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Undereye bags are the extra pockets of skin underneath your eyes that can make your eyes look more tired than normal. This area of skin is very thin and can easily look larger due to water retention from the foods you eat or swollen blood vessels due to a cold or allergies. If you consistently experience bags under your eyes, you may be able to make some dietary changes to see results. Consult your physician if your body does not seem to respond to dietary changes.
Excess sodium in your diet causes you to retain fluid in your entire body, including the area under your eyes. This is because sodium naturally attracts water, causing your body to hold onto it more than it typically would. The extra fluid must be distributed in available spaces, including in your undereye bags. To avoid water retention, cut the amount of sodium in your diet. Some obvious sources can be fast foods like French fries and pizza. Frozen and canned foods also tend to have added sodium because sodium is a natural preservative.
- Excess sodium in your diet causes you to retain fluid in your entire body, including the area under your eyes.
Blood Flow-Enhancing Foods
Sodium and Puffy Eyes
The area under your eyes is home to lots of tiny blood vessels. These can become enlarged due to allergies, which constrict blood flow to the areas near your nose, which causes the blood vessels under your eyes to get larger. To help restore normal blood flow, you can eat foods like 1 oz. of dark chocolate, which contains flavonols to enhance circulation. Omega-3 fatty acid-containing foods like salmon and walnuts also can improve blood flow, according to “Real Simple” magazine.
- The area under your eyes is home to lots of tiny blood vessels.
- Omega-3 fatty acid-containing foods like salmon and walnuts also can improve blood flow, according to “Real Simple” magazine.
Increase Water Intake
If dark circles under your eyes are due to sodium retention, an unlikely source can help to reduce your undereye bags -- more water 2. Increasing your fluid intake can stimulate your kidneys to release water, including that in the bags under your eyes. You also can eat more fluid-containing foods, like fruits and vegetable, such as watermelon, grapes and asparagus.
Reduce Dehydrating Drinks
Yellow Bags Under Eyes
Not all fluids hydrate as effectively as others. For example, water tends to be a very hydrating fluid while tea, coffee and alcohol can act as diuretics, causing you to lost too much water. This can be problematic because excess loss of water signals your body to retain water, even underneath your eyes. Your body relies on balance for fluids, and dehydrating fluids can upset this balance.
- Not all fluids hydrate as effectively as others.
- Your body relies on balance for fluids, and dehydrating fluids can upset this balance.
Sodium and Puffy Eyes
Yellow Bags Under Eyes
The Difference Between Eye Puffiness & Eye Bags
How to Get Rid of Fat Pockets Under Your Eyes
How to Get Rid of Puffiness on Cheeks Under the Eyes
Edema in Malnutrition
High-Protein Diet & Sweating
What Are the Causes of Puffy Morning Eyes?
How to Lose Water Weight
Foods to Avoid for Edema
- MayoClinic.com; Bags Under Eyes; October 2009
- "Real Simple"; 7 Ways to Get Rid of Dark Circles Under Your Eyes; Jolene Edgar
- Sarkar R, Ranjan R, Garg S, Garg VK, Sonthalia S, Bansal S. Periorbital hyperpigmentation: A comprehensive review. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2016;9(1):49–55.
- Vrcek I, Ozgur O, Nakra T. Infraorbital dark circles: A review of the pathogenesis, evaluation and treatment. J Cutan Aesthet Surg. 2016;9(2):65–72. doi:10.4103/0974-2077.184046
- American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. What are allergic shiners?
- Mukherjee, Pulok & Nema, Neelesh & Maity, Niladri & Sarkar, Birendra. (2012). Phytochemical and therapeutic potential of cucumber. Fitoterapia. 84. 10.1016/j.fitote.2012.10.003
- Marini A, Grether-beck S, Jaenicke T, et al. Pycnogenol® effects on skin elasticity and hydration coincide with increased gene expressions of collagen type I and hyaluronic acid synthase in women. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2012;25(2):86-92. doi:10.1159/000335261
- Ahmadraji, Fatemeh & Shatalebi, Mohammad. (2015). Evaluation of the clinical efficacy and safety of an eye counter pad containing caffeine and vitamin K in emulsified Emu oil base. Advanced biomedical research. 4. doi: 10.10.4103/2277-9175.148292.
Rachel Nall began writing in 2003. She is a former managing editor for custom health publications, including physician journals. She has written for The Associated Press and "Jezebel," "Charleston," "Chatter" and "Reach" magazines. Nall is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Tennessee.