Eating fresh fruit with dark colors, such as plums and nectarines, increases attractiveness and skin tone according to recent research.
Better looks from colorful foods
Dr Ian Stephen of the University of Nottingham has found that attractiveness is linked to dietary carotenoids, found in red or yellow fruits and vegetables. Earlier research has showed that eating these pigments give the skin a golden tone. Men rated women who had this as the most attractive.
Dr Stephen said: “In an interview published in today’s (February 3rd) Fresh Produce Journal, a new development in this area suggests that carotenoids might be even more important to our appearance than we previously thought. Whereas a feminine appearance is very important in determining the attractiveness of women, there has been debate amongst scientists about how important masculinity is for men. Our results suggest that the “golden” colour associated with carotenoids is actually more important than masculinity, and predicted how attractive women found men’s faces.”
Women tested with fruits
South Africa researchers put Dr Stephen’s findings to a new study. They asked 65 women to eat one plum and one nectarine each day for two weeks. Over the period, they found that 45% felt more confident about their appearance; 69% felt their complexion was brighter and had more natural glow than before; and 53.1% noticed that the condition of their skin improved.
Dr. Stephen commented on this research. “This study is a bit of fun, but its results make sense in the context of our research. Our results showed that people who eat more fruit and vegetables – especially those yellow and red fruit such as plums and peaches, and green leafy veg like spinach, that contain high levels of red/yellow antioxidants – have a more ‘golden’ skin tone. This tone seemed to have a much better effect on healthy appearance than a suntan. Since healthy appearance is a huge part of attractiveness, it seems as though fruit and vegetables can make you more attractive.”
Dr Ian Stephen’s original research was published in Evolution and Human Behavior and the International Journal of Primatology. He is a professor at the University of Bristol.
Why colorful foods make you more attractive
Colorful foods contain a number of special plant compounds. These include beta-carotene, which makes foods look orange and red. This includes tomatoes, mangos, papayas and carrots. Another type of plant compounds is called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins make foods look blue, red or purple. For example, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. There are also various types of flavanols, which are polyphenols contained in a number of fresh foods. These fight cancer and inflammation according to other research.
All of these compounds help us look better because they are antioxidants. They neutralize free radicals. Free radicals damage our cells and blood vessel walls. They also damage skin cells. When skin cells are healthier, we look better.
Learn more about the effects of good nutrition:
Stephen, I.D. et al (2009) Facial skin coloration affects perceived health of human faces. International Journal of Primatology. DOI: 10.1007/s10764-009-9380-z.
New Study Shows Eating Fruit More Important Than Masculinity to Male Attractiveness. CAMBRIDGE, England, February 3, 2012/PRNewswire.
Case Adams is a California Naturopath and a Board Certified Alternative Medicine Practitioner with a PhD in Natural Health Sciences, and diplomas in Homeopathy, Aromatherapy, Bach Flower Remedies, Blood Chemistry, Clinical Nutritional Counseling and Colon Hydrotherapy. He has authored 26 books on natural healing strategies.