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For a rosy glow, new study says to eat more fruits and vegetables

When it comes to healthy skin, winter isn’t the kindest season. Indoor heating can cause skin to dry out, flake, and crack. And, for light-skinned folks like me, a lack of sunshine can make skin look downright pasty during the winter months. So I was happy to find out you don’t have to expose your skin to the sun to get a healthy glow. New research indicates you can have measurably better skin tone in six short weeks, just by eating more fruits and vegetables.

Researchers at the University of St. Andrews in the UK tracked the diets of 35 adults over six weeks. They found that eating three extra servings of fruit and vegetables per day noticeably improved the study participants’ skin tone. Bonus benefit: diet-associated skin color changes were also correlated with higher levels of attractiveness, probably because people associate a more deeply colored complexion with better health. We all feel more attractive when our skin has more color, and this study confirms that hunch.

Why does upping your fruit and vegetable intake improve your skin health? The answer, according to the study, is carotenoids. These pigments give many fruits and vegetables — such as carrots, peaches, papayas, and tomatoes — their yellow, orange, and red hues. Many green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, kale, and spinach also contain carotenoids (though the yellow-orange pigment is hidden underneath the green). When you eat these carotenoids, they get deposited in your skin, giving it a rosy glow.

Carotenoids do more than just add color to your skin, though. They are antioxidants that protect your body from oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Some carotenoids — such as beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin — can convert into vitamin A, which is important for normal tissue development, immune strength, and healthy vision. The most important vitamin A precursor is beta-carotene.

And here’s where this information ties into Juice Plus+®. Six studies have shown that Juice Plus+ causes measurable increases in blood levels of carotenoids, particularly beta-carotene. In one study, conducted by Tokyo Women’s Medical University, researchers found an eye-opening 528 percent increase in blood beta-carotene levels after participants took Juice Plus+ for four weeks. I’m guessing that’s enough to noticeably impact skin color!

(Side note: You don’t need to worry about getting too much beta-carotene. Because this nutrient is water-soluble, it can’t accumulate to dangerous levels; your body quickly eliminates whatever is not used.)

While I’m just theorizing that Juice Plus+ can improve skin color, it has been definitively shown to affect several other measures of skin health. Researchers at the University of Witten-Herdecke, Germany found Juice Plus+ increased skin circulation by 39 percent. That’s important, because circulation ensures the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to skin tissue, supporting healthy skin. Juice Plus+ also boosted skin hydration, skin thickness, and skin density.

Armed with this information, I, for one, will be eating a lot of squash soup, taking my Juice Plus+, and looking forward to enjoying healthy skin all winter!

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