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Eat Your Way to a Natural Tan - Foods That Are Good for Your Insides and Out

By Dr. Susan Stuart

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Beach towel? Check. Sunscreen? Check. Spinach? Check. Forget lying out for hours under a sweltering sun and definitely skip the sunbed. Your answer to a beautiful tan can be found in your fridge. According to Dr. Susan Stuart, board certified dermatologist in San Diego, eating lots of fruits and vegetables can give you the same golden glow. "Studies confirm that eating certain fruits and vegetables are not only beneficial to your health but also to your skin." You can find these "skin superfoods" by choosing fruits and vegetables that are yellow or orange in color, such as carrots, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and cantaloupe. The color of these foods is caused by a very potent antioxidant called carotene. You will also find that dark leafy greens such as spinach and kale have the superpower as well.

(Carrots by Vera Kratochvil)

Carrots. A commonly known myth is that eating "lots" of carrots will turn your skin orange. But just how much is a lot? In order to have your skin turn orange from a carotene overdose would mean incorporating carrots into 90% of your diet. However, when carrots are consumed regularly in moderation, the skin adapts a more natural and healthy looking hue. Studies have found that people actually prefer the natural glow to the look of a darkened skin tone from sun exposure.

Tomatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Cantaloupe, Apricots. Like carrots, these carotenoid rich fruits and veggies improve your skin’s color while providing other health benefits.

(Vegetable tomaoes by Leon Brooks)

Spinach & Kale. These dark, leafy greens should definitely be a staple in your diet as well as broccoli.

Olive Oil. All though olive oil doesn’t contain any carotenoids, antioxidants and omega-3s will give your skin a moisture boost for a healthier appearance.

Other theories for tan skin include bathing in tea and taking beta-carotene supplements and other vitamins. It hasn’t been proven that adding tea bags to a bath will tint your skin for longer than a few hours and taking supplements may give you an intensely orange complexion. The most effective method of achieving a natural glow is by consuming fresh fruits and vegetables as a large part of your diet.

Learn about Dr. Susan Stuart and Eat Your Way to a Natural Tan at her website.

Susan Stuart, M.D. received her Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree from Tulane University School of Medicine. She completed a highly competitive one year internship at Mercy Hospital Medical Center in San Diego followed by a residency at Emory University, one of the most highly respected dermatology training programs in the U.S. She also completed a one year postgraduate dermatology fellowship in pediatric dermatology at Stanford University Medical Center.

Dr. Stuart's career began with her undergraduate education where she received her B.A. degree from Duke University and was elected into Phi Beta Kappa, an elite academic honor bestowed upon a small percentage of undergraduates who have achieved the highest standards of scholarship in the U.S. In addition, Dr. Stuart is the founder and past president of a nationally recognized organization for children with physical and emotional disorders at Duke University.

After completing 8 years of postgraduate medical education, Dr. Stuart began offering San Diego skin care services and has remained in the area ever since. She has worked with several internationally respected dermatologists and laser experts while continuing her academic endeavors as a faculty member at UCSD Medical Center, where she has instructed interns and residents. She maintains active staff privileges at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla.

Dr. Stuart is considered one of San Diego's leading experts in dermatology and lasers and has been selected as one of American's top physicians in dermatology. She has been featured regularly on news shows including NBC, ABC, and KUSI for her expertise on a variety of dermatology topics and procedures, including San Diego Fraxel® laser skin rejuvenation and BOTOX® Cosmetic.

Published on Aug 22, 2013

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