Nottingham, UK—Laying out in the sun isn’t the only way to get glowing skin. Researchers from the University of Nottingham are suggesting that a diet high in vegetables can produce a healthy glow. 

The Journal of Human Evolution and Behavior published the study, which was led by Dr. Ian Stephen and funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and Unilever Research. Stephen stated that the carotenoids that give carrots and tomatoes their reddish color can also give the skin a golden glow. The carotenoids absorb harmful compounds that are caused by the stresses of everyday life, which typically trigger tired, pale looking skin, he said. In addition, other nutrients in vegetables promote skin health. Vitamin C, found in vegetables such as bell peppers, helps to promote the production of collagen, which helps maintain skin elasticity. Lycopene, found in tomatoes, has been proven to protect against the harmful rays of the sun that make skin age faster. 

Studies performed at Newcastle and Manchester Universities in the United Kingdom showed that people who consumed 55 grams of tomato paste (equal to about five or six large cooked tomatoes) every day for 12 weeks were less likely to get a bad sunburn when exposed to UV rays than those who had not consumed the tomato paste. The antioxidants that are found in many vegetables help to protect against free radicals that, over time, cause the skin to age. If one eats the recommended two and a half cups of vegetables daily, and varies the types of vegetables you eat, your skin should reap the benefits.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, March 2011 (online 1/26/11)