One of the questions I am frequently asked by our subscribers is “are there any specific foods that fight cellulite?”. Today I’m going to give you the top 12 foods (and drinks – no, not the alcoholic kind!) that you should incorporate into daily meals to boost your efforts to lose cellulite. If you are not already eating these, now is a good time to start!
You can take a look at our blog of foods that make cellulite worse over here.
All the food we eat determines how our body behaves on a cellular level. Our cells require a whole range of nutrients to be able to do their job properly. All the body’s processes from detoxification to hormone production to fat gain or loss is determined by cellular function. The foods we eat and the nutrients we ingest can either support our body or hinder it. Being deficient in certain nutrients can cause hormone imbalance, inflammation, poor detoxification, fat gain and worse.
In your efforts to fight cellulite naturally, by now you’ve cleaned up your diet and are eating healthier foods. You’ve reduced your intake of sugars and processed foods. Here, I’m going to give you some specific foods that will speed up the process of shedding the pounds. These foods help you get healthier and set you well on the road to the cellulite-free body you desire.
Foods that fight cellulite:
1. Vegetables: this should come as no surprise! However, let’s look at some very specific cellulite-busting vegetables.
- What: Cruciferous vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, kale, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage.
- Why: These nutritional powerhouses contain an important nutrient called diindolylmethane (DIM) which has been shown to detoxify estrogens. Poorly metabolized estrogen will bind to the receptors in the fat cells causing them to multiply. DIM also helps to detoxify chemical estrogens. Excessive estrogen has been linked to the tendency for women to gain fat on the hips and thighs. Inevitably, the multiplication of fat cells causes more cellulite! In addition to this particular benefit, these vegetables contain a lot of fiber, vitamins and minerals.
- How: steamed, lightly sauteed or roasted, cruciferous vegetables are delicious!
2. Bone broth: lovely home-made broth from slow cooking bones from pasture-raised animals is a wonderful source of collagen. Collagen is what builds the connective tissue that prevents cellulite from developing. You can read our article about bone broth here. There’s even a recipe.
- What: bone broth made from any bones you choose, slow-cooked to gently release the gelatin and nutrients. Recipe is here.
- Why: when bones are slowly cooked, they form a gelatinous stock. This gelatin is simply the cooked version of collagen. Collagen is essential for building healthy connective tissue. Modern diets that shy away from organ meat or the fattier cuts of meat often contain very little gelatin. Replenishing the building blocks for collagen will ensure healthy connective tissue formation. Bone broth also helps soothe gastric discomfort. Sipping on a delicious soup between meals can have the added benefit of making you feel full for longer.
- How: See our recipe here. Use the lovely stock you make as a base for soups, or sip between meals for a delicious and filling shot of goodness.
3. Dark fruits and berries: eating a large variety of fruits, particularly berries, ensures a large number of different antioxidants. Antioxidants are essential for detoxification processes. They provide fiber, and vitamin C which is used for collagen synthesis.
- What: Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, goji berries.. in fact any dark colored fruit you enjoy. Rotate fruits for a variety of different antioxidants.
- Why: Antioxidants are needed to fight free-radicals in the body which cause toxicity. Toxicity is a major factor in cellulite formation, as excess toxins surrounding the fat cells break down the connective tissue. The fiber in these fruits will support digestion and elimination. They can also satisfy sweet cravings.
- How: Any how! Eat berries just as they are, or combine them into a superfood smoothie for a fabulous taste sensation and a healthy nutrient boost all at once.
4. Salt: we’ve all heard how salt is bad for us. And that’s correct. The ordinary table salt that flows out of the salt shaker should be avoided at all costs. Table salt is just the chemical sodium chloride, sometimes with added iodine. This causes water retention and mineral imbalances. There are some great healthy replacements though.
- What: Pink Himalayan salt, natural sea salt or volcanic “black” salt.
- Why: Naturally occurring salt contains a balance of minerals, not just sodium. Sodium is what gives it the ‘salty’ flavor which is why manufacturers made chemical ‘salt’ from sodium chloride. Using natural salt means that you get magnesium, potassium and iron as well as over 50 trace minerals. It’s a little more expensive than ordinary table salt, but after using it for a while, you’ll never go back to the chemical version again!
