There are plenty of natural remedies to combat cellulite, the sub-dermal fat stores that give an unsightly bumpy texture to the surface of skin. Cellulite is most common in women, but can also affect men in certain cases. While some people simply have a genetic predisposition for this type of fat, cellulite can also be caused by hormonal issues, environmental pollution, smoking, and build-up of toxins in the body. However, the one cause of cellulite that is most common is a poor or unbalanced diet.
If you are among the some ninety percent of women or ten percent of men affected by this condition, read on for some excellent food choices that help fight cellulite.
The human body is composed of about sixty percent water. That said, it’s no wonder that dehydration can be a leading cause of cellulite buildup under the skin. Water is a necessary part of your body’s detoxification process. Not getting enough water often results in toxic buildup in the fat cells which can make them very difficult for the body to metabolize. Fat cells with high toxicity harden into the bead-like lumps that contribute to the ‘cottage cheese’ texture of cellulite. Dehydration also leads to thinner skin with decreased elasticity. When skin is weakened, it has a much greater tendency to show cellulite than when it is thick and healthy. So drink plenty of water and help your body to better metabolize fat, cleanse itself of toxins, and grow thicker skin which will reduce the appearance of cellulite.
If you aren’t sure how much water you should consume each day, use this calculator to find out.
Continuing with the theme of hydration, cucumbers contain more water by weight than any other solid food. Also an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, cucumber makes a great addition to sandwiches and salads, or for a summertime treat, try out some of these cucumber smoothie recipes.
3. Flax Seed
Flax seed is full of essential fatty acids (EFAs) that improve skin elasticity. Flax seeds contain lignans, phytochemicals that help to correct hormone imbalances which can lead to the formation of cellulite. Also, the many vitamins and minerals found in flax seeds increase skin health and thickness, helping to reduce the appearance of cellulite. Finally, the high concentration of fiber in flax seeds can help your body to metabolize fat cells faster, reducing their size and making them less apparent.
Because whole flax seeds are hard to digest, it is recommended to consume them pre-ground. Try this awesome organic flax meal from Bob’s Red Mill.
4. Tomato Paste
Tomatoes are high in lycopene, a nutrient that prevents the breakdown of collagen in the skin and promotes cell renewal. While you would have to consume about fifteen tomatoes daily to get enough lycopene to affect a noticeable change in your complexion, eating only three or four tablespoons of tomato paste a day will do the trick.
One of the best dietary sources of collagen, gelatin is known to improve skin health and cell regeneration. Regular consumption of gelatin also promotes healthier connective tissues which attach the skin to muscles and are a contributor to the bumpy appearance of cellulite. Also, because it is high in protein, gelatin acts as an appetite suppressant and can help you lose weight.
Make your own gelatin rich bone broth, check out this quick and easy guide by Nourished Kitchen.
Remember to use high-quality bones from organic sources to avoid inadvertently consuming more toxins with your broth.
6. Sea Kelp
Fucoxanthin, a secondary plant pigment found in sea kelp has been shown to help the body better metabolize fat. Smaller fat cells mean less apparent cellulite. Alternately, if you don’t like the idea of eating kelp, you can also get fucoxanthin in supplement form.
Pineapple contains the enzyme bromelain, an anti-inflammatory that also helps to reduce cellulite by boosting fat cell metabolism. Enjoy half a cup of cubed pineapple as part of your breakfast, for a refreshing mid-day snack, or for dessert. Also remember that while bromelain can help you to lose weight, pineapple juice is still full of sugar. When it comes to pineapple (as with most anything) too much of a good thing can still be bad for you. Finally, while pineapple juice does contain bromelain, eating the fruit is by far the better choice as it is also a great source of fiber.
8. Lemon Juice / Cayenne Pepper
Vitamin C in lemon juice is great for improving skin health while the capsaicin in cayenne pepper improves circulation, both of which help to reduce cellulite significantly. If you can stomach it, drinking a tea of lemon and cayenne three times each day for a few weeks will have a noticeable effect on the volume of fat cells and the texture of cellulite. Lemon and cayenne tea also helps to cleanse and detoxify the body, making it an excellent food that fights cellulite.
To mix lemon and cayenne tea, squeeze the juice of half a lemon into a cup (about four ounces) of warm water then sprinkle a thin layer of cayenne pepper on top. For best results, drink this about thirty minutes before each meal.
9. Green Tea
Green tea is a powerful thermogenic, meaning that it assists in the accelerated metabolism of fat cells. Also, the anti-oxidant EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) prominently found in the green tea has been proven to increase energy levels and mental clarity, making it a great addition to any weight-loss effort.
The best form of fat-busting, energizing, antioxidant-rich green tea is matcha – the same ancient powdered tea once used by monks and samurai for health and mental clarity!
Also, check out this article for more information on the incredible health benefits of drinking matcha green tea.
10. Coconut Oil
Daily consumption of EFA-rich coconut oil can help you to melt away cellulite and reduce its appearance by increasing metabolism, reducing hunger, and strengthening the overlying skin. Remember, coconut oil is high in calories. To maintain healthy weight, limit yourself to two tablespoons per day.
Read more about the amazing benefits of coconut oil here.
11. Dark Leafy Greens
To close up this list, let us revisit the topic of hydration (it’s just that important.) In addition to their abundance of water which helps the body to flush out toxins, dark leafy greens like spinach, chard, and kale are also rich in fiber, antioxidants, and minerals that promote healthier skin, faster cell regeneration, improved circulation, and more efficient fat metabolism. To reap the benefits of these powerful veggies, enjoy three to four servings (one cup uncooked, half a cup cooked) of dark leafy greens every day.