Under-eye area looking a little tired? Here's how to boost your intake of hydrating foods and antioxidants to get rid of dark circles and eye bags through your diet
The skin around the eyes is the most delicate of the body. When we are dehydrated it thins and blood vessels become prominent, creating dark circles, while excess fluid can cause puffiness. Contributory factors include genetics, lack of sleep, ageing, caffeine, alcohol, and sugar. Hydrating foods and circulation-boosting antioxidants make a noticeable difference, as do mineral-rich foods that help to balance fluids.
A classic beauty food, cucumber has a high water content that rehydrates, collagen-boosting silica, and skin-strengthening sulphur. It also provides vitamin K, which increases the elasticity of blood vessels, and many other beauty-boosting vitamins.
Key nutrients: Silica, sulphur, vitamins A, C, E, and K.
How to eat: Have 1⁄4 cucumber as part of your five a day.
A powerful rehydrator, watermelon is made up of approximately 92 per cent water. It contains many antioxidants that support eye health, including betacarotene.
Key nutrients: Betacarotene, lycopene, fifibre, vitamin B1, B6, and C, potassium, magnesium.
How to eat: Snack on a slice or add to smoothies and juices
Renowned for their benefits to eye health, these are a prime source of the antioxidants lutein and anthocyanins, which help to protect the delicate blood vessels, improving the circulation to the eyes.
Key nutrients: Lutein, quercetin, anthocyanins, omega-3, vitamin C and K, manganese.
How to eat: Snack on a handful each day.
The bright, dense red pigment in tomatoes indicates powerful antioxidants, in particular lycopene that helps to protect the delicate blood vessels and improve circulation to the eyes.
Key nutrients: Lycopene, lutein, betacarotene, quercetin, vitamin C.
How to eat: Have 1 medium or 7 cherry tomatoes daily.
This is a rich source of the electrolyte minerals sodium and potassium, powerful fluid regulators that can help to reduce puffiness. The sodium in celery is very different to white table salt as it promotes the uptake of other nutrients.
Key nutrients: Sodium, potassium, magnesium, quercetin, fibre.
How to eat: Snack on a stick or add to meals or salads.
These contain resveratrol , an age-defying antioxidant, iron, and hydrating sugars.
Key nutrients: vitamins A, B1, B2, and C, protein, anthocyanins, resveratrol.
How to eat: Eat a small handful daily.
The red pigment is from the detoxifying betalain antioxidants, useful for eye health.
Key nutrients: Betalains, folate, vitamin C, magnesium.
How to eat: Up to 85g (3oz) a day.
The hydrating carotenoid zeaxanthin in goji berries boosts the skin around the eyes.
Key nutrients: Vitamin B, C, betacarotene, zeaxanthin, polysaccharides, amino acids, iron, copper, selenium, calcium, zinc.
How to eat: Eat a small handful daily.
Nutrient-dense, this has low sodium levels, balancing fluids and preventing puffy eyes.
Key nutrients: Fibre, calcium, vitamins A, B1, B6, and C, potassium, magnesium, zinc, bioflavonoids.
How to eat: Add 1–2 tsp a day to meals.
The antioxidant rutin aids circulation, and protein renews collagen and elastin.
Key nutrients: 18 vitamins, all amino acids, fatty acids, protein.
How to eat: Eat up to 1 tsp daily. Do not give to children, or take if you have a bee sting allergy, are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Nutrient-dense, this has protein for tissue renewal and sulphur to strengthen skin.
Key nutrients: Protein, antioxidants, fatty acids, B vitamins, calcium.
How to eat: Start with 1⁄4 tsp daily in a meal or drink and build up to 1 tsp.
This is an extract from Neal’s Yard Remedies Eat Beautiful by Susan Curtis, Tipper Lewis and Fiona Waring, published by DK, 1 March 2017. £16.99. DK.com .
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