The secret to a fabulous tan? Fresh fruit and veg

Getting your five-a-day could be even more beneficial than first thought, as researchers claim that eating plenty of fruit and veg gives you a golden healthy complexion.

Forget sunbeds and spray tans, the secret to a healthy looking glow is to eat plenty of fresh fruit and veg, according to the latest research.

Scientists claim that dull, pale complexions can be enhanced in just one month with the five-a-day diet.

‘We have produced evidence that dietary intake of fruit and vegetables affects skin colour,’ said Ian Stephen, from Bristol University, who led the research.

Not only is this approach healthier than other complexion enhancing methods, but researchers actually found that most people preferred the healthy colour of skin created by eating lots of fresh fruit and veg, than their suntanned look.

‘We found people always preferred the golden effect from diet to the darker effect from the sun,’ said Stephen.

He believes carotenoids, a class of around 600 different types of pigment found in plants, are the secret ingredient that gives an attractive glow.

Volunteers were put on a diet of five fresh fruit and vegetables every day for a month, and their ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos were rated for attractiveness. It was found that the ‘after’ faces were consistently ranked higher.

Scientists hope that the increase in attractiveness will encourage more people to ensure they are getting their five-a-day and believe the findings could reinforce the Government’s healthy eating campaign.

‘Most people don’t know the effect of diet on skin tone,’ said Professor David Perrett, a psychologist from St Andrews University. ‘We were very surprised by these results ourselves.’

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