By N. K. Yukai
Think dark under eye circles mean you need to change how you're sleeping? Think again. They could mean you need to change what you're eating.
When you see dark circles you're actually seeing the network of blood vessels that lies just under the skin, which is thin and delicate in the under eye area. They make you look tired, and perhaps because of that most people assume that they're caused by lack of sleep. But in reality exhaustion is just one of many things that can lead to dark circles, and it's actually more likely that the wrong diet is the primary cause.
Here are some diet don'ts that are associated with dark circles:
Lack of iron in the diet - Iron is absolutely essential to the body. It's used in the creation of healthy blood cells, and insufficient iron can lead to anemia. Symptoms of anemia include listlessness, loss of energy, and dark discoloration under the eyes. Good sources of iron include liver, lean beef, molasses, beans, broccoli, sardines, tuna, prunes, and leafy dark green vegetables like spinach.
Too much salt in the diet - Eating too much salt can make the body retain fluid, which in turn can lead to puffiness and discoloration in the under eye area. Stay away from salty foods and snacks like chips and salted nuts, and avoid high sodium items such as bacon and other processed meats, canned soups and vegetables, and fast foods.
Not enough vitamin K - Dark circles under the eyes can be a sign of vitamin K deficiency. Without sufficient vitamin K the blood will not clot properly, and any leakage from the tiny capillaries under the eyes may pool and create very dark, bruise-like discoloration. Good sources of vitamin K include olive, canola, and soybean oil and dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and swiss chard.
Not enough vitamin C - Vitamin C is known to strengthen the walls of blood vessels, preventing them from leaking. Good sources of vitamin C include oranges, peppers, kiwi fruit, grapefruit, strawberries, Brussels sprouts, and cantaloupe.
Not drinking enough water - Not drinking enough water can quickly lead to dehydration, which may have serious impact on circulation. When the circulation slows, the blood vessels under the eyes become enlarged and look darker.
Too much alcohol and caffeine - Both alcoholic drinks and caffeinated drinks like soda, coffee, and tea can increase dehydration.
Specific food allergies - allergies are definitely associated with dark circles, and food allergies are a major culprit. Some foods often associated with allergies and dark circles include dairy, wheat, yeast, and sugar.