The best cellulite diet - anti cellulite foods (part 1)
Fond of food? Maybe you call it cottage cheese. Or orange peel. Love your bed? Then perhaps you affectionately dubbed it mattress skin. Or hail damage if you’re into meteorology and don’t mind your ego being given a thorough thumping. Let’s not even get into all the different names doctors have for it … but to paraphrase Shakespeare, cellulite by any other name would vex as much.
Who has cellulite?
If you don't have cellulite then you must be very lucky and should probably be grateful to mother nature for making you one of the few exceptions. Most of us can be considered the rule: almost all women suffer from cellulite, or the orange peel look of the skin. Cellulite is thought to affect a mind-boggling 80-90% of women and even men don’t escape it’s clutches (10% are afflicted). And that’s the crux of it, whether you’re a size 6 or 16, size has little to do with it. Skinny supermodels have it, super fit athletes have it, even twenty-year old have it. But in the same breath, there are women carrying a fair amount of extra weight, without a single dimple (or even stretch mark!) to be found anywhere. Cellulite isn’t so much a fat problem, as it is a skin problem. The type of fat that makes us fat, isn’t the same kind as the fat that causes cellulite. Yes, carrying extra weight can make it worse, but it’s not the root cause.
And if you didn’t already know, cellulite not only afflicts the thighs and butt, but also the knees, the belly and even the upper arms. In some women cellulite is immediately obvious with conspicuous areas of lumpy skin, deep dimples, and creases, while in others cellulite is “only” noticeable when pressing the skin.
What causes cellulite?
Despite the fact that it can send the most composed of women into a tizzy, cellulite is purely a crisis of looks, not one of health. In terms of what precisely causes cellulite, science doesn’t have clear answers for that yet. Most likely there are a cascade of causative factors – not one simple trigger. Genetics, hormones (particularly estrogen), extra weight, smoking, stress, poor diet, high alcohol consumption, and lack of exercise are thought to instigate, contribute to or exacerbate cellulite. However, cellulite is treatable, even if genetics are involved.
Just because you have a genetic predisposition to cellulite,** doesn’t mean you have to actually develop cellulite**. There is a lot you can do to treat, reduce and/ or prevent cellulite. And if you currently do not suffer cellulite, it may be because you do not have cellulite – yet. It’s worth remembering that cellulite is estimated to affect 90% of women, which means that if you don’t suffer with cellulite you should assume that someday you will, and take steps to prevent it. It may be clichéd, but it’s true: prevention is better than cure!
How can I get rid of cellulite?
There are a dizzying number of anti-cellulite products on offer, with most cellulite remedies targeting the skin directly – creams, lotions and other potions, massage, lasers and liposuction. Yet so far most of these treatments haven’t shown to offer long-lasting results, if any results at all. And analyzing the triggers, it makes sense. None of these treatments are addressing the root cause of cellulite, at least not in any meaningful and lasting manner. To treat cellulite, you have to start from within. In other words, don’t just treat the symptom, treat the cause.
- Feeding and repairing your skin from within can reduce, eliminate and prevent cellulite in several ways:
- Strengthen blood vessels/ boost circulation. This is a key step in reducing cellulite, as blood vessels are the pathways by which nutrients important for healthy skin reach the dermis (the layer of skin which is damaged, causing cellulite). Strengthening blood vessels and increasing blood flow helps to nourish skin cells and help remove toxins.
- Promote the production of collagen, elastin and healthy connective tissue. The reason collagen is so important is because healthy, youthful looking skin depends upon it. Collagen found within connective tissue is the main structural protein of the skin and when it becomes damaged, it’s not pretty. Firm, strong and healthy collagen provides structural support. It prevents fat cells from breaking through the lower layer of skin (where it belongs) and reaching the top layer of the skin where they cause the skin to become lumpy and uneven.
- Hydrate and lock water into cells. Hydrated cells are strong and firm, and act as barrier stopping fat cells from pushing to the top of the skin where they become visible and cause dimpling associated with cellulite.
- Prevent and repair free-radical damage, which can damage skin, predisposing it to cellulite.
- Decrease inflammation, which if prolonged (chronic) can cause free-radical damage and cell membrane deterioration, increasing the likelihood of cellulite.
- Rebuild cell membranes. Stronger cells membranes means your cells are better able to keep water in and remain hydrated.
The anti cellulite diet - best foods for busting cellulite
There's no way around it, food plays a major role in the way you look. If you want to truly get rid of cellulite you must be careful with what you eat. According to a Dr. Oz survey, almost 90% of dermatologists surveyed believe that what we eat affects the appearance of our skin. Experts believe that the following foods can help improve or prevent the appearance of cellulite.
1. White tea
Research from Kingston University shows that white tea can help reduce the breakdown of elastin and collagen, both of which play an important role in maintaining the integrity of the skin and preventing cellulite. By protecting this layer of connective tissue in your skin, you are helping to keep the top layer of skin overlying your fat layer healthy and thick, preventing the out-pouching of the underlying fat cells, and reducing cellulite.
White tea also has great antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, further helping to reduce cellulite.
You know that you need drink sufficient water, but did you know you should eat your water too? In fact, eating water is better than drinking it. Water in food is chemically different than water consumed as a beverage. Not only is it rich in nutrients, it also leaves the stomach more slowly, helping you feel fuller for longer and aiding weight loss. Eating foods with high water content such as melon improves skin hydration, keeping cells functioning at their peak level, plumping skin and preventing dimpling. Watermelon and cucumbers are 97 percent water.
Other foods rich in water are watercress, zucchini, tomatoes, spinach, onions, lettuce, grapefruit, aubergine, cauliflower, carrots and broccoli.
Eggs are very rich in substance known as lecithin, which make up an important part of our cell membranes. Lecithin helps regulate the nutrients entering and exiting our cells and also helps make them water-tight. If eggs aren’t your thing, other rich sources of lecithin include soy-based foods (e.g. tofu and soy milk) and legumes (e.g. peanuts). If you feel you’re not consuming sufficient lecithin-rich foods, you can try supplementing with soy lecithin granules.
Bursting with flavor, blueberries boast a bevy of health benefits that derive from the blue pigment (called anthocyanins) and which give blueberries their color. Not only a tremendous health food, blueberries are also a boon to anyone fighting cellulite. This cellulite-busting superfood acts by several mechanisms to crush cellulite. Anthocyanins work alongside Vitamin C (also found in blueberries), to encourage collagen fibers to link together in a way that strengthens the connective tissue matrix, which strengthens the skin. Anthocyanins also help to reduce the breakdown of collagen and protect collagen from oxidative damage.
All in all blueberries help keep collagen strong and healthy, which means it is able to do its job of providing the skin with structural support, promoting thick, strong and dimple-free skin. Other fruit rich in anthocyanins are cherries, blackberries, and raspberries.
In the second part I am going to show you even more anti cellulite foods.
This time convenience trumps fresh. Tomato paste/ ketchup contains high levels of a substance called lycopene, higher than you’d find in fresh tomatoes. Cooked tomatoes also boast greater levels of lycopene than raw tomatoes. Why does it matter? Because according to research, lycopene can help strengthen the skin by preventing the breakdown of collagen, thereby helping to preserve and maintain the structure and resilience of skin. Collagen acts as a barrier in the skin, stopping the fat cells below from reaching the top layer where they cause cellulite. Lycopene may further improve the appearance of the skin by acting as a natural sun block, helping to protect against UV-induced sun damage such as sunburn and sun-induced aging.
Other foods rich in lycopene tend to be red in color and include tropical fruits watermelon, pink grapefruit, pink guava and papaya.