Fruit And Vegetables Give Skin A Healthy Glow
As well as keeping you healthy, eating your five-a-day will will give your skin a golden glow and make you appear more attractive too, according to a new study.
Researchers at the University of St Andrews found that eating two more portions of fruit and vegetables a day for just six weeks made a visible difference to the skin's natural hue.
The study, published in PLoS One journal, monitored the fruit and vegetable intake of 35 participants over a six-week period.
Using an instrument to analyse their skin tone before and after the test period, the researchers found that increased fruit and vegetable consumption led to a deepening of natural red and yellow skin colouration.
Earlier research by the team had found even subtle changes in these skin tones led to a greater perceived attractiveness of the faces.
Giving credence to the old wives' tale that eating too many carrots will turn you orange, previous research has found that carotenoids, the red and yellow pigments found in brightly coloured fruit and vegetables, can have an effect on the colour of the skin.
Dr Glenys Jones, from the Medical Research Council Human Nutrition Research laboratory at Cambridge University told the BBC: "With the vast majority of the population not consuming the recommended 5-a-day of fruits and vegetables, this could be another way of encouraging people through our own innate vanity to increase fruit and vegetable intake.
"After all fruits and vegetables contain a wide range of nutrients that are good for not just for our complexion, but for our overall health."
Today it emerged that three-year-old boy Leo Barnett has a rare condition that exacerbates this reaction, causing his skin to take on an orange hue when he eats carotene-rich foods, due to an inability to digest the substance.
A previous study found that a daily fruit and vegetable concentrate can dramatically improve the condition of the skin.
"Pomegranate contains many anti-oxidant and phytonutrient compounds such as Ellagic Acid, that help keep inflammation in check and support the skin during the many elements of the day, such as heating and cold air, as well as environmental toxins," explains Robyn Mason.
"Blueberries are one of the most powerful edible antioxidants thanks to its unique anthocyanains. These build up the skin's capillaries and protect them from breakages, which cause rashes and broken veins," says Dr Barbara Olioso.
"These cheerful, crunchy vegetables are sky-high in beta carotene, which strengthens the skin against sun damage," says Dr Barbara Olioso.
"Artichokes contain sillymarin and cynarin, whcih both help support the liver and gallbladder. This ensures skin doesn't turn dull and lifeless, as it gets rid of the toxins and waste from the body which also minimises puffiness," advises Robyn Mason
"These are Sicily's best kept secret... The prickly pear is a great tonic for the kidneys with its kidney detoxifying properties that help keep skin clear and glowing," says Dr Barbara Olioso.
"Bananas are rich in potassium, which helps the body cope with stress, a collagen killer. This fruit will help your skin avoid stress-related break-outs and premature ageing," says Dr Barbara Olioso.
"Broccoli contains a compound that helps boost DNA repair cells and is high in vitamin C, which is needed for collagen production, as well as folate, which is needed for healthy new cell production. Broccoli is also a great source of Sulforaphane, which helps heal the skin from UV rays," says Robyn Mason.
"Tomatoes, especially beneficial when cooked, are rich in Lycopene, which is a key anti-ageing property for the skin, so eat these whenever possible," advises Louise Thomas-Minns.
"Coconut contains triglycerides, which are healthy fats that plump up skin membranes and cells by keeping them hydrated. Without these fats, the skin becomes dehydrated no matter how much water you drink. Adequate essential fatty acids really do make the skin glow," says Robyn Mason.
"Garlic is rich in sulphur compounds and is known as the 'beauty mineral' due to its long established benefits for all kinds of skin concerns. Onions and garlic are also prebiotic foods which are good for the gut flora and supports liver detoxification - helping skin stay clear of toxin break-outs," says Robyn Mason.
"Snack on a kiwi fruit to bump up your vitamin C intake, as this is vital for boosting collagen production," says Louise Thomas-Minns.
"The fruit of passion is a rich source of vitamin C, a great collagen production booster. Combine these with carrots and you've got yourself a potent, but natural defence against the sun's UV rays," advises Dr Barbara Olioso.
"Kale is one of the best sources of beta-carotene, a fantastic anti-ageing anti-oxidant. In addition, it also contains other carotenoids, such as lutein and zeaxathin, which help protect the skin from UV rays. Kale also contains manganese, which is helps the Super-Oxide Dismutase, a hard-working enzyme that helps the skin fight against free radical damage," says Robyn Mason.
"The green 'butter rich' avocado is rich in nutrients and helps keep skin soothe and soft on the outside. However, these are best eaten fresh rather than in an oil form, as the oil is prone to oxidation," explains Dr. Dr Barbara Olioso.
"Pineapples not only taste great, but they contain a massive amount of vitamin A, C and the bromelain enzyme, which helps burn fat and aids digestion. For the skin, this means that it helps break down fatty tissues and is particularly beneficial for reducing cellulite," says Dr Barbara Olioso.