If you’re wondering whether eating carrots in excess can turn your skin orange, you’re not wrong…it can! It’s known as carotenemia but the good news is that it’s harmless.

The reason is that carrots…and all orange vegetables and fruits are rich in beta-carotene, which is the natural pigment responsible for the orange colour. The body converts beta-carotene to vitamin A, an antioxidant vitamin which helps boost our immune system. Excess beta-carotene that enters into the bloodstream will be stored just under the skin, giving it a golden tint….a natural glow.

Some of the most popular beta-carotene rich foods include:

  • Apricots
  • Cantaloupe melon
  • Carrots
  • Mangoes
  • Oranges
  • Pumpkin
  • Squash
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Yellow peppers

I’m always eating carrots; they arrive in my vegetable box each week and on top of this, I still find myself buying more as they’re so incredibly versatile. I’m making a carrot soup almost weekly, eating them as cruditées with hummus or simply diced into a salad as I have done here.

Interesting research: This study suggests that serving carrots whole, rather than diced could be a promising strategy to increase children’s vegetable consumption in a snacking occasion. Life just got easier!

So what’s “too many”? It does differ from person to person but I’d say around 3 large carrots a day is plenty. The reason we shouldn’t exceed this is that vitamins can be either water soluble or fat soluble. If they’re water soluble, like vitamin c for example, any excess with come out in your urine. If they’re fat soluble, like vitamin A, any excess will be stored in fat rather than excreted and an too much can be a problem.

So, keep eating carrots and other orange foods and give your body a HEALTHY dose of antioxidants, fibre as well as vitamins and minerals.

If you’re worried, the typical areas where you’ll see changes in skin colour first are areas of thicker skin like palms, soles, knees, elbows and also folds around the nose. Simply reduce the amounts of the foods you are eating and the discolouration will fade and return to normal.

As always, “vary your foods to vary your nutrients”!

This is my favourite soup; Creamy (Dairy-free) Carrot & Ginger Soup that I make all the time