You are what you eat: how fruits and veggies make you look healthier

We all know fruits and veggies are good for you. And we know that eating nature’s little treasures can help us look better in terms of weight management. But what about the skin? Apparently, it’s eating more fruits and veggies with a high-carotenoid content that’s the secret to glowing, youthful skin.

WTF are carotenoids you ask? WHFoods.com breaks it down:

Carotenoids represent one of the most widespread groups of naturally occurring pigments. These compounds are largely responsible for the red, yellow, and orange color of fruits and vegetables, and are also found in many dark green vegetables. The most abundant carotenoids in the North American diet are beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, gamma-carotene, lycopene, lutein, beta-crpytoxanthin, zeaxanthin, and astaxanthin.

In laylady’s terms, eat more red-orange-green fruits and veggies (e.g. tomatoes, apricots, spinach).

So how to carotenoids actually improve skin tone? A study at the University of St. Andrews concluded that

[Carotenoids] are red/yellow plant pigments, which are distributed to the skin surface when we eat fruits and veggies…[the] study suggests that an increase in fruit and veggie consumption of around three portions over a six-week period is sufficient to convey perceptible improvements in the apparent healthiness and attractiveness of facial skin. Conversely, those that worsened their diet became paler.

So if you want that youthful glow, consider adding some more fruits and veggies to your diet instead of shelling out major dough for “fountain of youth” elixirs.

Just don’t eat too many carrots; they can actually cause yellowing of the skin!

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