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Page last updated at 09:58 GMT, Thursday, 13 January 2011
Eating greens 'best way to look good', research shows
The face in the middle shows the woman's natural colour. The face on the left shows the effect of sun tanning, while the face on the right shows the effect of eating more carotenoids. Image courtesy of Dr Ian Stephens
The research began after Dr Stephen was inspired by Darwin's 'Descent of Man'

Researchers at the University of Nottingham say research shows eating vegetables makes you more attractive.

Dr Ian Stephen who led the research believes eating carrots and tomatoes made you look better than a tan would.

Dr Stephen explained: "Eating five more portions [of fruit and veg] ups your carotenoid levels giving your skin golden tones."

Carotenoids are antioxidants which soak up damaging compounds that the skin encounters in daily life.

Students at the University's Malaysian campus, where Dr Stephen is based, ate five extra portions of fruit and vegetables a day for two months.

Afterwards students examined a variety of pictures where their skin had different pigmentations and deemed themselves more attractive when they had increased their vegetable intake.

Dr Stephen explained: "In humans, the more red and yellow tones found in the skin, the more attractive the people were found to be."

It's better for you than lying in the sun, as if you've got red hair and freckles you're going to burn which won't happen from eating fruit and veg!
Dr Ian Stephen

The redder tones are caused when people are flush with blood, particularly if the blood has lots of oxygen in it.

The psychology associate professor began the study after reading Charles Darwin's 'Descent of Man'.

English naturalist Darwin, had explored in his 1871 book, the reason why people have different colourings.

Dr Stephen then began looking at skin colours and what biological factors made skin look its most healthy and attractive.

Under Darwin's 'survival of the fittest', where the healthiest reproduce, people with healthier skin tones appear more attractive.

Dr Stephen concluded that practically a healthy intake of fruit and vegetables making you look good is great news too.

He explained: "It's better for you than lying in the sun, as if you've got red hair and freckles you're going to burn which won't happen from eating fruit and veg!"

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