The Zoomer Report: Veggies And Skin Tone

Do you want to get that healthy glow? The latest research finds that instead of going for a beach vacation, you should just eat more carrots, sweet potatoes and mangoes. A study in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior showed that eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables gives you a more healthy golden glow than the sun. It’s thanks to substances called carotenoids — the antioxidants responsible for the red colouring in fruit and vegetables like carrots and tomatoes,

Participants were asked to manipulate the colours of 51 faces on a computer screen to make them look healthier. Consistently, they picked skin tones calibrated to reflect the intake of carotenoids, rather than tones simulating suntans.

The researchers also found that just one or two more portions of fruits and vegetables a day resulted in a subtle shift toward the more healthy yellowish tone of carotenoid consumption. And taking a 15 mg daily supplement of beta carotene for eight weeks had the same result.

The researchers say the benefit comes from consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables, which contain different types of carotenoids. The more colourful your diet — the better.

But you can eat too much. Excessive consumption of carrots can produce carotenemia, a too yellowed skin tone that looks jaundiced.

Photo © Frank Cutrara

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Libby ZnaimerAbout The Zoomer Report
Libby Znaimer, a prominent Canadian journalist specializing in business, politics, and lifestyle issues, is producer and host of The Zoomer Report, a special feature on topics of interest to baby boomers and the 50+. It covers everything from health and wealth to leisure and volunteerism, from the special vantage point of the generation that has changed society in its wake.

Ms. Znaimer is also Vice-President of News and Information for Classical 96.3FM and AM740. Her first book, “In Cancerland – Living Well Is The Best Revenge” – was published in October 2007 by Key Porter.

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