Cellulite is caused by fat cells changing and expanding, pushing against your connective tissues beneath your skin and causing a dimpled look usually around the backs of your thighs, belly and bum. Although it may be unsightly, it’s completely normal (around 90% of all women experience it), harmless and isn’t always an indication of being overweight.
Maybe you’ve tried the creams and the oils and all the different massagers you can get your hands on, but your cellulite still isn’t budging. Or maybe you’re wanting to clean up your diet to give your body the best chance at fighting your dimples.
Either way, we’ve curated a list of the best anti-cellulite foods so you can have them in your arsenal when you’re battling your cellulite. Keep reading to get clued in on how to get rid of cellulite.
Let’s start with the absolute basics. We know that water technically isn’t food, but it’s so important to everyday life and essential for battling cellulite that we had to include it. Toxins in the air and the food we consume cause the elasticity and circulation in our skin to degrade over time. More toxins means more fat accumulation resulting in more cellulite forming.
Water is the body’s natural way of flushing all these nasties out, so, it’s up to you to make sure you’re consuming the daily recommended amount – at least! And no, the water in soft drinks, coffees, teas (or any other beverage that isn’t water) doesn’t count. You should be aiming for 2.7 litres if you’re a woman, and men need 3.7 litres to hit their daily target. This might sound like a lot, but your skin will thank you for it.
First up for actual foods, are berries. Specifically, you’ll want to be consuming darker berries like blueberries and blackberries. These darker berries contain antioxidants which will work to reduce inflammation but also break down the toxins and fat deposits on your connective tissue to disperse your cellulite.
The vitamin C in these berries will also enhance collagen production to keep your skin feeling stronger and looking tight and smooth. Keep them raw instead of cooked for the most benefits.
Wanting to boost your metabolism and burn off some extra calories without trying? Chilli is here to spice up your diet and boost your cellulite banishing powers. Capsaicin found in chilli will clear inflammation and warm your body naturally to ignite your metabolism, helping you burn off the fatty cells causing your cellulite. The safe warming of your body when you eat chilli will also promote healthy blood circulation, which in turn, will help to flush out the toxins and fats forming your cellulite.
Tuna, mackerel, salmon, sardines – you name it! 2-3 servings a week of any oily fish will provide you with a rich source of omega-3 essential fatty acids which have many, many benefits for health. And there are so many delicious options available for you, if you’re going to have any kind of meat it’s always best to opt for oily fish when fighting cellulite.
Not only do the fatty acids nourish your skin on the outside, but they will reduce appetite, improve blood flow, flush out toxins, fight inflammation, and repair damaged skin tissue and fibres which will all help to reduce the occurrence and appearance of cellulite all over your body from the inside out.
Nuts, seeds and grains
Another food that contains omega-3’s are nuts. These omega-3’s will help your skin retain water efficiently to make sure it’s looking softer, plumper and smoother whilst also slowing down the skin’s aging process due to natural anti-inflammatory properties. Nuts are the perfect snack, but stick to around a handful a day – don’t overdo it!
Eating whole grains means you’re going to be getting a load of fibre to assist your digestive system with running regularly and smoothly to remove toxins from the body quicker. This allows the body to skip the cellulite forming process. Switch to brown rice and brown pasta for extra antioxidants and a meal that will keep you fuller for longer – reducing excess fat consumption.
Seeds like sunflower seeds are full of vitamins and minerals that help to strengthen the connective tissue that’s put under pressure when cellulite forms. They can also eliminate excess water retention and bloating due to their diuretic properties – an added bonus to keep you looking and feeling slim. Flaxseeds are also a great choice as they’re an excellent source of omega-3’s and contain lignans, which help to balance your estrogen levels which play a part in forming cellulite.
Coriander and parsley
Both of these fantastic herbs have excellent properties to aid your journey to cellulite-free skin. Coriander detoxifies the body by removing heavy metals that hide out in your fat cells and prevent normal tissue function. When they are functioning normally, your body is better at healing itself and so can process and remove excess fat and stored toxins more efficiently, meaning that your cellulite will be flushed out quicker.
Parsley also helps the body’s flushing of toxins, but does this mostly in the kidneys by acting as a diuretic to also prevent water retention and bloating. This fantastic garnish also has a bunch of vitamins like A, C and E that will nourish your skin so you look great on the outside whilst your body is mending itself on the inside.
Most herbal teas including green tea, chamomile and ginger, contain an active ingredient called epigallocatechin gallate which is a catechin – a natural antioxidant. This catechin will protect cells from damage, speed up metabolism and increase your body’s fat burning potential.
Teas also contain theobromine, an organic compound that increases blood flow around the body which will help to disperse your cellulite. A few cups of green tea a day (without sugar) should be enough to get the best results, have it after meals to aid your digestion.
Apple cider vinegar
This magical liquid has long been used for weight loss and management. It’s able to flush out toxins, reduce water retention in the thighs and stomach, detox your liver, encourage balanced estrogen production and reduce stress hormones in your body. All of this adds up to being a killer boost when fighting off your cellulite and, as a bonus, it will reduce bloating as well. You can mix it into salads as a dressing, take a shot of it each morning or incorporate it into your favourite recipes – get creative!
