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 A Former Naturopath Can Help Unravel The Trickery of Alternative Medicine
- Swarm Bots Kill Mass Shooter
- Can A New Rule Trigger A Second EU Referendum? Petition 4 Millon Signatures, Nearly 12% Of Total Votes Cast
- Nanotech: The Most Dangerous Science Least Carefully Done
- A Billion Years Ago, What Did Earth's Ancient Magnetic Field Look Like?
- Finding All-Hadronic Top - Again
- Did Controversy Over Statins Influence Their Use In The UK?
- "A scientific approach is the only way one can really be assured that a treatment has merits. The..."
- "Bollocks! You will find the possible side effects listed are a exhaustive precautionary list of..."
- "Sorry, but even using the term allopath shows your bias. That is a term invented by the creator..."
- "Lets make something clear- most of you are arguing past each other on topics that are too broad..."
- "Hi Anlain, it explains on the page itself. It's a post vote survey - not a poll, so more accurate..."
- Why Some Sounds Make Us Cringe
- Over 100 Nobel Laureates Condemn Greenpeace for Opposing Golden Rice
- New Team Member: Dr. Alex Berezow
- DIY Biohacking: Unethical, Fringe and Probably Necessary to Advance Science
- Summer Camp Means Fun for Kids, But Panic for Some Parents
- Swayed By Lunch Money: A Grotesque Insult to Doctors
- Cannabinoids remove plaque-forming Alzheimer's proteins from brain cells
- NIH-supported study pinpoints origin of 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic
- The July 2016 issue of Geology is now online
- At the droplet of a hat: Capturing mixable liquid interaction
- Triple external quantum efficiencies -- a new material TADF was developed