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Puffy eyes

The eyes are the window to the soul: Well, at least to the body’s internal condition. Puffy eyes might be a signal of an immune system response called inflammation. When inflammation comes and goes, that is part of a healthy life. The body deals with things that aggravates it and moves on. That balancing mechanism is called homeostasis. When inflammation is chronic however, that is a signal that the body is fighting an ongoing battle.

Often, puffy eyes have to do with seasonal allergies. With these triggers, the eyes respond with itchiness, redness, and heat. Overtime, the eye area will fill with fluid and turn dark. Sometimes however, it has to do with the foods eaten.

Food can be used as a tool to cool off the eye area as well as the body’s inflammatory responses. One way to reduce the heat associated with eye irritation is to lower carbohydrate intake. This does not mean to stop carbohydrate intake. It means to choose complex carbohydrates over simple carbohydrates.

Complex carbohydrates break down more slowly, and cause blood sugars to change in the same way. Whole-wheat products, brown rice, oats, beans, peas, and lentils are good sources of complex carbohydrates. These plant-based foods are rich in fiber, minerals, and vitamins. The person ingesting complex carbohydrates will find less hunger over a longer period.

Simple carbohydrates will have more refined sugar. These processed foods are stripped of nutrition. This ingestion of sugar will raise insulin levels quickly. The quick rise triggers inflammation in the body, putting the body on high alert. Bad carbohydrates include pretty much all added-sugar foods, including those with high fructose corn syrup products: Chips, cookies, white bread products (bagels, cake, pastries, muffins, pancakes, pizza) and soda. The person ingesting simple carbohydrates may experience a shaky feeling once the sugars are burned.

Change is slow moving. Begin with drinking more water or green tea instead of soda. Add a slice of refreshing lemon or mint. Consider whole foods that are homemade vs. store bought and see what happens to those puffy eyes.

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