Mother Earth Living

Foods for Eye Health: How to Manage Eye Problems Through Food

The food that you eat plays a critical role in many things, including controlling inflammation levels, balancing blood sugar levels, maintaining cardiovascular and digestive health, and more. Traditional systems of medicine like Ayurveda have long been aware that good choices of food can impact our digestive system along with skin and eye health. 

All modern health conditions are related to unhealthy food and lifestyle. Nutritional deficiencies and toxicity from poor diet are often the main cause.

In the perspective article I will be discussing the following:

  • Reasons for tire, dull eyes
  • How to support dull eyes with food
  • Reasons for eye bags and dark circles
  • Superfood suggestions for eye bags and dark circles

Photo by Drew Graham on Unsplash

Tired and Dull Eyes

‘Tired eyes’ is just another term for eye strain. First let us look in to the causes of tired, dull eyes.

  1. Too much screen time
  2. Too much driving time
  3. Poor lighting while reading or working on computers
  4. Poor sleep patterns
  5. Activities that require eyes to have intense focus
  6. Incorrect prescription

Any of the above reasons can result in out of focus, dry or watery eyes. There may be a dull pain around the eyes and a puffy appearance will be present.

It is not a disease and does not require medical treatment. But there are symptoms which require immediate medical attention, for example if tired eyes are associated with frequent episodes of headache or vomiting, consult your doctor.

Is it possible to support or prevent dull eyes with food?

Yes! Perhaps more than anything else in our lives the choice of right food can help in preventing and supporting dull, tired eyes. Foods Rich in vitamin A & B, Anti-oxidants and fatty acids boost circulation around the eyes.

Foods rich in Vitamin A & B


Fatty acids

Orange pepper – It contains the highest amount of Carotenoid Zeaxanthin which protects the retina

Berries – high in Vitamins and anti-oxidants, protects the retina against light

Chia seeds – rich in omega-3 fatty acids which protects against macular degeneration

Egg yolk – It is a source of Carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin.

Bee pollen – anti-oxidant rutin boosts blood vessel walls to improve micro circulation

Spirulina- grown naturally from algae, presence of both anti-oxidants, proteins and vitamins

Carrots (Beta-carotene in carrot is converted in to Vitamin A), Dark leafy greens (Rich source of carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin) – especially Kale and spinach, Cucumber (hydrates and nourishes eyes)

Wild Alaskan Salmon – presence of super anti-oxidant Astaxanthin which can cross blood-retinal barrier and it absorbs UVB

If you aren’t a fish lover, another way to make sure your diet contains enough omega-3s it to take fish oil supplements.

What are the causes for those pesky dark circles? Is it just the tiredness due to lack of sleep or are there any underlying causes? Let’s have a quick look at the major causes of dark circles beneath the eyes.  

  • Hereditary Conditions – People with Mediterranean backgrounds are more affected by dark circles 
  • Eczema or skin allergies – Though this is not the direct cause, if you continuously rub the eye region due to itching it can trigger inflammation and redness which can cause broken blood vessels leading to dark eyes. 
  • Cosmetic allergies 
  • Sun damage  
  • Fluid imbalance or local swelling 

In most cases, dark circles under the eyes are not a sign of a serious medical condition. 

Ayurvedic Perspective of Dark Circles  

In Ayurvedic perspective, dark circles are due to aggravated Vata dosha.  As age advances there will be a predominance of Vata in the body. In old age there is depletion of the subcutaneous fat tissues and thinning of the skin under the eyes that causes darkening of the skin in that area. Intake of foods that are dry and use of processed foods can aggravate Vata in the body. Excessive salt intake is often mentioned as the cause for fluid retention under the eyes that results in puffy eyes and formation of dark circles.  

Role of Food in Preventing Eye Bags and Dark Circles

Hydrating foods and circulation-boosting antioxidants along with mineral-rich foods help in preventing dark circles and puffy eyes.

Hydrating foods


Mineral-rich foods

Water Melon – along with 92% water water melons are rich in anti-oxidants including beta carotene

Blueberries (prime source of anti-oxidants lutein and anthocyanins) protect delicate blood vessels there by improving blood circulation around eyes, Mulberries (presence of resveratrol), Goji berries

Celery – rich source of electrolytes mineral sodium and Potassium

Cucumber helps rehydrate the skin surrounding eyes and Vitamin K present enhances the elasticity of the blood vessels surrounding eyes

Beets has detoxifying anti-oxidants Betalain

Zinc is a trace element that is important for the visual process. Oysters contain a large amount of zinc.

Baobab – It balances the fluid and prevents puffy eyes

Tomatoes has lycopene that helps to protect the delicate blood vessels and improves circulation to eyes

Eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein and healthy fats will provide you with all the nutrients your eyes — and the rest of your body — need for optimal health.

  • Published on Dec 20, 2018
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