A study done a few years ago showed that well-nourished people are perceived as more attractive by others.
This interesting study took head shots of a number of ordinary college students, male and female, and also measured the level of carotenoids in their blood. They then showed these photos to other college students and asked them to rate the photos for attractiveness. There was a clear and strong correlation between perceived attractiveness and higher blood carotenoid levels. This shows us that the healthy glow we get from eating a diet rich in carotenoids from fruits and vegetables, can be recognized by others!
Carotenoids are stored in the fat under the skin and are secreted into the outer layer of our skin, imparting a rosy and golden tone. This effect can be measured in as little as 8 weeks of eating a diet that emphasizes naturally colourful foods. Carotenoids have also been shown to stimulate fibroblasts in our skin, making collagen and elastin, which can smooth wrinkles and increase the density, elasticity and firmness of the skin. So, they are not just helpful for the young and beautiful!
Carotenoids are the colourful pigments in deeply coloured plant foods. These include beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin, and are found in more than just carrots and other orange vegetables. Dark green, purple and red plant foods also have many different carotenoids that are important for healthy eyes, circulation, gut function, and much more. As a class of nutrients, they all have antioxidant and anticancer activity. And we now know that they can be recognized in our skin and look good on us!
Here at Shine, we encourage a plant-forward diet. (See Why eat the rainbow?) And naturally raised eggs with those deep golden yolks are a source of cartotenoids, as is grass-fed naturally raised meat. The dark coral colour of wild salmon also signals this is a food rich in carotenoids. Animals that have never seen a pasture, or are raised on grains, do not have these beneficial compounds in their meat.
We recommend eating a daily diet that is as colourful as possible, including green, red, orange, yellow and purple fruits and vegetables every day. Add some wild salmon, free range eggs and pasture raised meat, and you will not only feel better, but you will also look better too!
Check out our ebook for inspiration. There are recipes for beets, greens, salads and soups to help you get glowing!
Here’s a recipe to eat carrots for breakfast!
Morning Glory Baked Oatmeal
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt
2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
2 cups almond milk, oatmilk or dairy milk
¼ cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 apple, shredded, no need to peel
3 shredded carrots
½ cup raisins
Heat your oven to 375 degrees F.
Grease a glass baking dish or pie plate with coconut oil. Combine all ingredients and pour into the baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes until golden. Serve warm, or make ahead and reheat individual portions for a lovely toasty warm winter breakfast, rich in fibre, protein and carotenoids!