TikTokkers are sharing a seemingly innocent hack to get a tan – and it doesn't involve taking your chances with UV exposure from the hot sun. But is this simple trick really all it’s made out to be? Turns out there are a few complications that can come with excess carrot consumption – here’s what you should know before you try it.
One TikTok user, @Isabelle.Lux, shared a post around her tanning technique of eating 3 large carrots a day, amassing a whopping 3.2 million views – she reveals the before and after shots of her “carrot glow”.
“I’ve been doing this for years. I don’t fake tan anymore, I don’t go out in the day during the sunlight.”
“It changes everything, trust me,” Isabelle says in another video. “You’re going glow from the inside out.”
But a few people in the comments revealed some less-than-appealing results from eating multiple carrots a day.
“I took my baby to the paediatrician because I thought she had jaundice but her skin changed from eating carrots,” one comment read.
So, who’s right? And what really happens when you eat multiple large carrots a day? That’s what we’re here to get to the bottom of.
Eating multiple large carrots a day can have both benefits and potential downsides. Let’s start with the good:
Carrots are packed with beta-carotene, a type of carotenoid and a precursor to vitamin A. Beta-carotene is essential for good vision, immune function, and skin health.
It also acts as an antioxidant, helping to protect cells from oxidative stress. There’s a reason carrots are famously associated with promoting eye health – it’s that beta-carotene that makes carrots – and potentially your skin – orange. It’s also down to the vitamin A that is derived from beta-carotene, and it’s crucial for maintaining healthy vision, particularly in low-light conditions. This all sounds great right? Well, turns out there's a reason they say "everything in moderation".
Now for the not-so-good truth about overdoing it on the carrots. Beta-carotene gives carrots their vibrant orange colour, and while some Tik Tokkers believe that consuming large amounts of this stuff can contribute to a healthy skin glow, excessive consumption may not necessarily lead to a "natural tan", but rather an uneven orange spread. Let’s take a look at some of the problems that may arise on your journey to getting that glow:
- Carotenemia: Excessive consumption of beta-carotene-rich foods can lead to a condition called carotenemia, where the skin takes on a yellow or orange tint. This is harmless and usually reversible once beta-carotene intake is reduced. The orange hue can particularly be evident on the hands and feet – it skews more Donald Trump than the sun-kissed glow you might have been going for.
- Imbalanced Diet: While carrots are nutritious, a balanced diet should include a variety of foods to ensure you're getting a broad spectrum of nutrients. Relying heavily on one food could lead to deficiencies in other nutrients – it might be more healthful to enjoy just one carrot as a snack and add a bit of cheese or hummus with it. Bugs Bunny might be cute, but his carrot addiction isn’t something to aspire to!
- Digestive Health: Eating a significant amount of carrots can increase fibre intake, which is generally a positive thing for digestion, but very large amounts might lead to digestive discomfort or gas in some individuals.
Safe Consumption Tips
- As with any food, moderation is key. Eating a carrot every day as part of a balanced diet is unlikely to cause any negative effects.
- Include a variety of colourful fruits and vegetables in your diet to ensure you're getting a wide range of nutrients.
- If you have specific health concerns or are considering making significant dietary changes, it's a good idea to consult a healthcare professional or registered dietitian.
Need a little more support in eating a gut-healthy diet? That’s what we’re here for. Our ALL NEW 21-Day Gut Rebalance Program kicks off soon with delicious, nourishing recipes and exclusive expert content to support you on your way to better health. Whether it's constipation, bloating or even stress that's got you down, it could be your gut warning you that you're missing out on the gut-nourishing foods that help us thrive. We'll show you the ins and outs of healing, from the benefits of probiotics and prebiotics to the inflammation-busting foods you should be eating. Take a look at some of the exciting new recipes on the program:
- Pork Kimchi Dumplings
- Homemade Sourdough Bread
- Miso-Baked Salmon
- Tempeh Satay
- Chinese Beef + Broccoli
- Chocolate Chia Smoothie Bowl
And that's not even scratching the surface! We're selling out fast so don't wait, sign up now!