Does Diet Affect Dark Circles Under My Eyes?

Woman looking in mirror at under eye circles

What Causes Dark Undereye Circles?

The skin under the eyes is extremely thin compared to the skin on the rest of your body. When the under eye skin becomes dull or pale due to any number of conditions, dark tissue and blood vessels under the skin become visible, giving the appearance of dark circles. Although we associate lack of sleep for dark circles, there are many reasons people have these conditions. The most common causes are:

  • Heredity
  • Age
  • Iron deficiency anemia- this condition causes skin to look pale, especially under the eyes
  • Dehydration
  • Caffeine- Relying on caffeine for stimulation can cause fatigue to the adrenal glands, resulting in dark circles
  • Hormonal changes- Pregnancy, menstruation, and menopause can all contribute to dark circles
  • Allergies- Sinus infections and undiagnosed food allergies are often the cause of eye puffiness and dark circles
  • Sleep Deprivation- Lack of sleep makes under eye skin dull and pale, allowing the blood vessels underneath to appear as dark circles

What Foods Should I Add to My Diet to Reduce Dark Undereye Circles?

Eating foods rich in Vitamins A, C, E, an K is essential to having healthy skin overall and can help reduce the appearance of dark circles. Superfoods in each group include:

  • Vitamin A: Eat orange-colored fruits and vegetables like papaya, mango, peach, pumpkin, sweet potato, carrot, butternut and winter squash, cantaloupe, and apricots to help promote stronger, firmer skin. Other foods rich in Vitamin A are turnips, beets, mustard and collard greens, and green peas.
  • Vitamin C: This vitamin strengthens blood vessel walls, decreases the enzyme that produces melanin (pigment), and boosts collagen production. Fruits rich in Vitamin C include strawberry, pineapple, grapefruit, tomato, and raspberry. Vegetables containing Vitamin C are broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, spinach, green beans, asparagus, and bell pepper.
  • Vitamin E: This important vitamin makes skin strong and elastic and combats enzymes that destroy collagen. Vitamin E superfoods include hazelnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, Swiss chard, legumes, fish, shellfish, and tofu.
  • Vitamin K: This vitamin boosts capillary walls to prevent blood leakage while helping to promote blood clotting. Vitamin K foods to add to your diet include spices like sage, oregano, and thyme. Also add celery, cucumber, prunes, grapes, pears, plums, kidney beans, and eggplant. Add lean beef for iron, drink plenty of water, and get adequate sleep to aid in the reduction of dark circles.

What Foods Should I Avoid?

While a diet of lean meats, fish, and fruits and vegetables can reduce the appearance of undereye circles, you should limit the following foods and additives that contribute to dark circles:

  • High sodium foods can cause eye puffiness
  • Highly caffeinated beverages like coffee and soda can affect hormonal glands
  • Diet sodas with the ingredient aspartame can cause exhaustion
  • Potassium-rich foods like potatoes, turkey, peanut butter, and dairy products can promote water retention
  • Allergy causing foods like chocolate, yeast, sugar, and citrus fruits are likely culprits. See your doctor to get tested if you believe you might have a food allergy.

To learn more about improving the appearance of your dark undereye circles, book a consultation or call our office at 718-301-5955 today with the physicians of New York Center for Aesthetic Rejuvenation in one of our offices in Brooklyn or Staten Island. Our experienced doctors can suggest a treatment for dark undereye circles.

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