March 30, 2015

How Salt Both Causes and Eases Puffy Eyes

You have, no doubt, heard enough about how salt plays villain with our health in multiple ways. Just to recap, the sodium in salt is the real culprit, causing water retention that bloats the kidneys, puts an extra strain on your arteries, and makes you look older than you are. 
Let’s look in detail at how a high salt intake affects your eyes:
Your body removes unwanted fluid by filtering blood through the kidneys. Any extra fluid is sent on its way to the bladder, for removal as urine. The process involved here is osmosis, by which extra water is drawn out of your blood. For osmosis to work well, blood must have a delicate balance of sodium and potassium. 
Eating more salt than recommended increases the amount of sodium in the blood, disturbing the mineral balance. This hampers the kidneys from doing their job well. 
Over time, the unfiltered extra fluid and toxins build up and start pooling in the body. This can manifest as swelling, most typically around the ankles and under the eyes.
A typical sign of sodium-triggered puffiness is that eyes look swollen if you have been lying down for a bit. 
And now, the surprising part! Salt can be a hero when it comes to reducing that puffiness. But don’t reach for the bag of chips just yet — reap sodium’s eye-soothing benefits by applying it on the outside.
This home remedy ranks right up there with cucumber slices and tea bags for soothing puffy eyes:
Mix 1/2 teaspoon salt into a cup of warm water.
Dip cotton balls or facial pads into the solution, then lie down and apply pads to the eyelids.
Rest in this position for at least ten minutes while keeping the pads in place.
When you rise, your eyes will feel fresh and swelling-free.  The sodium in salt leaches out the extra fluid from under the eyes, and constricts blood vessels. 
But no matter what external solutions you may try to soothe the puffiness, remember these are only temporary measures. To keep eyes fresh and healthy, reduce your salt intake, try to get adequate sleep and drink plenty of water to keep the kidneys healthy.  

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