- How: Use it as you would use regular table salt. It may not taste quite as ‘salty’ as the table salt, but trust me, you’ll love it.
5. Coconut oil: Do you currently use coconut oil for any of your culinary creations? Coconut oil has one of the highest smoke points of any oil and can be safely heated to high temperatures. The medium chain triglycerides (MCT) can help burn fat.
- What: Coconut oil. Either virgin oil, which will taste a bit more like coconut, or expeller-pressed which is almost flavorless.
- Why: Coconut oil contains MCTs – the most notable of which is lauric acid which acts as a potent antifungal and anti-bacterial. Coconut oil contains a number of antioxidants for that all-important detoxification. Once absorbed, the MCTs go directly to the liver where they can be used as a ready source of energy. This increases thermogenesis (fat burning) by boosting metabolism. In spite of being a ‘saturated fat’, coconut oil does not affect cholesterol levels.
- How: Use coconut oil in cooking and salad dressings. Its high smoke point makes it excellent for stir-fries and other high-heat cooking. Coconut oil also makes an excellent skin moisturizer. Some women claim that it can help with the appearance of cellulite when massaged into the thighs.
6. Omega-3 oils: whilst we are on the topic of fats. So many women fear that fat is going to make them fat. This is one of the biggest dietary myths out there. GOOD fats (in moderation) will actually help fat loss.
- What: Omega-3’s from oily fish such as sardines, anchovies, salmon and flax seed. Grass-fed meats, lamb beef etc. Some eggs from local producers of free-range, organic chickens are high in Omega-3 too.
- Why: Omega-3s contain Essential Fatty Acids. The body does not store these as fat tissue. They are used for hormone production and building cell walls. Omega-3 fats have been shown to raise your energy expenditure, actually burning calories! Omega-3’s are anti-inflammatory, reducing systemic inflammation in the body. Reducing inflammation can help to reduce the stress hormone cortisol and help you lose fat.
- How: incorporate plenty of oily fish and pasture-raised meats in your diet. Try to incorporate some more exotic or ‘wild’ meats such as bison/buffalo which are very high in Omega-3 and contain less saturated fat than beef. Find Omega-3 eggs from your local producer or grocery store. If like me, you don’t enjoy eating fish then you can buy a high-quality supplement.
7. Flax seeds: sometimes called linseeds, these superfood seeds contain Omega-3 fats, however, they only contain one of the essential fatty acids. They are not a good substitute for oily fish or pastured meats. However, they have some excellent properties in the fight against cellulite and are well worth adding to your diet.
- What: Flaxseeds, linseeds. These can be purchased in most supermarkets either already ground up or as raw seeds. It is marginally better to buy the whole seed and grind yourself, to prevent the natural oils from breaking down.
- Why: Flaxseeds, although only containing one of the essential fatty acids, are a good source of certain phytochemicals called lignans. Lignans detoxify estrogen and prevent estrogen metabolites from being reabsorbed. A great source of fiber, flax seeds can help keep you regular, aiding detoxification.
- How: Add the ground flax seeds to your smoothies, to oats or yogurt. Aim for a tablespoon or two every day. You can also soak the seeds overnight, and add them that way if grinding them is not convenient.
8. Fermented foods: These contain healthy probiotic strains that assist with nutrient absorption and keep our gut healthy. As most of our immune system is situated in the gut, keeping it healthy is important. A healthy gut is essential for weight loss and general health.
- What: Probiotic yogurts (not sweetened with sugar), kefir, sauerkraut or kimchi.
- Why: The good bacteria in our gut is under constant attack. From antibiotic use, to eating too many sugars or processed foods. Stress depletes our good bacteria. Without these little ‘good guys’ working away behind the scenes, our digestion suffers. Nutrients are not absorbed properly, toxins are not eliminated and ‘bad’ bacteria such as Candida can take over. Many people who eat well still suffer from digestive discomfort because the good bacteria are struggling. Be sure to nurture them by adding some probiotic dairy or fermented food every day.
- How: Try adding some good-quality sauerkraut every day. Ensure your yogurts are ‘live, probiotic’ and not full of sugar. Try kefir, a potent probiotic which has a slightly sharper taste than yogurt.