This spice is having a hot minute in the health and wellness limelight right now. But did you know that your turmeric latte can actually help you fight your cellulite? Turmeric reduces toxins, inflammation and swelling in the body, stimulates circulation and has high levels of antioxidants to reduce cell damage. All crucial elements when you’re wanting to reduce the appearance of cellulite.
You can never have too much garlic, right? The same is true when managing cellulite. It boosts blood circulation and flushes out toxins, but also aids in improving your immune system to make sure your body is able to work at full capacity. A healthy body means better cellulite reduction and prevention so don’t question yourself next time you want to add a couple more cloves of garlic to your favourite recipe.
Who doesn’t love watermelon? It’s hydrating, delicious and healthy, plus it’s great for fighting cellulite. The colour of watermelon is caused by a powerful antioxidant called lycopene. We’ve discussed how antioxidants can help with cellulite already, but watermelon comes wrapped up in a super low calorie bundle that means you can snack on this all day to get all of the antioxidant benefits and none of the high calorie counts that some of the other foods might contain.
Grapefruit, lemons and oranges
When it comes to cellulite, you want your skin to be in the best possible condition to be able to reduce the appearance of your dimples. Vitamin C found in grapefruit, lemons and oranges will brighten your skin plus strengthen collagen and its production to ensure you’re looking tight and toned. Vitamin C also helps keep your immune system fighting-fit.
But the citrus family benefits stop there. Lemons are able to maintain a healthy pH in the body to ensure healthy bacteria thrive and assist with flushing out toxins. And both oranges and grapefruit contain bioflavonoids, which have antioxidant properties and can strengthen the walls of your blood vessels to stimulate their healthy function and flow. Get a good dose of some citrus fruits into your diet to get all of these benefits when battling your cellulite.
Greens (broccoli, kale, spinach, asparagus)
As a general rule, we all know that getting some greens in your diet is always a good thing. But this is especially important when it comes to cellulite. Dark, leafy greens like spinach and kale are packed with magnesium and vitamins A and C which will respectively help to keep your skin looking younger and maintain certain health functions like your immune system and digestive tract efficiency. They’re low in calories and an easy addition to almost any meal.
Broccoli, everyone loves to hate it but this little cruciferous vegetable contains alpha lipoic acid that works as an antioxidant, a heap of vitamin C, sulforaphane to boost metabolism and indole-3-carbinol which supports the healthy detoxing of estrogen. It’s best raw but don’t be disheartened if you can’t eat it in that state, cooked, boiled or steamed broccoli will still give you awesome amounts of nutrients and vitamins.
And last but not least is asparagus! Asparagus has anti-inflammatory properties, is super low in calories, stimulates blood circulation and is great for helping the body remove toxins. All great components when looking for cellulite fighting ingredients for your next meal.
What foods to avoid
- White bread – Foods with refined carbs (like white bread) cause inflammation of fat cells, making them swell and expand as they retain fluids and toxins. Try to stick to wholegrains if possible to avoid this and fight cellulite.
- Processed meats and cheeses – High sodium foods are everywhere and you can bet that your sausages, deli meats, favourite cheeses and most processed foods contain a bunch of salt that will hinder your cellulite recovery.
- Cottage cheese – Sound familiar? Cottage cheese is often used to describe the dimpled appearance of cellulite. Unfortunately, cottage cheese is full of salt that will cause your body to retain more fluids and make your cellulite more obvious.
- Pizza, burgers and other fatty foods – This is an obvious one. High-fat foods mean more fats in your body preventing your blood from flowing as efficiently as possible. Less circulation allows more cellulite to form – you know the drill.
- Canned soup – Full of added sugar and salt, soups can lead to water retention, making your cellulite more visible. Opt for home-made, sodium reduced soups or those with wholegrains, veggies and broth based soups.
- Cake – Cake is packed full of sugar, that’s why we love it. But sugar doesn’t love your body, in fact, it will break down collagen in your skin and promote weight gain – neither of these are helpful when fighting cellulite so it’s best to cut down on your cake consumption.
If you’ve got cellulite there’s no reason to stress, it’s completely normal and natural. But if you’d rather not have it, there are definitely ways to reduce its appearance and occurence. Cellulite massagers, oils and cosmetic procedures are all great ways to improve the look of your dimples but if you’re wanting to heal yourself from the inside then it might be a good idea to incorporate some cellulite-fighting foods into your diet.
With so many yummy options to choose from like watermelon, garlic, fish and berries you’ll be able to find something that pleases your palate and banishes your bumpy skin. Look out for foods with high antioxidant levels or anything that improves blood circulation to get things moving along. Vitamins like A and C will improve the collagen in your skin and boost your immune system, so be sure to get a good dose of those, too. Stay away from anything with high levels of unhealthy fats, salt or refined carbs if you want to halt the production of cellulite.