by Taryn Davies |
Want to drastically improve the look of your skin, well, you should have listened to your parents and eaten all of your greens.
New research shows that even a few weeks of eating fruit and vegetables could improve your skin colour.
Researchers at the University of St. Andrews studied the diets of 36 people over six weeks, measuring natural changes in their diet and skin tone.
They also looked at the impact of red, orange and yellow pigments found in fruit and vegetables such as tomatoes, carrots and bell peppers on the skin.
Eating an average of 2.9 more portions of fruit and vegetables a day made them look healthier when rated by others at the end of the study, while an extra 3.3 portions enhances their attractiveness.
Researcher Ross Whitehead said that the was 'surprised' to see how quickly their skin tones changed but pleased the results supported NHS guidelines for healthy lifestyles.
Mr Whitehead said: "Most of us know we should eat plenty of fruit and veg yet we are not motivated to go ahead and eat a healthy diet.
"We hope highlighting the benefits of a healthy diet on our attractiveness will be a stronger incentive for people to eat more healthily."
The researcher paper was published in the American Journal of Public Health.
Skin colour changed because pigments in fruit and vegetables are transported in blood bound to proteing and fats and deposited under the skin surface, staining the outer layers.
Professor David Perrett, who supervised the study at the Scottish University, added: "Although skin colour caries markedly, we found similar effects in different cultured - for Asians and Europeans alike, a good diet is associated with an attractive skin tone.
"The message that a good diet improves skin colour could improve health across the globe."
Scientists estimate that more than 75 per cent of British people do not eat enough fruit and vegetables.