“Eat all of your veggies!” has been a catch phrase Moms have used for generations. As it turns out, colorful fruits and vegetables may have more benefits than even wise Moms knew anything about.
Fresh produce fills our bodies with vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants that fight disease and digestion issues while increasing our immunity. Eaten consistently, we have a better chance of clear skin, strong nails, and full-bodied hair.
But wait, there’s more!
What if there was a way to obtain a glowing tan and gleaming hair by eating colorful fruits and veggies on a consistent basis instead of buying the next trendy hair gel or baking in the sun?
Sunbathing, tanning beds, self-tanning products, spray tans, and shiny hair products are expensive and sometimes troublesome. Doctors have been warning us for years that overexposure to sun could lead to cancer. Experts have also warned us that certain beauty product ingredients could potentially be harmful to us as well.
Yet many continue to have an obsession with warm, glowing skin and sparkling locks because it makes both sexes feel more attractive - seemingly, at any cost. As a stylist, I saw this in the salon on a daily basis.
If we could forgo the expense and danger of our conventional ways to obtain attractiveness by eating healthy, colorful foods instead, that would be revolutionary!
Guess what? It’s possible.
Fruit and vegetable consumption with a direct result of adding a warm glow to the skin has been researched over and over with amazing conclusions. The researchers have found that it is possible to achieve this “yellowness with a touch of red” tone to the skin and it has generated quite a bit of buzz.
What’s even more exciting is that it has been found that the golden glow brought on by certain produce is more attractive than the brown color achieved by the sun’s rays. “Skin coloration appears to play a pivotal part in facial attractiveness,” said lead author Dr Carmen Lefevre, of the Centre for Decision Research, Leeds University Business School.
Researcher, Ian Stephen of the University of Bristol had similar thoughts when he said, "Effectively health and attractiveness are pretty much the same thing," as told to LiveScience. He also noted that research he’d done in the past and would do in the future would contribute to those same ideas.
Most people realize that eating a healthy diet of colorful fruits and veggies is good for our health, but some have a harder time that others sticking with the program. These revelations about the “Tan Diet” may be just what is needed to encourage folks to consume what many have known all along to be a good thing - eating the rainbow.
Racing through your mind right now might be several questions like these:
- If healthy, colorful foods could help to shrink waistlines, fight cancer, boost immunity, and give us great skin and hair, why wouldn’t we try this?
- Which of these skin and hair “superfoods” are the most potent and effective?
- What portion sizes must be consumed and for how long are they eaten before a difference is noticed?
Let’s get these important questions answered, shall we?!
How to Get the Skin Glow
There are only two ways to change the skin color you were born with. One way is by changing the skin’s melanin (darkened by the sun), and the other is by adding beta carotene (changed by eating it). The secret weapon in colorful fruits and vegetables is a substance called carotenoids (beta carotene) which gives produce its deep red, orange, and yellow colors.
Which foods contain beta carotene that could help us forgo lying in the sun, but instead, eat our way to glowing skin? I’m glad you asked.
The perfect formula is to eat a variety of gold, orange, and red fruits and vegetables. Don’t forget the dark green leafy ones too for exceptional health and a gorgeous glow. Here are a few of the star players:
- Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes have more beta carotene by weight and volume than any other fruit or vegetable. Not only are they wonderful complex carbs that are filling and delicious, they equip the body with lasting energy. They are incredibly high in fiber and low in calories, so many weight loss gurus include them in healthy meal plans for clients.
Spinach has loads of beta carotene in its tender, dark green leaves. Not only is it versatile enough to throw in a salad, side dish or main meal without any pomp and circumstance, it also is full of iron, fiber, Vitamin K, zinc, magnesium, and Vitamin C. It is probably most known for its anti-cancer and anti-aging properties.
Tomatoes are great for the skin because they not only contain beta carotene but also Lycopene. This allows it to provide a powerful antioxidant that eliminates dangerous free radicals that can damage DNA and other fragile cell structures. This prevents wrinkles - a big bonus.
Carrots are an excellent choice because of their health benefits plus they are fast and easy to grab and eat immediately without prep time. Carrots are versatile enough to add to soups, salads, and juices to enhance the flavor and kick up the Vitamin A and antioxidants. Not only great for the skin, they are a powerhouse for eyes, teeth, and the digestive system.
Pumpkin is typically only thought of when it’s time to carve them for Halloween or bake as a Thanksgiving sweet. This nutrient-dense food should be included in our lives because of its high beta carotene, fiber count and low calories. Don’t discount canned pumpkin - because the water has been removed, it packs a powerful punch in very small amounts. We can’t forget the ease in which we can whip it up into scrumptious pies, either.
Researchers asked students in their studies to simply increase servings of their daily fruits and vegetables for several months. A clear-cut “diet,” specific quantities of foods, or a definite time frame in which results will be evident were not pinpointed.
Warning: Variety is key! Not only does this ensure the unique health benefits of an assortment of foods, it keeps you from having any issues that may arise from overdosing on certain ones.
Overdosing on veggies? Yes!
I remember as a young stylist, a new Mom visiting the salon that showed me how yellow her toddler’s skin was. She thought that he had jaundice (a common yellowing of the skin in babies), but the doctor concluded that she had feed him too many carrots for too long without enough variety of other baby foods. Her toddler had Carotenemia.
As a student of hair, skin, and nails, Carotenemia made perfect sense to me. When we eat too many carotenes (no matter our age) like carrots, squash and sweet potatoes over a prolonged period, the excess accumulates on the outermost layer of the skin and causes more of a “discoloration” than a pretty tan. It typically shows up only on the palms of hands and the soles of the feet.
The lesson to learn here is that the old adage that says “eat the rainbow” means to enjoy the whole rainbow of colors, not just one part of the rainbow.
How to Get the Hair Glow
As a longtime stylist I found out that most everyone wants a full head of shiny hair but they aren’t quite sure how to obtain it. While many factors can lead to hair loss, or dull locks like sickness, medication, and stress, colorful foods play a huge role in having healthy, shiny hair as well as healthy skin.
Here are a some “colorful food” ideas, along with a few others:
Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, and Carrots are as great for hair shine as they are for skin glow. These superstar, colorful foods take the award once again! You just can’t go wrong by rotating these vegetables into your weekly meal plans for the vitamins and nutrients that give hair a natural shine.
Low fat diets strip the body and hair of essential fatty acids that hair needs to give it the shiny glow that everyone is after. Omega 3s found is fish, flaxseed, coconut oil, and nuts will make a positive difference. You simply cannot have luxurious hair without adding good fats into your diet.
Moisture in the form of high-quality professional conditioners and oil treatments are sometimes just what dry, “thirsty” hair is in need of. While healthy foods from within are most important, adding moisture to parched strands will aid in getting the shine.
Vitamin Bs (including biotin)and folate are essential for strong healthy locks as well. By working in colorful green kiwis and plums, your hair will thank you for extended periods of time.
Did you notice the pattern here? It turns out that Moms and Grandmas did know best when it came to pushing all those colorful fruits and vegetables on us. There is a definite connection between colorful foods and the healthy glow of human skin and hair.
What matters is that we know now what a powerful effect that colorful produce has on our bodies as a whole, and specifically how easily we can obtain a healthy tan and shiny hair just by eating the rainbow we were already familiar with.
Shan Walker is a vintage-minded, Southerner that motivates busy wives with Hope and Hacks in Travel, Beauty, Wellness, and WifeHood. Along with creating The How-to Guru, she has authored Guru Hacks To A Happy Healthy Home, writes for many publications, and adores assisting Authors and Brands with content creation, editing, and social media management. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.