Want to increase your fruit and vegetable consumption but don't feel motivated? This new study published online in the journal PLoS ONE should give you enough reason to stock up on fresh produce. According to the research, people who eat fruits and vegetables consistently over a six-week period show signs of healthier and more attractive-looking skin.
Recruiting 35 participants for the study, researchers tracked their dietary consumption over a six-week period to see what they ate and how eating more fruits and vegetables affected them. There was a special interest in two kinds of carotenoids—that which gives fruits their pigmentation—because researchers believe this to be one of the factors that may lead to better skin tone. Beta-carotene is responsible for the color of peaches and pumpkins among others, while lycopene gives tomatoes and peppers their red tone. Results? Those who ate more fruits and vegetables showed signs of improved skin tone.
In the second part of the study, researchers wanted to know just how long it takes for other people to see the difference in skin tone. For this leg of the project, they showed 24 volunteers pictures of four Caucasian faces whose skin pigmentation was modified to match certain levels of fruit and vegetable consumption. According to lead researcher Dr. Ross Whitehead, "Our study suggests that an increase in fruit and veggie consumption of around three portions, sustained over a six-week period, is sufficient to convey perceptible improvements in the apparent healthiness and attractiveness of facial skin."
While this study brings good news for health enthusiasts, researchers think that it’s still too early to proclaim a cause and effect relationship. In the meantime, it wouldn’t hurt for you to start including more fruits and vegetables into your diet; they're good for your health too!
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(Photo source: sxc.hu)