Wednesday, 27 June 2012

How to help combat against Cellulite...............

Ever felt that dimpled, orange peel effect on the skin around your butt, thighs, tummy and sometimes backs of your arms? You have, then that’s ‘Cellulite’ it’s a term used to describe the dimpled appearance of skin caused by fat deposits that are just below the surface of the skin.

Can it be got rid of, I’m not so sure BUT a healthy diet including some ‘Superfoods’ (see below) and losing excess body fat and a lifestyle that reduces stress may help reduce symptoms.

Firstly what causes cellulite?

The causes of cellulite are not well understood, but there are plenty of theories including the below:

·         Hormonal factors

Hormones likely play an important role in cellulite development. Many believe estrogen, insulin, noradrenaline, thyroid hormones, and prolactin are part of the cellulite production process.

·         Genetics

Certain genes are required for cellulite development. Genes may predispose an individual to particular characteristics associated with cellulite, such as gender, race, slow metabolism, distribution of fat just underneath the skin, and circulatory insufficiency.

·         Diet

People who eat too much fat, simple carbohydrates or salt and too little fibre are likely to have greater amounts of cellulite.

·         Lifestyle factors

Cellulite may be more prevalent in smokers, those with a sedentary lifestyle and those who sit or stand in one position for long periods of time.

·         Clothing

Underwear with tight elastic across the buttocks (limiting blood flow) may contribute to the formation of cellulite.

There seems to be a lot in the press these days of ‘Superfoods’.  Super foods such as the ones mentioned below can not only help to create a lean, healthy, dimple-free body, but also reduce the risk of a myriad of diseases and illnesses as well as significantly improve your mood.

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar is an effective natural antibacterial agent that contains many vital minerals and trace elements such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, chlorine, sodium, sulfur, copper, iron, silicon and fluorine.  No one is really sure how apple cider vinegar works to promote weight loss, but there is no shortage of theories.

It is generally believed that the nutrients, enzymes, and organic acids in apple cider vinegar cause weight reduction by acting as an appetite suppressant, by increasing your body’s metabolic rate, by reducing water retention, and by helping you maintain a feeling of wellbeing. However, the immune system boosting effects of apple cider vinegar are profound, and the vitamins and minerals it contains can contribute to athletic performance and muscle growth.

Many commercial apple cider vinegars have been pasteurized, filtered, refined or distilled in order to make the product look good, and thereby more appealing to the general public. Unfortunately this extra processing destroys much of the healthy goodness and thus many of the apple cider benefits that were in the product in the first place.

The best type of apple cider vinegar to use is one made from cold pressed, organically grown whole apples, in which no chemicals or preservatives have been added, which contains the “mother of vinegar”, and is not pasteurized. The “mother of vinegar” is a natural gelatinous substance formed during the last fermentation step.

Please note I am NOT endorsing this product as a quick fix to weight loss.

2. Avocado

High in vitamins and vital nutrients, avocados are a rich and delicious addition to a healthy diet Avocados are a good source of fibre, potassium, folate, vitamins C, K and B6.  They are also high in monounsaturated fats.  Studies show that eating foods rich in monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) improves good HDL cholesterol levels, which can decrease your risk of heart disease. Research also shows that MUFAs may benefit insulin levels and blood sugar control, which can be especially helpful if you are a Type 2 diabetic.

Avocados are one of my favourite foods!  And my lunches when at home is avocado over two soft poached eggs on a piece of wholemeal toast and baked tomatoes. 

TOP TIP – To reduce the oxidation (browning) effect of an already sliced avocado, sprinkle the flesh with lemon juice and keep in a sealed food bag in the fridge.  Use within 24 hours.

3. Berries

Cranberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and cherries (and any others I may have missed) are not only a delicious and healthful fruit, but they are full of radical fighting antioxidants and fibre.  Berries are lower in calories than other fruit and some provide up to one-third of your daily fibre in as little as one cup!  Besides the benefits to your body, consider the benefits to your brain, some studies show that as little as one-half cup of mixed berries a day improves cognition and motor performance. That’s one yummy super-food!

4. Fish

Omega 3 rich fatty fish and fish oils consist of a plethora of essential amino acids that work on strengthening and fortifying skin cells amongst other things. Stronger, more fortified skin cells will lead to improved tone and texture of your skin.  Try and have fish at least twice a week and aim for one of them days to be an oily variety such as tuna, salmon, trout, kippers. mackerel, sardines, herring or anchovies.

5. Dark leafy greens

Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, watercress, broccoli, cabbage brussel sprouts (which by the way are not just for Christmas!) and kale are rich in an antioxidant called lutein, which research has shown is good for helping the skin to retain its moisture and elasticity and increase its lipid levels, all good news for those suffering from cellulite. On top of this, leafy greens are nutrient-rich and are good for the circulation and detoxification.

6. Ginger

One cause of cellulite is poor circulation, so eating foods such as ginger that boost blood flow can help to improve its appearance. As well as being good for circulation, ginger is also good for detoxification and strengthening the lymphatic system, which can help with the circulation of lymph fluid and toxins that can accumulate in fat pockets under the skin, contributing to the bumpy appearance of cellulite.

TOP TIP – Ginger is also great for colic or poorly tummies, and coughs and colds.  Just add a few slices to boiling water and a dash of lemon.

So if you are a cellulite sufferer, get active to promote blood flow and good circulation, eat clean with the addition of some ‘Super foods’, girls don’t wear to tight fitting underwear, get your Bridget Jones pants out! And find something to help you rewind and relieve stress, see friends, and be happy.  Do all these things and you never know the appearance of your cellulite may not be quite as cottage cheese like as you initially started with.

All the best,

Till next time


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