There’s a reason people spend hours at the beach baking in the sun, failing to put on an effective SPF, and putting themselves at risk for skin cancer and premature aging: We all want a healthy-looking wash of color to go with the summer bodies we've been working on for months. But there's a way to get golden skin without soaking up dangerous UV rays—or stepping foot inside a spray-tan booth. Believe it or not, your diet may hold the key to more color. Eating an abundance of fruit and vegetables can give your skin a healthier-looking glow than the sun can, suggests a study published in Evolution and Human Behaviour. Foods that are particularly high in beta-carotene, like carrots and dark leafy greens, give skin a more golden color. Don't expect to look like you just got back from the beach, but when these foods can also boost immunity and fight cancer, why not give 'em a shot this season?
If you eat enough carrots, you may very well turn into one—or at least your skin may take on a more yellow hue. An added bonus: Researchers from Harvard University's School of Public Health found that eating foods rich in beta-carotene, like carrots, could also boost the health of your sperm.
Sweet potatoes are great complex carbs that provide your body with lasting energy. They may also boost your vision and immunity and help to prevent some types of cancer. Even better, they are high in fiber and low in calories, making them ideal for any kind of weight loss or weight-maintenance regimen.
Slice these up and snack on them plain or with some hummus. Bell peppers, especially the red ones, are very high in carotenoids. Also, just one small red, yellow, or orange pepper provides your body with up to three times your daily dose of vitamin C.
Pumpkin should be regularly included in your diet, and the canned stuff isn’t half bad, either. One cup of pumpkin clocks in at only 49 calories and packs in three grams of fiber. Just like the other foods on this list, pumpkin is high in beta-carotene and may help fend off cancer.