If telling you that eating your fruits and veggies (well, actually mostly vegetables) can reduce your risk to develop a chronic disease by 42% still is not enough to make you to eat the government guideline of five fruits or veg’ a day (although other countries such as Japan do recommend ten per day),
Well we might have a special argument to convince you:
Carotenoids, a food pigment contained in fruit such as oranges and tomatoes, as well as carrots, spinach and other leafy vegetables are known to play a crucial role of antioxidant inside your body. They also have been linked to lower incidence of cancer prevalence thanks to their signaling capacity (re-establishing crucial cell communication and regulation of aberrant cell growth such as cancer cell)
In this post, we’re gonna focus on another type of cue / signaling role that carotenoids might play. This will blow your mind and glow your face (!) :
When studying animals, especially mating, the importance of carotenoids has been known for a while in birds and fishes.
In a 2009 study from the Arizona State University, McGraw et al explain that birds use brilliant displays of color to woo females for mating. The compounds responsible for amping up red, orange and yellow colors of birds – are actually carotenoid pigments playing a crucial role in a bird’s perceived ability to reproduce, making it a “cornerstone in birds’ vitality”. But what’s further interesting is that birds actually kind of need to “eat their beauty” since carotenoids can’t be produced endogenously.
Does this hold true for humans ?
“Do we signal in our appearance the fact we’re healthy ?”
As Researcher David Perrett, PhD puts it: “Carotenoids signal health in bird and fish species, and are associated with improved immune defense, photoprotection and reproductive health in humans”
Wondering why sick people usually tend to display some pale complexion ?
Indeed, beyond sensory and narcissistic signaling, carotenoids play a crucial antioxidant role in cells and might be used up in conditions of oxidative stress imbalance skewed towards production of too much free radicals in people with over-activated immune system:
But do people actually perceive that skin difference and label it as more attractive ?
In different studies, Researchers from the Perception Lab show that 90% of people consistently show preference to a more “yellowish” skin color when comparing two similar face pictures:
This even holds in people with darker skin (higher melanin content – another skin pigment that create a browner skin colouration) (80% of people prefer a yellowish colouration induced by carotenoids vs a suntan induced by melanin):
Eventually, this preference also goes for asian people, known to culturally favor whiter skin color. Nature vs Culture: 1 – 0..
An August 2016 study conducted by Researchers from the Macquarie University of Sidney, actually concludes that men with higher skin carotenoids levels “smell more attractive to women”
So, considering that skin carotenoid concentration can actually reflect how healthy your diet and lifestyle are , it makes total sense to imagine that human are naturally more attracted by mate displaying this golden glow as a subtil proxy for better vitality.
Interestingly the two places where carotenoids concentration can increase most are the front-head (which obviously determines your face skin colouration) and the palm hand (thenar dermis)
This is actually, how, from the palm of your hand, One X measures your skin antioxidant concentration.
You might think twice more before using your current skin lotion next time…..
Thanks for reading and please leave your comments !