Photo by markemark

Forget goopy bronzers, archaic salon beds, or the risky business of skipping the sunblock. Turns out, the secret to a healthy golden glow is a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. But not all leafy matter is created equal, according to a study at the University of St. Andrews study. For the best sun-kissed aspect, you’ll want to load up on carrots, tomatoes, and other veggies that are rich in carotenoids. “Most people think the best way to improve skin color is to get a suntan,” says Ian Stephen, who led a team at the school’s Perception Lab as part of his PhD. “But our research shows that eating lots of fruit and vegetables is actually more effective.”


Photo by clarita


Another plus: You’ll also be more attractive to other people, including potential mates. “We found that, given the choice between skin color caused by suntan and skin color caused by carotenoids, people preferred the carotenoid skin color,” Stephen says. “So if you want a healthier and more attractive skin color, you are better off eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables than lying in the sun.”

Eating more fruits and vegetables could also make you more attractive to other people, including potential mates.

Although the study involved only Caucasian faces, the paper cites a study that demonstrated a similar preference for tawnier skin in an African population. And we only have to at the natural world for a link between vibrance and desirability. “For example, the bright yellow beaks and feathers of many birds can be thought of as adverts showing how healthy a male bird is,” says David Perrett, head of the Perception Lab. “What’s more, females of these species prefer to mate with brighter, more colored males. But this is the first study in which this has been demonstrated in humans.”

And yes, Mom, you told us so.

+ Press Release