A Lack of Nutrients can Cause You to have Dark Circles Around your Eyes

Eyes can tell us a lot about a person, whether they are sad, happy, in pain, joyful, or tired. They can also show signs of imbalances in the body.

A lot of people say that they want to get rid of the dark circles around their eyes. Women try to cover them up with makeup or use a special cream from the cosmetic section of the department store.

Most people assume that getting older or just not getting enough sleep are the culprits behind dark circles. Yes, dark circles under and around the eyes can be due to lack of sleep, but a lot of times it is because of your diet or an allergy. The lack of nutrients in the diet coming from nutrient dense foods can contribute to the discoloration of the area under the eyes.

A patient of ours came in to see our natural medicine doctors because he wanted to lose weight and get more energy. We noticed right away that he had a problem with his diet because of the dark circles around his eyes. After consulting with him we found out that he was eating a lot of the wrong foods. His diet mainly consisted of simple carbohydrates like white pasta, pizza, and sweets. He wasn’t eating nutrient-filled foods like dark green vegetables, whole grain breads, nuts, legumes, and lean meats, nor was eating the right amount of each food group.

We gave him a Diet Typing test to find out his Blood pH and oxidation rate. These tests show us which foods a person needs to be eating that are best for each individual. His Diet Typing indicated that he needed to eat more protein and less simple carbohydrates. The doctor put him on a The Otter Diet. The Otter Diet is a protein-based diet that contains a small amount of complex carbohydrates. After the first two weeks, he lost three pounds and noticed other positive changes in his body. He is on the right road to getting to his ideal weight.

He has more energy; he can stay up later and wake up earlier without feeling tired. He no longer feels sluggish after he eats and he has less weight and more color to his face. Those dark circles that showed his nutrient deficiencies have diminished. He now looks 10 years younger! “The trick was to eat smaller portion sizes and to stay away from the junk foods”, he says. Eating too much or less of certain foods can show up on the outside – on your face and skin. Your face is like a mirror reflecting your inner body.

Dark circles can be caused by significant under eating and, in some cases, overeating to the point of flooding the body and its systems. It can also be seen as a result of binging and purging behavior, especially when the individual is purging everything they eat. So if you have dark circles under your eyes, start eating the correct portion sizes and the correct foods for your body chemistry.

We can help you get on the right diet for your body chemistry by having you take our Diet Typing test and visiting with our nutrition and lifestyle coach.

Start eating the right foods!

Make sure you are staying away from sugary snacks, sugary drinks, packaged meals, fried foods, fast food, and vending machine snacks. Start eating dark green leafy vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, and good lean protein sources. It is best to shop at a natural health food store and to cook at home, rather than eating out all of the time. Try to cook more.

What Are Some Main Causes of Dark Circles Under the Eyes?

Iron Deficiency

Dark circles under the eyes can be caused by anemia, which makes the skin look pale and the area around the eyes look darker. The most common cause of anemia is from not getting enough iron in the diet to make the right amount of red blood cells the body needs. Eat foods such as red meats, green leafy vegetables, beans, raisins, iron-fortified cereals, eggs, and whole-grain breads that contain iron, if you are deficient. Young children can develop anemia when they stop breast-feeding and start drinking cow’s milk. Breast milk and formula is filled with iron-rich nutrients. Cow’s milk has very little iron and fewer nutrients.


Dark circles can also form due to dehydration. You should drink half of your body weight in ounces in water everyday. There is no stressing this enough. If you do not drink water everyday, you are not providing your body with as much water as it requires for flushing out toxins. Do not wait until you are thirsty before drinking up. By the time your body cries ‘I’m thirsty!’, you are already dehydrated.


Caffeinated beverages may need to be eliminated from your diet. Caffeinated beverages may stimulate your hormonal glands causing exhaustion and fatigue if consumed too often, producing adrenal exhaustion. A good way to gauge this is to ask yourself if you are addicted to soda and/or coffee? Do you find that you “need” them in order to function? If so, you probably need to cut them down. Diet sodas usually contain aspartame, which is an artificial sweetener that can cause heart disease and can cause exhaustion for your body long-term. Start drinking decaffeinated teas and pure water. Once you stop drinking sodas and coffee, your body will get used to the tea and water and learn to find energy through the natural foods you are eating.

Hormonal Changes

During pregnancy, menopause, or menstruation, hormonal changes in the body can induce eye puffiness and dark circles. Here at Caring Medical our natural medicine doctors can help with hormonal changes. We can check your hormone levels to determine if you have any imbalances that may be contributing to this problem, among others.

Not getting enough sleep

If you are having trouble sleeping, it could be due to caffeine or sugar, which can keep you awake at night. Also drinking any liquids right before bedtime might make you wake up during the night to use the bathroom, which could keep you from getting a full night’s rest. A lack of sleep or excessive tiredness can cause paleness of the skin, which again allows the blood underneath the skin to become more visible and appear more blue or darker, especially under the eyes.


Allergies can also cause dark circles. You could be allergic to a chemical you may be cleaning with, or a pet, food, or food additives.

An allergy is an overreaction of the immune system to a substance that’s harmless to most people. But in someone with an allergy, the body’s immune system treats the substance (called an allergen) as an invader and reacts inappropriately, resulting in symptoms that can be anywhere from annoying to possibly harmful to the person. Certain foods could cause an allergy, but you may not even know you are allergic. You do not have to have a big reaction to have a food allergy. A reaction to a food can happen as long as three days after the certain food was consumed.

If you suspect the dark circles are due to allergies, we have an allergy tests here for foods, environmental, and chemical allergies.

Eyes can tell volumes about a person. They are one of the first features people tend to notice on others, so most of us are very self-conscience when any bags or dark circles begin to develop around our eyes. If you have this condition and want to try the natural medicine approach and get a healthier diet, please give us a call. Our natural medicine doctors can help you and your family to get on a better diet. We all want our face and body to have color and look healthy!