Style & ShowbizHealth

Vitamins: Your new beauty secret?

HealthBy Sunday World
Vitamins: Your new beauty secret?

Scientists hope that showing fruit and vegetables can improve skin's appearance will encourage people to eat a healthier diet.

It's news to no one that packing in as many fruits and vegetables as you can is good for your health - they've been linked to everything from cutting cancer risk to stabilising weight. But still many adults don't get enough nutrients, falling way below the minimum of five portions advised daily.

Now a team of researchers in Scotland and Australia have shown that people who feast on fruit and vegetables show the benefits in their skin. It's all thanks to the pigments carotenoids, which are in things like carrots, leafy greens and tomatoes. They help improve the tone of your skin, which it's been found can make you seem more attractive.

"The results of the study provide support that higher consumption of fruit and vegetables is associated with higher skin yellowness," joint author Dr Ross Whitehead, of St Andrews University, said in journal Nutrients.

"Studies have shown that individuals find the yellow coloration of skin healthier and more attractive than tanned skin."

The research saw 200 Caucasian women aged between 18 and 29 have their food intake monitored for nine months. Their skin colour was then measured in various places on their body, leading to the results.

Although all people can fall victim to a poor diet, the team have singled out women as those who could particularly benefit from their findings. It's claimed they tend to react to things linked to their appearance more than men, therefore suggesting adopting healthy eating habits might impact their looks could encourage them to rethink their meals.

"Studies indicate that women are ambivalent about the importance of nutrition or their health. Thus, finding novel strategies to motivate increased fruit and vegetables in this group is necessary to protect against chronic diseases," the study read.

"Recent evidence has shown that young women are motivated to change their health behaviours based on improving their appearance or looking good rather than health concerns, which are more important amongst older females, 36 to 50 years old."

It's important you get a good mix of fruit and vegetables, as things of different colours have separate nutrients. Try eating a rainbow of food if possible, and if you're struggling to get your portions each day, break them down. For example, throwing a couple of types of berries onto your morning cereal will see you start the day with two fruit portions.

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