Get That Bronze Glow-- From Carrots?

By Malia Karlinsky,

You know you can get a tan the old fashioned way...and of course there's always the bronze in the bottle option-but what about getting your glow from eating your veggies?

Researchers out of the UK report that munching on certain fruits and vegetables containing carotenoids (like tomatoes and carrots) can give you that sun-kissed look-no beach required. Carotenoids are chemicals that exist in the pigment of plants and animals. They are the source of the red, yellow, and orange colors of fruits and vegetables and the play an important role in your health as antioxidants, protecting your cells from the harmful effects of free radicals.

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A new study, published in the Journal Evolution and Human Behavior, finds that when given the chance, participants actually preferred the color from the veggie-colored skin over the suntanned skin.

Lead researchers Dr Ian Stephen, from the School of Psychology, University of Nottingham, Malaysia Campus 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."

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While the study was done on Caucasian faces, the researchers suggest the effect may exist cross-culturally because there is evidence of preference for skin yellowness in the African American population.

So the next time you're thinking about shelling out some money for a spray tan-you may want to consider grabbing some veggies instead.

Photo Courtesy: Ian Stephen, University of Nottingham

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