By Lily Soutter; Photograph by Freepik
Eat away those lumps and bumps.
Cover up your body for who? For what? Got a dimpled derrière? You can’t do anything about that, can you? Actually, turns out you can. No, really.
Confession time: we’re all about body positivity. But when it comes to shape, size and weight, cellulite is still that one thing that’s hard to fully embrace. Honestly, secretly, if there were a way to get rid of cellulite, we’d totally take it. There. We said it. But what is cellulite actually? Toxins? Nope. The calling card of Satan? Mabes. In truth, it’s fat deposits under the skin pushing against connective tissue; like stuffing poking through the framework of a mattress. Its causes are many: hormones, genes, stress. And it’s a bitch to get rid of. So if you’re totally fine with your thighs, freakin’ awesome. But if, like us, you still kind of would like them to be a little smoother, there is hope. In the form of 12 superfoods, which – eaten as part of a balanced diet – can help visibly reduce those dimples.
Vitamin C is your first weapon in the war on dimples. Send them packing with a bell pepper, which is a seriously rich source. It aids the formation of collagen to promote elasticity within the skin, keeping things taut, firm and dimple- free. Just one bell pepper provides one and a half times your RDA – eat it raw for maximum effect.
Shedding extra kilos is essential for smoothing out fat deposits, so matcha tea’s metabolism-revving effects can help even out a bumpy behind. Research shows that the antioxidants it contains – called catechins – can help to reduce the breakdown of collagen. For maximum antioxidant benefits, infuse your tea for a minimum of five minutes. Kettle. Is. On.
Turns out your gogo was on to something after all. Not only about red lipstick being a classic, but also about fish oils. Don’t fancy a spoonful? The good news is that mackerel is a rich source of essential omega-3 fats. These healthy fats improve the fluidity and stability of your body’s cell membranes, so they won’t degrade and go dimply. There is also evidence to suggest that cellulite- affected tissue has low- grade inflammation, which fish rich in omega-3 can remedy. Just two or three servings a week should do the trick. You can buy it in a tin, get a whole fish and put it on the braai or use it to make fishcakes.
Sitting down for long periods (courtesy of a day at the desk or, you know, a weekend Showmax binge) leads to poor circulation. So? Fluid can then develop in the tissue that surrounds your backside. Fire it up again with cayenne pepper. It’ll give your metabolism and circulation a kick up the proverbial… And reduce your need to season with salt, which can exacerbate the situation by promoting cellular water retention.
Collagen? Yep, that again. A protein-deficient diet will result in collagen not forming properly or becoming damaged, which can lead to fat underneath your skin showing through and looking lumpy. Eggs are a rich source of protein, plus they contain large quantities of the amino acids proline and lysine, which are essential for
the healthy formation of collagen. Aim for 0.8g of protein per kilogram of bodyweight every day. Crack on.
They might mirror your dimply bum, but these antioxidant powerhouses are rich in free-radical- busting vitamin C. Plus it boosts collagen. If you want to go for a summer seasonal fruit with the same properties, try strawberries!
Bad news: experts believe that oestrogen plays a role in the development of cellulite. Good news: flaxseeds are a rich source of lignans, a type of phytoestrogen proven to balance oestrogen levels, which can set you on a bump-free road to cellulite-free skin. Just one tablespoon of ground flaxseeds each day is enough (you need to grind them to release the nutrients). Store them in the fridge in an airtight container to protect their delicate oils, which can be damaged by heat, light and oxygen.
Boiling your bones is no longer reserved for the bath tub. While there is currently some debate about whether or not this source of collagen translates into more collagen in the body, there’s no denying that it is rich in protein and nutrients. The longer you cook and allow the bones to break down, the higher the protein hit. Aim for at least 10 hours and add a generous splash of apple-cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice to speed up the process. Totally worth it.
This one’s jam-packed with vitamin C to boost collagen production (there it is again); it’s also rich in plant nutrients such as metabolism-boosting sulforaphane and indole- 3-carbinol, which studies show helps to flush out oestrogen by-products in urine. Why should you care? Well, this will help to balance your hormones, which in turn reduces the appearance of cellulite. Oh, and research shows raw broccoli contains three times the sulforaphane content of cooked. Don’t want it raw? Steam rather than boil to save more of that vital vitamin C.
Stressed? You might want to do something about that. Long-term effects include increased levels of adrenaline and the stress hormone cortisol, which have been shown to increase the appearance of cellulite. Stress has also been linked to insulin resistance, which can promote fat gain. Growth in the size of fat cells has been shown to increase the appearance of dimples. Turn those stress levels down by swapping your daily coffee for calming chamomile. A high-grade loose-leaf tea of chamomile flowers will have the greatest effect.
READ MORE: Can Caffeine REALLY Help Reduce Cellulite?
Think it’s only good smashed on toast? Think again. Research by the University of California revealed that, when paired with a beef burger, avocado can aid blood circulation, which will help flush out the toxins from your fast food and reduce the appearance of cellulite. Easy.
This gets its rosy colour from an antioxidant called lycopene, which helps to improve blood circulation and can smooth out cellulite over time. So, think pink.
Looking for more? Here’s a 5-day anti-cellulite meal plan to help fight those lumps and bumps