Forget expensive make-up and miracle potions – the best way to achieve that irresistible magnetism towards the opposite sex may to be to eat your greens.
Women who consume more fruit and vegetables have a healthier and more attractive glow than those who don’t, scientists have discovered.
Carotenoids – a type of pigment found in carrots, sweet potatoes, dark leafy greens and tomatoes, is credited with helping to protect against cancer.
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But it can also boost your appearance and improve your skin tone, experts have found.
Britons regularly fail to eat the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, and young women are among the worst offenders.
Now researchers in a joint Scottish and Australian study believe that vanity may prove the most persuasive argument yet to eat a healthy diet, as the improvement to women’s skin tone and colour described in the study could help make them more attractive to the opposite sex.
Joint author Dr Ross Whitehead, of St Andrews University, said: ‘Evidence suggests that young women are motivated to change their behaviour by appearance rather than health.
‘The results of the study provide support that higher consumption of fruit and vegetables is associated with higher skin yellowness.
‘Studies have shown that individuals find the yellow coloration of skin healthier and more attractive than tanned skin.
'Therefore future interventions could focus on improving young women’s skin colour to improve their perceived health and appearance, to motivate them to increase their fruit and vegetable intake.’
People consuming diets rich in carotenoids are healthier and have lower death rate from a number of chronic illnesses.
Carrots, sweet potatoes, dark leafy greens and tomatoes are credited with helping to protect against cancer
The chemical can also work as antioxidants, aiding in the prevention of cancer.
A recent study showed that eating at least seven portions of fresh fruit and vegetables a day was linked to a 42 per cent lower risk of death from all causes.
In the experiment, researchers monitored the diet of almost 200 Caucasian women aged between 18 and 29 for nine months.
The scientists also measured their skin colour at nine points on the body, from head to foot.
They reported in the journal Nutrients: ‘Higher daily fruit, vegetable and combined fruit and vegetable intakes were associated with increased overall, unexposed and exposed skin redness and yellowness values.
‘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.
‘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.
‘Interventions that focus on appearance could be a novel way of motivating young women to improve dietary intake, including fruit and vegetable intakes.’