other people who have other pigmentations. It is also not clear whether skin tone change can be seen in older people as in younger adults.