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Diet to Alleviate Eye Fluid Retention

By Lynne Sheldon ; Updated July 18, 2017

If you are retaining fluid, you can become puffy all over, including under your eyes. When fluid collects beneath your eyes, it creates bags, which can make you look tired and older than you are. Changing your diet to alleviate fluid retention can help your eyes look less puffy. However, check with your doctor before altering your diet, and keep in mind that fluid retention can also be a sign of an underlying condition.

Fruits and Vegetables

A diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables has a variety of health benefits, such as lowering fluid retention. Consuming produce can lead to more frequent urination, helping to relieve bloating and puffy eyes. Aim to emphasize veggies and fruits that are rich in water, such as cucumbers, onions, celery and watermelon. Try to include one or more of these in every meal, and you can also eat them as snacks.

Low Sodium

Cutting back on sodium is a good way to alleviate fluid retention in the area around your eyes, as well as the rest of your body. U.S. diets tend to be very high in salt, and this can cause your eyes to become puffy. Keep your sodium intake at 2,300 mg a day or lower, and watch out for hidden salt in processed foods, such as chips, pickles, pizza, cold cuts and soups. Soy sauce also contains a high amount of sodium: typically 1,000 mg in one tbsp. By consuming more fresh, unprocessed items and no longer seasoning your food with salt, you can significantly decrease your sodium intake and relieve the puffiness in your eyes.

Water and Alcohol

It might seem counterintuitive, but drinking more water can help alleviate fluid retention as well because it causes you to urinate more frequently, discouraging the fluid from accumulating in your eyes and other areas. You should drink at least eight cups of water a day or more, if your doctor recommends it, or if you are consuming alcohol. Drinking alcohol can also lead to water retention, and cutting back on it can help relieve this. If you do drink, do so in moderation, and be sure to sip water along with your alcoholic beverage to stay hydrated and discourage fluid retention.

Additional Considerations

Puffy eyes can also be symptomatic of seasonal allergies or not getting enough sleep, in which case, altering your diet might not help. See your doctor if you are concerned about your puffy eyes, or if you are retaining fluid all over your body, as this could be the sign of a serious problem. Edema, or swelling in your bodily tissues, can be the result of sunburn or eating too much salt, as well as a sign of liver or lymph node problems. If you experience this, seek medical attention.

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