8 Foods That Cause Puffy Eyes

Salt is only the beginning

You drink tons of water, you don’t salt your food, but when you wake up in the morning, your eyes don’t just have bags…they have 50-pound luggage. Presenting eight foods that cause puffy eyes.

Uh Oh, We’re All Putting on Eye Cream at the Wrong Time

puffy eye food fastfood

1. Fast Food

Even if you don’t add any extra salt, your lunch could contain nearly 2,000 milligrams of sodium—more than the total amount you should be eating in a full day. To counteract the high sodium levels, your body will retain water, making your whole body puffy.

puffy eye foods tomato

2. Tomatoes

This fruit (yep) belongs to the nightshade family and contains solanine, which may cause inflammation and puffiness. It’s not scientifically proven, but patients with inflammatory diseases, like arthritis, have seen benefits after eliminating it.

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3. Eggplant

Another nightshade veggie that contains solanine. It’s not scientifically proven to cause puffy eyes, but if you notice a difference after cutting it out of your diet for three weeks, it could be the cause.

puffy eye food canned foods

4. Canned Foods

If the black beans and chickpeas in your dinner came from a can, they’re not as healthy as they seem. Rinse them well before cooking them to prevent any excess sodium from creeping in.

puffy eye foods bread

5. Wheat Bread

If you’re gluten intolerant or allergic to wheat, eating bread (and pasta, while we’re on the subject) could cause you to wake up feeling bloated and puffy. Swap it with lettuce wraps for a few weeks and see if your under-eyes de-puff.

puffy eye food cheese

6. Dairy

Milk, cheese and yogurt are also inflammatory foods and can cause swelling, especially if you’re allergic to it. Go easy on the dairy and the puffiness under your eyes may subside.

puffy eye food chile

7. Hot Peppers

Not only are peppers like jalapeños, chiles and habaneros members of the nightshade family; they also contain capsaicin, a compound that causes your body tissue to burn and become inflamed. That includes—you guessed it—the area around your eyes.

puffy eye foods sugar

8. Sugar

Cake and cookies are delicious, but white sugar is one of the most inflammatory foods you can eat. Start swapping out dessert for fruit and you might wake up looking totally refreshed—no cucumbers necessary.

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Freelance Editor

From 2015-2020 Lindsay Champion held the role of Food and Wellness Director. She continues to write for PureWow as a Freelance Editor.