Top Chef host and former model Padma Lakshmi has set the internet alight with a stunning nude photo, showing that the 49-year-old mother-of-one isn't afraid to show off her body.

Lakshmi took to Instagram to share the image, a black-and-white photo which shows her gazing into the camera as she lies naked on white sheets.

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Fans heaped praise on the Emmy-nominated TV presenter, saying that the photo was "stunning" and "no makeup perfection".

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🤍 (📷: @priscillabenedetti) #bw

A post shared by Padma Lakshmi (@padmalakshmi) on

Lakshmi has spoken out previously about healthy body image, telling Bravo that she wants to promote self-love.

"I really think that it's kinda bulls**t that Instagram will put little stars or whatever on your nipples (to censor them) but men can go topless left and right," she said.

"I find that sexist. We're so afraid of female sexuality in its raw and natural form. We're okay with it being siliconed-out and retouched but an actual woman's real body is, I think, one of the most stunning forms in Mother Nature. So what's the big deal?"

She has also shared a look behind the scenes of her glamorous life, posing in the shapewear she wore beneath her Emmy's gown.

Lakshmi has been the host of Top Chef since 2006 and is also writing and executive producing a new show called Taste the Nation.