Forget spray-on tans, new research in Evolution and Human Behaviour says eating carrots and tomatoes gives you a more healthy tan than even the sun.
Dr Ian Stephen, from the School of Psychology, University of Nottingham, Malaysia Campus, led the research and said, "Most people think the best way to improve skin colour is to get a suntan, but our research shows that eating lots of fruit and vegetables is actually more effective."
Stephen and colleagues in the Perception Lab found that people who eat more fruit and vegetables each day have a more golden skin color, thanks to carotenoids. Carotenoids are antioxidants that may help soak up damaging compounds produced by the stresses and strains of everyday living, especially when the body is combating disease
"We found that, given the choice between skin colour caused by suntan and skin colour caused by carotenoids, people preferred the carotenoid skin colour, so if you want a healthier and more attractive skin colour, you are better off eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables than lying in the sun," said Stephen, who suggests that the study is important because evolution would favor individuals who choose to form alliances or mate with healthier individuals over unhealthy individuals.
Professor David Perrett, who heads the Perception Lab, said, "This is something we share with many other species. For example, the bright yellow beaks and feathers of many birds can be thought of as adverts showing how healthy a male bird is. What's more, females of these species prefer to mate with brighter, more coloured males. But this is the first study in which this has been demonstrated in humans."
While this study describes work in Caucasian faces, the paper also describes a study that suggests the effect may exist cross culturally, since similar preferences for skin yellowness were found in an African population.
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- How We Predict Climate Decades Ahead - Yet Can't Forecast Weather Ten Days Ahead - Chaos Patterned With Order
- Should Pregnant Women Be Concerned About BPA?
- The Five Stages Of A Dying Theory
- When Salt Is An Endocrine Disruptor, The Term Is Officially Meaningless
- Time, Wittgenstein And Language Scaffolding
- On the Distinct Possibility of Being Slightly Autistic 2/2
- Storytelling Deconstructed: Vonnegut Was Right About Just Six Emotional Story Lines, Says Big Data
- "Websites like thelabbible and Unilad are all about clickbait. There is no true journalism within..."
- "Yes for sure. If you need support then there are several facebook groups where you can meet other..."
- "Hi F,okay, I see your point of view. Yes, there are many feelings at play when one joins the bandwagon..."
- "Hi, I somehow disagree with your view of theorists: it was not belief or disbelief in the potential..."
- "Your really really positive and sure that nothing is going to happen please Mr walker i am actually..."
- Annoying Studies’ Series: Newborn Weight Gain (Again!)
- Five PM? Time for Breakfast!
- Include Aerobic Fitness in Physical Exams, Heart Association Recommends
- Female Vervet Monkeys Assault Males that Do Not Participate in Fights
- Vaginal Ring Effective for HIV Infection Prevention
- Winter is No Wonderland