Anyone who has ever over eaten at an all you can eat buffet, pigged out on late-night grub from your local 7-11, or treated yourself to questionable cart food knows that food can do strange things to the body.
But even beyond causing us to feel triumphant about clearing out the sweet-and-sour chicken tray or remorseful about that fourth egg roll, our bodies’ relationship to food really is strange and spectacular.
For example, did you know that just a few weeks of healthy eating can actually alter the way your skin looks? Researchers in Scotland did a study that compared subjects’ diets to their skin tones and found the folks who ate healthier really did get a healthier glow on their skin than those who didn’t.
People who ate the most produce turned slightly yellower than those who subsided mostly on burgers and fries, and that tiny change in hue translated to a better overall appearance of healthfulness.
And it wasn’t just the researchers who thought so. In a second part of the experiment, people were asked to look at pictures slightly digitally altered with a yellowish tint that mimicked that of the veggie lovers’ skin and a second photo of the same subject with a pizza pallor. People overwhelmingly chose the yellow-hued photos as healthier and more attractive.
Turns out that the same pigments that make food look good enough to eat make us look younger, happier, and healthier as well, lending credence to the old adage, “You are what you eat.”
But the food we take into our bodies can affect more than our waistlines and skin. Food can alter our moods, it can help our bodies adjust to temperatures, and it can even trick our taste buds. We’ve compiled the following list of some of the worst and weirdest things that food can do to the human body. Click through at your own risk, though; our slideshow might just make you suspicious of your salad.
Soy Can Decrease Sperm Count
A recent fertility study found that men who frequently ate foods high in soy had a lower (though still normal) sperm count than men who rarely or never ate soy foods.
Carrots Can Turn Your Skin Orange
Your grandma was right; the vitamin A in carrots really does help your vision. However, slamming back too much carrot juice or taking more beta-carotene supplements than the daily recommended allowance may turn your skin an orangey-yellow (more intense than the slight, healthy-looking yellow tint of a balanced diet), a condition called carotenosis.