Dark Eyed Circles: The Causes and What To Eat To Get Rid Of Them

Got dark under eyes? Well, you’re not alone.

When all those hard partying nights (and mornings…and afternoons…) finally start to catch up, they bring along dark circles under our eyes! Every bar hopping celebration, every Netflix binge session – as we sacrifice our beauty sleep to watch one, nah, three more episodes before bed.

Why couldn’t we have done ourselves a favor and put down the technology and/or just put our damn selves to bed at a decent hour?!

Questa è la vita (it’s life). Coulda, woulda, shoulda… but we didn’t. So it’s time to move forward and say hello dark circles, it’s nice to meet you. Will you be staying long?

And while not getting enough sleep is usually the main culprit, those unpleasant looking dark circles under our eyes can also be attributed to diet.

Luckily, there are a few ways to help bring back that once glamorous glow we took for granted.

Want a quick fix? Change what’s on the end of your fork, boys, and girls!!

EAT MORE IRON | One of the most common reasons for getting dark circles underneath our eyes is low amounts of iron, specifically non-heme iron.

Non-heme iron is found in plants and iron-fortified foods only. It’s commonly thought that those who eat a plant-based diet are more prone to iron deficiency, but it turns out that they’re no more likely to have an iron deficiency anemia than anyone else. Heme iron is found in meat, seafood, and poultry.

Not only do those eating meat-free diets tend to get more fiber, and magnesium, and vitamins like A, C, and E; they also get more iron. Avoiding heme altogether may be one of the key elements of plant-based protection against metabolic syndrome, and may also be beneficial in lowering heart disease risk, and stroke.

Higher heme iron (animal iron) intake was significantly associated with greater risk for type 2 diabetes, but not total or non-heme iron (plant iron); 16% increase in risk for every daily milligram of heme iron consumed. And the same for cancer, with up to 12% increased the risk for every milligram of daily heme iron exposure. In fact, you can actually tell how much meat someone is eating by looking at their tumors.

Some great vegan sources of iron include lentils, tempeh, collard greens, swiss chard, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, squash, and quinoa. When you’re suffering from an iron deficiency, your body will absorb as much as 35% of the nutrient from your foods, vs only 10% when no deficiency exists.

ENHANCE WITH VITAMIN C Vitamin C plays an integral role in the synthesis of red blood cells and, when eaten with iron-filled foods, helps to greatly increase the amount of iron being absorbed by the body. Not only this, but vitamin C is important for defending our cells from free radicals, antioxidants, and for rejuvenating collagen

There are also many delicious, readily available sources of vitamin C to choose from! Most fruits are very rich in vitamin C, including papaya, oranges, strawberries, pineapple and kiwi. Red bell peppers and chili peppers are also very high in vitamin C, as well as broccoli, kale, brussels sprouts and cauliflower.

GET YOUR B12 | Anyone can be B12 deficient, regardless of diet. There are many different B Vitamins. B12 is a vitamin found in soil. B12 is typically found in few foods, meat being one of them because animals eat the plants/soil and it is carried in their products. B12 is not typically found in conventional produce, but it can be found in organic, wild fruits and vegetables grown in rich soils.

B12 is also a flora produced in your colon: you either produce it or you don’t.

Vitamin B12, which works alongside vitamin C & iron for the healthy functioning of red blood cells, is tricky for vegans and vegetarians because it’s most often obtained from animal sources. When maintaining a vegan diet it’s crucial to find food sources fortified with vitamin B12- like nut milk- or to take a vitamin B12 supplement which provides at least 10 micrograms daily.

If you don’t know whether or not you are deficient, my advice is to get checked! Get a blood test done. A blood test can be super beneficial for yourself to see what exactly is going on in your body.

It takes YEARS of not consuming any B12 to become deficient! Most likely it is something that comes around OVER time. Even when people get an injection, they don’t FEEL results immediately. Some symptoms of low B12 are Dementia, lightheadedness, Psychological disorders, extreme sleepiness.

I have been vegan for 5+ years and I don’t supplement with B12 regularly but on occasion, I will. I eat 99% of my fruits and vegetables organic, with some washing depending on the food to ensure I get the nutrients from the soil.

To supplement with b12 find a liquid or tablet supplement, or eat some nutritional yeast.

EAT COPIOUS AMOUNTS DARK LEAFY GREENS | Vitamin K is used in the body for blood coagulation and circulation. If you’re seeing those dreaded dark eye circles- you might be skipping the greens that get you the most K for your cash! Broccoli, brussels sprouts, leafy green vegetables, and spinach, are fantastic sources of vitamin K, as well as sage, oregano, and thyme.

Dark leafy greens, like Kale, are a nutritionally packed leafy vegetable that contains incredible healing and rejuvenating properties. Kale is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, chlorophyll, amino acids, vitamins A, C, E, K, B-complex and minerals such as iron, magnesium, copper, and potassium.

Kale is an anti-cancer powerhouse and contains phytochemicals such as glucosinolates that help protect the body from breast, colon, prostate, ovarian, and bladder cancer. These glucosinolates are also known to detox the body on a genetic level and have the ability to literally transform your body and health.

Kale also contains an exceptionally high amount of antioxidants such as carotenoids and flavonoids which are essential for protecting the body from degenerative diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, prostatitis, osteoporosis, and neurological disorders.

Kale contains an organic sulfur which has potent antibiotic, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties that work to boost the immune system and provide significant benefits for chronic inflammation and oxidative stress seen in conditions such as fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic sinusitis, chronic fatigue syndrome, COPD, and irritable bowel disease.

Kale is part of the Brassica vegetable family which is known to mildly stimulate the liver and other tissues and organs out of stagnancy. Purple kale is a mild, sweeter variety of kale that is a delicious and beautiful addition to any meal. Purple kale is excellent to add to your green juice, wraps, salad, or steamed vegetables.

***When eating any leafy greens, to ensure that you absorb more nutrients, eat some fat along with the greens, like avocado or nuts or seeds.**

THINK VITAMIN E, FOR BEAUTY | If you want eyes that look young, well-rested, and refreshed, think about the entire face first. The stage must be equally as striking as the stars they showcase!

Vitamin E has long been touted as the miracle vitamin for younger, firmer, more elastic skin and is essential for fighting the enzymes that break down collagen. Want younger looking eyes without those big ‘ol bags? Start incorporating more vitamin E-rich foods into your diet like hazelnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, and swiss chard.

And now that you know what causes those dreaded dark eye circles, you can start combatting the culprits by eating these vitamin-rich foods!

THINK VITAMIN A, FOR ANGEL EYES | If you want to be remembered for glowing angel eyes, make sure to stock up on papaya, mangoes, peaches, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, celery, mustard greens, and cantaloupe!

Vitamin A is amazing for eye and vision problems including age-related macular degeneration, blurry vision, weak nighttime vision, and dry, itchy eyes.

All of these vitamin A rich foods promote strong, firm skin. If sweeter foods aren’t your thang try turnips, beet and mustard greens, or green peas- all superb choices for your vitamin A needs! Eating a vitamin A rich diet will help banish those dark eye circles!

Well, there ya have it! If you have any questions, please reach out to me. You can reach me through my contact page, via email, or DM me on my social media pages.

Thanks for reading.

Much love,
Hannah the Vegan

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