9. Green tea: Well, not strictly a “food”. Drinking green tea can help burn fat, assist with detoxification pathways and reduce inflammation.
- What: Green Tea. There are various different types of green tea, some can be quite strong, others have a more delicate flavor.
- Why: The potent antioxidants called catchetins can aid liver function, raise resting metabolic rate (more calories burned sitting on the couch!) and decrease fat absorption. On New Year’s Day, if I find myself feeling a little under-the-weather from too much champagne, my go-to remedy is plenty of green tea. Supporting detoxification is essential for getting rid of cellulite as well as hangovers. Antioxidants enhance the immune system, and can help you recover from strenuous exercise.
- How: Find a brand of green tea that you enjoy and drink plenty of it. Avoid adding milk or sugar, but a little stevia can help if you need some sweetness.
10. Avocado: delicious in smoothies or salads, avocados pack a big nutritional punch.
- What: Avocado. Preferably locally-grown and in-season.
- Why: Rich in healthy, natural form Omega-6, avocados contain plenty of antioxidants and essential nutrients. They promote good blood sugar stability. Because of their high fat content, they help you feel fuller for longer and promote fat loss.
- How: As part of a healthy diet, try incorporating avocados into your diet 4-5 times a week. Make a delicious guacamole as a snack or add them to a breakfast smoothie for a creamy texture.
11. Apple Cider Vinegar: Preferably raw apple cider vinegar if you can get it.
- What: Apple Cider Vinegar, you can purchase this from your grocery store.
- Why: Many studies have shown that as little as a tablespoon of vinegar can improve insulin sensitivity. Improving insulin sensitivity is essential for healthy fat loss. Vinegar can enhance stomach acid, leading to better digestion and absorption of nutrients from food. There is anecdotal evidence to suggest that the acetic acid in vinegar can help with satiety (feeling full).
- How: Use vinegar for your salad dressings or consume fermented foods such as sauerkraut. It’s a simple one that’s certainly worth a try!
12. Nuts: Walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, cashews. This is a slightly controversial one. In spite of the many health benefits that come from eating nuts, they are all-too-easy to overeat. Replacing cookies or potato chips with nuts is a very good habit, but they can quickly become “domino foods”: eat one, eat the whole packet. And that’s not what we want. As part of your cellulite reduction goal, they are a great substitute for other, more processed or nutrient deficient foods. Keep in mind that moderation is key. Obviously, if you have a nut allergy do not eat them.
- What: Tree nuts. Not peanuts. The ones you can eat raw, eat raw. Avoid “dry roasted” or simply roast them yourself. Don’t be tempted into the ones with chemical flavorings, just opt for straight nuts!
- Why: Rich in natural Omega-6 and depending on the nut, a different nutritional profile. They are nutrient-dense, full of antioxidants, healthy fats as well as protein. These nutritional powerhouses are also high in calories. So in moderation, enjoy. Don’t forget that if you eat 2,000 calories a day in nuts, then fat loss is probably going to be made more difficult.
- How: Carefully. Opt for nuts over potato chips or Cheetos, but don’t overdo it.
These are all foods that fight cellulite in the context of a balanced diet, eating a variety of vegetables, beans, pulses and good quality meat and fish. None of these will make any difference if your daily diet consists of McDonald’s and KFC!
The cornerstone of any fat loss or cellulite-reducing diet should always consist of:
- Protein – 1-2 palm-sized portions of good quality meat, fish, chicken or eggs with every meal
- Vegetables – 1-2 fist-sized portions of a variety of different vegetables with every meal
- Fats – adequate healthy fats from olive oil, oily fish, flax seeds, avocados and butter (in moderation).
- Adequate fiber. This should be easy if you are eating enough vegetables.
- Fruit. Eat the whole fruit, not fruit juice.
- Adequate hydration. Drink plenty of water! (And Green Tea)
- Minimal processed foods.
If you follow the 80/20 rule, 80% of your diet should be based on those guidelines and for 20% you cut yourself some slack and not worry about it.
Incorporating these foods into your diet will help you to lose fat, fight cellulite and discover a healthier, happier you. Even when fat loss and cellulite reduction is our goal, the focus has to be on sustainable, nutrient-dense eating habits.
Please share on social media and leave a comment. Which of these foods that fight cellulite are you incorporating daily?