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A diet rich in fruits and vegetables, particularly 5 or more servings a days, has always come highly recommended as a way to replenish the body’s essential vitamins and nutrients. A new study finds that adding certain fruits and vegetables to your diet can work wonders for your skin.

Increasing the amount of fresh produce in your diet, especially if you are replacing processed or fatty foods, is definitely beneficial for your health. Eating fruits and vegetables that are especially high in carotenoids will also add a glow to your skin and keep you looking young and healthy

A recent study in England analyzed the effects of carotenoids on the skin and how it was perceived. According to the study, volunteers were asked to review before and after photos of subjects who had consumed 5 servings of carotenoids-rich fruits and veggies a day. The volunteers time and again preferred the images of the subjects who had achieved the glow from their diet as opposed a UV-induced tan.

Carotenoids are an organic pigment found in different foods such as carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, collard greens, and tomatoes. Carotenoids are also rich in Vitamin A and protect the skin from the damaging effects of free radicals. Carotenoids are what give produce its distinctive colors, such as in orange fruits and vegetables as well as dark green, leafy vegetables.

Tomatoes, grapefruit, and guava also contain carotenoids in the form of lycopene. The best way to take full advantage of carotenoids is to eat these foods raw or lightly cooked. Frying, boiling or baking can greatly decrease the amount of carotenoids available for your body to process.