Want to get that summer glow without risking your skin health? Forget lying out in the summer sun, and reach for D. Carota instead.
According to a new study published in Evolution and Human Behavior, fair-skinned folks can get a “healthy glow” by eating vegetables that are rich in beta-carotene. This effect (provided by veggies such as carrots, squash, and sweet potatoes) is similar to what we get from the sun, minus the unsavory dangers to our epidermis.
Study author Dr. Ian Stephen says participants rated carrot-induced tans as more attractive than those garnered through harmful UV rays. He claims this phenomenon is a by-product of evolution, designed to draw us to mates with a healthy diet.
Could this be a precursor to Snooki-branded sweet potatoes? Possibly! But more importantly, it can cut down on sunning and tanning beds, which have pushed melanoma rates six times higher than they were 40 years ago.
So if you want to bronze up, try snacking on carrots and slathering on the SPF 40. Your skin will thank you!
Image: Homegrown Carrots, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from Brandon Chiot’s Run’s photostream.