For those of you who prefer a little color in your complexion, but don’t want to scorch your skin under the sun or bake in a tanning bed; heeding to the fair warnings of your dermatologist linking skin cancer with UV radiation —there is hope. Yes, there are other ways to attain a healthy skin color —in fact you can eat yourself to a healthy tan. There are studies that have proven that eating lots of fruits and vegetables that are yellow or orange in color can impart you with a natural tan. Let’s explore this new concept of eating your way to a bronzed goddess or god.
Foods That Can Put Some Color In Your Skin: Carrots, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, pumpkin and cantaloupe are loaded with a very potent antioxidant called carotene. When you eat multiple servings of these fresh produce, it warms up your natural skin tone. Dark, leafy greens like spinach and kale also contain large quantities of beta-carotene and are also responsible for affecting skin pigmentation. Consuming large portions of these vegetables and fruits on regular basis can impart your skin with a natural and healthy tan.
A study conducted in 2011at the University of Nottingham UK, reported the effects of consuming large amounts of fruits and vegetables rich in beta-carotenes on the skin color. The results indicated that group of students consuming several extra portions of fruits and vegetables on daily bases for several months showed increased skin pigmentation due to naturally occurring chemicals called carotenes.
The face in the middle shows the woman's natural color. The face on the left shows the effect of sun tanning, while the face on the right shows the effect of eating more carotenoids. The study participants thought the carotenoid imparted color looked healthier than a sun tan. (Credit: Ian Stephen, University of Nottingham)
So How Much Of These "Tanning" Foods Do You Have To Eat To Obtain A Bronzed Glow?
Unfortunately no one knows how long or how much of these tanning foods must be consumed to see results. The study at the University of Nottingham involved college students who were asked to consume extra quantities of fruits and vegetables over several months but a specific time frame or quantity was not specified. The biggest misconception about eating your way to a natural tan is that one's ability to tan with certain foods is variable and influenced by one's underlying skin type which is determined by skin pigmentation and genetics.
A Word Of Warning: Eating over excessive amounts of foods rich in beta-carotene can also have negative effects, namely a skin disorder called carotenemia. Carotenemia is characterized by a yellow discoloration of the skin involving the skin of the body including the palms and soles of the feet. It may be mistaken for jaundice, a serious medical condition involving the liver. However, carotenemia is a benign skin condition that is completely reversible once you stop consuming large quantities of vegetables rich in beta-carotene.
Your Natural Tan & Glow Food List:
- · Carrots —When carrots are consumed regularly (and in moderation), the skin adapts a more natural and healthy-looking tone.
- · Tomatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, cantaloupe and apricots —These carotenoid rich fruits and veggies also improve your skin’s color while providing other health benefits.
- · Spinach, broccoli and kale —These dark, leafy greens should definitely be a staple in your diet, as they can help your skin to glow with health.
- · Olive Oil —Although olive oil doesn’t contain any carotenoids, but as it is packed with antioxidants and omega-3’s, it will give your skin a moisture boost vital for a healthy glow.
Final Words Of Advice — To Attain Healthy Skin, Develop A Healthy Lifestyle.
Healthy color aside, it is always wise to eat healthy portions of fresh fruits and vegetables in one’s daily diet, as most of these fruits and vegetables contain powerful antioxidants, which have a protective effect against internal and external aging.