Lack of sleep, heredity and aging are the major factors that cause bags under the eyes. The vitamins in your diet may not play a major role in any of these causes, but making sure you include foods rich in vitamins A, C and E may help offer some protection against the aging process. Consult your doctor to discuss how diet affects your health, including the bags under your eyes.
One of the major causes of eye bags is the weakening of the ligaments underneath your eye that hold the fatty tissue back. According to a study published in 2007 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, not getting enough vitamin C in your diet increases skin aging. The authors of the study theorize that it has something to do with the role vitamin C plays in the production of collagen, which is the protein that makes the ligaments under your eyes. To help reduce the risk of bags under your eyes, include red and green peppers, oranges, grapefruits, broccoli, cantaloupe and tomatoes to get more vitamin C in your diet.
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The 2007 study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition also noted a relationship between lower intakes of vitamin A and an increase in skin aging. Vitamin A doesn't have a direct impact on eye bags like vitamin C, but it may offer some protection against damage from the sun, which may help delay the skin aging process. Sweet potatoes, carrots, black-eyed peas, milk and eggs are good food sources of vitamin A.
Vitamin E also protects the skin from sun damage, which may also help delay the aging responsible for eye bags. Additionally, vitamin E is an important antioxidant that protects your cells from the oxidative damage that's known to be a major factor in the aging process. Vitamin E is found in almonds, wheat germ, sunflower seeds and peanut butter.
Other Diet Factors
Vitamins play more of an indirect role in helping you manage the bags under your eyes, but there are diet changes you can make that may have more of a direct impact. For example, limiting your intake of foods that cause fluid retention such as fast food, processed meats and salty snacks may help prevent some of the puffiness. Also, watch your intake of caffeine to help ensure that you get an adequate amount of sleep each night.
- VSP: What's to Blame for Your Under Eye Bags?
- American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Dietary Intakes and Skin-Aging Appearance Among Middle-Aged American Women
- Office of Dietary Supplements: Vitamin C
- Linus Pauling Institute: Vitamin A and Skin Health
- Office of Dietary Supplements: Vitamin A
- Linus Pauling Institute: Vitamin E and Skin Health
- Harvard School of Public Health: Antioxidants: Beyond the Hype
- Office of Dietary Supplements: Vitamin E