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Bags Begone: The Diet to Defeat Dark Circles

The night before a photo shoot, celebrities are typically on their best behavior because nothing affects your face like last night’s party. Puffiness around your eyes can send a variety of messages, from “I had the greatest night of my life last night!” to “I was just crying in the bathroom; leave me alone.”

Puffy eyes can be caused by fluid retention due to a high salt intake or common problems like sleep deprivation, allergies, and nasal congestion. They also can be associated with more serious health problems, such as high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, liver disease, and kidney problems.

Women are at added risk for water retention the week before menstruation. Estrogen replacement therapy and the birth control pill also can make your body retain water. Dark circles under the eyes are unique to each individual. Many people come by them honestly—that is, they inherited them! Pale, translucent skin can make the bluish veins under the eye more apparent, making the area look darker. Sometimes this is part of the natural aging process, but sometimes people are pale because they didn’t get enough sleep or they have health problems like anemia. Dark circles under the eyes can also be caused by dehydration, sudden weight loss, and smoking.

When you follow my Beauty Diet, you will boost circulation to your skin and avoid any diet-induced puffiness. People will notice your clear, sparkling eyes—not the bags beneath them!


For Clear, Refreshed Eyes: If your face looks a little puffy due to water retention, here are some changes you can make in your diet that might help:

*Drink plenty of water. Limiting liquid will not prevent water retention. Providing lots of water encourages the body to release it.

*Enjoy green tea. This beauty beverage is a source of caffeine, which acts as a diuretic.

*Avoid foods high in sodium. A high-salt diet raises the level of sodium in your blood and body fluids. In this environment, cells hold on to extra water and enlarge. Foods high in sodium include:

1. 1/2 cup miso soup: 2,516 mg
2. 1 teaspoon table salt: 2,346 mg
3. 1 can anchovies: 1,651 mg
4. 1 tablespoon soy sauce: 1,029 mg
5. 1 medium dill pickle: 833 mg
6. 1/2 cup canned tomato sauce: 738 mg
7. 1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce: 690 mg
8. 1 ounce cured salt pork: 404 mg
9. Processed foods, fast foods, and canned soups: quantity varies

*Get enough B vitamins. They may be effective in reducing water retention. The various B vitamins work together in the body, so eat a wide variety of foods to be sure you get all of them. Among my Top 10 Beauty Foods, the best source of thiamin (B1) and biotin (B7) is walnuts, the best source of riboflavin (B2) and pantothenic acid (B5) is yogurt, the best source of niacin (B3) is wild salmon, the best source of folate (B9) is spinach, and the best source of cobalamin (B12)—which is available only from animal sources—is oysters. Spinach, walnuts, and salmon are all good sources of pyridoxine (B6).

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